The commentators 26-06-15
...on the Monarchy
The best thing about abolishing the monarchy is that Tony Blair could become president. If I have ever written a less popular sentence I do not recall it. I do not expect it, either. Kant would have warned us republicans off wishing for what we cannot observe. Yet surely the least we can expect is that, when there is no money left, the only family in Britain that has turned welfare into wealth should cost us a little less.
- Philip Collins, The Times
For all of her success, Nicola Sturgeon is not quite ready to pick a fight with the Queen. Scotland’s First Minister was at great pains to deny reports that she is withholding money due to the Crown, but the story was damaging because it seemed so plausible. The SNP’s strategy is to choose areas where it claims Scots and the English disagree – on welfare reform, university tuition fees or enthusiasm for the monarchy. It then picks fights in these areas, in the hope of making things worse. And then, after years of antagonism, the SNP plans to sue for divorce – on the grounds of irreconcilable differences - Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
It is odd that it has been left to the Queen to make a philosophical defence of the EU, filling the vacuum left by politicians. David Cameron, for all his attempts to conceal the fact from his backbenchers, is determined to stay in Europe. He made a point of attending the banquet on Wednesday, and enthusiastically applauded the speech along with the German chancellor Angela Merkel. In a way, he has made the Queen his proxy.
- Stephen Moss, The Guardian
Promising a referendum on Britain’s place in Europe was always a rash gamble — a tactical swerve blind to the strategic consequences. The stakes have risen. The rest of Europe does not want to see the Brits depart, but the EU would muddle on. For the UK, the choice has become existential. If Britain leaves Europe, Scotland will leave Britain. The union of the United Kingdom would not long survive Brexit.
- Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Comment Awards 2015
Anyone can nominate their favourite writer
Friday 12 June, 2015 Are the comment pages and columnists too Londoncentric? And if they are, what is the solution when the financial and political powerhouses are based in the capital?
Does the character or personality of the writer matter? Should we read columnists with whom we violently disagree or is it, as Eleanor Mills suggested, good for the soul but bad for the blood pressure?
Why did the so-called political experts get it so wrong in calling the general election? And will they - and Rupert Murdoch - influence the result of the EU referendum?
All these points and more were addressed under the guidance of Dr Anthony Seldon at the launch of the 2015 Comment Awards last night. Seldon will chair the judging panel for the awards, now in their seventh year.
Nominations are now open and anyone can put forward anyone writing in the UK media - broadcasting, print or online - by submitting the URLS of three articles published between August 1, 2014 and July 31 this year, which is the closing date for entries.
The 17 awards include four new categories: Comment piece of the year for a single piece of excellent writing; Young commentariat; Society and diversity commentator; and Technology and digital commentator.
There is no charge for entries. Details and the nomination forms can be found here.
Oh yes, and who was the most frequently mentioned columnist at last night's event? Matthew Parris? Andrew Rawnsley? Stephen Glover? No. By a country mile, the most discussed writer was Katie Hopkins.
Comment archive, 2015
Scottish National Party
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