The commentators 15-12-15
...on EU referendum
On one level the sequence is absurd, a rhapsody in silliness to compete with the best Monty Python sketches. There is Cameron and his entourage betting everything on getting a deal that might prevent some immigrants from claiming benefits, a tiny issue for the UK and an even tinier one for the rest of the EU as it grapples with the apocalyptic migrant crisis. No doubt when British voters are asked if they oppose immigrants claiming benefits they will declare in large numbers that they do. But this has never been an overwhelming concern even for Eurosceptics more bothered about immigrants apparently coming to the UK to take the jobs of the indigenous population, rather than claiming for not taking the jobs
- Steve Richards, the Independent
David Cameron is not a reckless politician. He likes to talk about the importance of “rolling the pitch” in advance of announcing public service reform. But when it comes to Europe he has done so little to prepare the ground of public opinion that the bounce of the referendum ball is dangerously unpredictable. As Laurent Fabius explained earlier this year: “Obviously, the British population, who have grown accustomed to hearing ‘Europe is a bad thing. Europe is a bad thing,’ the day they’ll be consulted, there’s a risk they’ll say, ‘You told us Europe is a bad thing’”
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
To dine with eminent business leaders these days is to field clever-clever theories as to why, after another harrowing recession and a rush of blood to the head and the perfect alignment of the moon and the planets, Britain might turn red after all. Then there is the elite’s dread of dreads: Britain voting to leave the EU. Pro-Europeans fear they will build an intellectually unanswerable case to remain and still fail, as bloody-minded multitudes use the referendum as a free punch at their perfumed overlords
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
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
Labour and Syria
Russia in Syria
Strategic defence review
Britain and Europe
Sinai jet crash
Lords v Commons
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
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