The commentators 24-12-14
...on UK politics
The longest general election campaign in history looms. It will stretch for more than four interminable months, with no intermission, till polling day on May 7. Normal political activity has already ceased, thanks to the misconceived Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011.
- Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
Twitter, Facebook and the rest are having an effect on politics analogous to the effect of high-frequency trading on markets since the 1980s, aggregating millions of rational trades into irrational exuberance, and amplifying turbulence into volatility and volatility into panic. That is one reason why a year in which not much changed felt like a year of sustained crisis.
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
As we join the Ghost of Coalition-Forming Yet To Come on a jaunt to some versions of the future, wonder this. However miserable Ed Miliband must feel at having to affect a friendship with Ed Balls, to what uncharted level of Dantean hell will he descend if he has to do the same with a rampaging Alex Salmond to sustain an SNP-backed Labour government? If David Cameron finds it a strain playing nice with Vince Cable, imagine his agony if he must suck up to Nigel Farage to stop a handful of Ukip MPs bringing down a minority Tory administration.
- Matthew Norman, The Independent
If Labour is elected in May it will face many of the same constraints on spending that it faced in 1950. It will have to choose whether to insist on the purity of the NHS, what to do about welfare spending and whether to spend money on Trident nuclear missiles and other foreign policy obligations. It isn’t hard to see a similar split emerging as the party decides about charges and private provision in the NHS and what to do about defence spending and the Atlantic alliance.
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
Men with machine guns set out on a mission. They are heading for a school where they intend to kill as many pupils as they can. They achieve their aim with a death toll of 132 children - and a teacher is burnt alive for good measure.
By any yardstick this is a big story. But not, to judge from today's front pages, as big as the NHS populating hospital wards with foreign nurses or slightly cheaper petrol. Indeed, the possibility of life on Mars is more compelling for the Telegraph than the real loss of life on Earth.
What is the thinking here?
- Editor's blog
Tuesday 25 November The Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards were announced at a breakfast ceremony this morning. David Aaronovitch was named Commentariat of the Year and his newspaper, The Times, won the award for the best comment pages. Stevie Spring, who led the judges, made it a hat-trick for the Times by choosing Melanie Reid for the chairman's award.
The FT, Guardian, Mail and Sunday Times each picked up two awards. SubScribe was also among the winners. You can see the full list of awards here. A video of the presentations will be posted online later.
Please sign up for SubScribe updates
Labour and Ed Miliband
The Labour Party
Midterms and UK politics