The commentators 26-11-15
...on the Autumn Statement
We shouldn’t really be surprised by George Osborne’s retreat on tax credits. It’s what he does: he talks like Margaret Thatcher, then acts like Tony Blair. Mr Osborne has a habit of using the promises and rhetoric of the state-shrinking Right, then tacking to the centre when it comes to delivery
- James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
If ever there was a moment for a Tory administration to act bravely to curb the scale of the state, to launch a crusade to roll back decades of unaffordable public spending, this was it. May’s election victory offered an historic opportunity. George Osborne has secured a reputation as the most substantial and courageous member of this Government. But yesterday he chose to duck the big match, to dodge confrontation with the Left, to carry on pretty much as most British governments do, muddling along from one year to the next
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
Clever? Of course. First of all, brief cuts to political danger zones, such as the police, then whisk them away, just like that. Next, scatter the nation with unexpected good news – no cuts to the arts and sport, no museum charges, the NHS to stay afloat at least for next year. Such largesse! A day ago Osborne was the mad axeman, today he’s the tooth fairy. How did the magician do that? But hold on to the big numbers: his direction is unchanged
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
The most important question is whether Mr Osborne, in making draconian cuts in some public services is being merely prudent, albeit excessively so, or is he surreptitiously intent on creating a small state such as we have not experienced in this country since the 1930s?
- Andreas Whittam Smith, The Independent
The truth is that having barely come down, expenditure is beginning to go up again, and we must all pray like mad that George Osborne’s surprisingly relaxed approach ends up succeeding
- Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
Only a few years ago, the puff would have been chucked out the moment the scale of a story like this became apparent, partly as a matter of taste and partly to maximise the potential for display and give the story room to breathe.
Last night only the Telegraph dispensed with the blurb - and that decision may have been influenced by the oversized ad at the foot of the page. The Times had signed up Bake-Off's Nadiya and wasn't about to surrender a millimetre of her promo. The Guardian was similarly wedded to its taste of autumn and the Mail to its Lego toy... but journalism was still the winner
How the papers covered the Paris attacks
Comment Awards, 2015
Teenage ebola diarist honoured
Tuesday 24 November, 2015
A 13-year-old girl whose diary of life during the ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone made the Observer splash became the youngest winner at the EI Comment Awards in London today.
Bintu Sannoh was named young commentariat of the year for this piece about the crisis and two further articles about the stigma and poverty and hunger that came in the wake of the disease. Six months later she was able to return to school - but she writes about how everything had changed, with only a third of pupils having survived.
Janan Ganesh emerged the sole double winner of the morning as the Financial Times took pride of place at the ceremony at the RIBA headquarters. He won the top accolade of commentariat of the year, having earlier been named political commentator of 2015.
His paper won the award for the best comment pages, Gillian Tett was business commentator and Michael Skapinker won the new prize for business ethics commentary.
The Times also claimed a clutch of prizes: David Aaronovitch was honoured for comment piece of the year for this article after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Jenni Russell won the new diversity award, Hugo Rifkind was arts and culture commentator and Sathnam Sanghera media commentator (in succession to SubScribe).
Other winners included Simon Jenkins, Gary Younge and Cory Doctorow of the Guardian, Allister Heath of the Telegraph, Channel 4, and the science writer Philip Ball.
The chairman's award went to Andrew Rawnsley, of the Observer, while the Sun punctured the domination of the broadsheets (even if few of them are physically broadsheets these days) by winning the eiDigest special award for its leader column.
SubScribe was honoured and surprised to find a place on the individual blogger shortlist, but delighted to see the award go to Matthew Scott, whose excellent Barrister Blogger can be seen here
You can see all the winners here and the full shortlists here.
Comment archive, 2015
Britain and Europe
Sinai jet crash
Lords v Commons
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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