The commentators 22-07-15
The resistance of Labour MPs to Harriet Harman’s sensible political tactics is telling. They mounted the most substantial Labour rebellion for years. The new Labour leader – whoever it is – will have a tough job, but they don’t have to look far to find a strategy for electoral success. Tony Blair showed them how: they just have to do it again. Hard heads and soft hearts will always beat hard heads and hard hearts
- John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
The Labour party’s leadership contest has become a contortionist act to avoid confronting two truths about the electorate. First, more people voted Tory than voted Labour. Second, they may have had decent motives, based on the evidence before them. They are not bad people, and they won’t change their minds if the opposition radiates contempt for their opinions
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
Registering as a Labour supporter when you aren’t one, in order to distort the result of their leadership race, is wrong. And right will not come from wrong. Registering is a form of electoral fraud, pretending to be something one is not. It is sufficiently easy to achieve, that once done successfully one can imagine it being done repeatedly. Rapidly this would make internal party democracy impossible
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
Sometimes the murder of a journalist shocks people to such an extent that they take to the streets to protest - as with the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in France and Abdel Karim al-Khewani in Yemen. Sometimes, as with the Isis victims in their orange jumpsuits, the killings are filmed and used as propaganda.
Often, however, the death goes unremarked and uninvestigated. A couple of men ride up on a motorbike and fire a few shots at the target as he or she is leaving the office, arriving home or simply waiting at a bus stop - summary retribution for exposing a corrupt politician or crossing a criminal.
In the first half of this year, sixty media workers around the world were killed while doing their jobs.
Editor's blog: Death and dishonour
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
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