The commentators 11-11-14
...on the Labour Party
This is the first parliament I can recall in which all three main party leaders faced leadership crises. Usually when one leader is in danger of being toppled it is partly because another is soaring. Now the three parties, contaminated by power or recent power, are fearful. In some ways the mystery in relation to Ed Miliband is why it took so long for him to be engulfed by a particularly frenzied crisis.
- Steve Richards, The Independent
Ed Miliband was the “unity” leader who could heal the wounds of the battles between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the comforting figure who wooed his party by arguing that the centre ground of politics had shifted to the left. Now Mr Miliband seems to be succeeding only in uniting his internal critics against him, bringing the different wings of the party together in fear that they cannot win under him.
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
Ed Miliband is entitled to expect our loyalty. The Labour leader has declined to follow David Cameron down the populist path to economic uncertainty, and he has refused to commit Britain to an arbitrary in-or-out referendum on the European Union. This referendum would have nothing to do with the national interest and everything to do with Cameron’s failure to lead his fractious party. He adds, I have never stood for the leadership of my party – and for the avoidance of doubt, regardless of the circumstances, I never will.
- Alan Johnson, The Guardian
Labour's real problem is that Alan Johnson, the obvious alternative and a popular figure with strong working–class credentials, has consistently indicated that he has no interest in the leadership. So Miliband will probably remain in post.
- Leo McKinstrey, Daily Express
Labour’s view of the press has soured to the point of self-harm. The Sun is read by more than 5m Britons every day, many of whom vote Labour or entertain the prospect of doing so. Yet the party talks of the Murdoch-owned tabloid as a remote Other. It is just about conceivable that Labour can win power while ignoring anyone who disagrees with it. How it expects to govern a plural nation with such a sectarian cast of mind is harder to understand.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
The thought occurred that the removal of the poppies might be delayed to accommodate the crowds, but only briefly. Volunteers have been lined up to collect them, clean them, pack them, post them. People who were ahead of the scrum (the poppies have been sold out for weeks) have paid their £25, and they are expecting delivery of their ceramic flowers before Christmas.
As an advocate of British business, Johnson would surely not encourage a trader to default on a promised delivery date or go back on a sale - especially when Forces charities stand to receive millions.
Thursday 25 September Judges for the Editorial Intelligence comment awards announced their shortlists today, with ten nominations for the FT, nine for the Times, five for the Guardian, four for the Independent - and two for SubScribe.
The Times and Sunday Times scored a clean sweep in nominations for the main award of commentariat of the year, which will be decided between David Aaronovitch, Camilla Cavendish, Daniel Finkelstein and last year's winner Caitlin Moran.
Guardian's Jay Rayner was shortlisted in the food writer category, but said that he did not wish to be considered as that award is sponsored by Tesco.
The awards will be presented on November 25.
See the full shortlists here
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