The commentators 06-05-15
...on the general election
Whoever finds a route to Downing Street, his government will be instantly unpopular with millions of people who wanted something else, but that is not unusual. Since 2005 Britain has had prime ministers whose party was rejected by at least six out of 10 voters. Inflammatory talk of constitutional crises and coups is plain dangerous
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
There is plenty that can be said against David Cameron’s government. I know that. But ultimately I think as prime minister he has the firmest grip on this essential point. The firmest grip on reality. These last five years Britain has done something very important. It has shown the will to drive down current spending costs and get the economy growing again. The case for David Cameron is that we will only go on doing that if he is returned to office.
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
If the Conservatives win enough seats in the general election to retain power, it will be their reputation for economic competence and Labour’s for the opposite that does it. Are these reputations deserved? Not as much as conventional wisdom has it, would be his answer.
- Martin Wolf, Financial Times
The Tory and media campaign of fanning resentful nationalism has been clever, co-ordinated, and probably quite successful. Tragically, it may well be a portent of what is to come. This English jingoism is most lethal to the English themselves, defining their enemies not as the great injustices that scar English society, but Scots and immigrants. There has been little effective response to it so far. If this country has a future, then it must come soon.
- Owen Jones, The Guardian
Regardless of who forms whatever kind of government (and assuming the opinion polls are accurate), Miliband will come out of this election cycle as the clear winner, and deservedly so. A sensational Opposition leader, he has steered his party clear of the widely anticipated internecine strife. Labour are now remarkably united, while the Tories face civil war if they scramble another coalition together.
- Matthew Norman, Independent
When the results come in on Thursday night it will be easy to smile at the devastated faces of those who have lost and say they had it coming. But remember, they will have flogged round constituencies for months and will now have lost their jobs. They will get a payoff but, as a failed politician, it’s not easy to find another career. So Thursday night is not just a numbers game, it’s a human game - Alice Thomson, The Times
After this election we need to think again; to find new means of pushing neglected issues on to the political agenda. We might try to discover why social media has so far mostly failed to fulfil its democratising promise. We might seek new ways of building political communities, using models as diverse as Spain’s Podemos and evangelical Christianity. We might experiment with some of the Latin American techniques that have helped to transform politics from the bottom up. However we do it, we should never again permit democracy to be reduced to so narrow a choice.
- George Monbiot, The Guardian
As many of us getting out and voting in big numbers for a progressive alliance of parties is the only way we’re going to get democracy in this country to rethink how it works, utterly, from top to bottom, in a way that recognises we’re in the 21st Century and not an Anthony Trollope novel.
- Armando Ianucci, The Independent
Politicians have decided that they don't need us any more. They are connecting directly with the voters.
Comment archive, 2015
Scottish National Party
Depression and killer pilot
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