The commentators 25-09-15
...on UK politics
Britain needs to choose where we have green space. We can have it at the edge of our cities — out of sight and often poorly managed. That’s what we have now. By protecting the green belt we are turning our capital city, in particular, into one of the most congested urban centres in the world. Simultaneously we are forcing families to live in some of the smallest rabbit-hutch homes in Europe. There’s another way. We can build on the ugliest and not-so-green parts of the green belt
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
This is what should worry us: not teenage parties but lack of attention to detail and the squandering of potential. But while the Prime Minister’s relaxed governing style has yielded plenty of tragicomedy, it also has its successes: he hired brilliant people and let them be. Michael Gove’s school reforms; Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms; the fall in crime; the fall in taxes and consequent economic growth. The single most extraordinary fact about the last five years is that the British economy created more jobs than the rest of Europe put together. Cameron failed, abysmally, to claim proper credit for this – but his detractors have to ask: was all this a coincidence?
- Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
Labour has created a new situation for itself. It may not survive. But it will not survive if it reverts to old-fashioned centralism, whether democratic or managerial. Only Corbyn and his deputy Tom Watson, acting together at Brighton to banish centralism from the party in its current turmoils, can prevent this from happening. If, as a French king said to explain his conversion to Catholicism, Paris was worth a mass, the viability of the Labour party is worth an accommodation with internal pluralism
- Martin Kettle, The Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn’s central analytical argument should be that power in Britain has fragmented. All that was solid has melted into air. He should confront directly the accusation levelled at him by the ignorant scribblers in the newspapers that he is uninterested in power. On the contrary, the original purpose of the Labour party was to seek, through representation in parliament, a better deal for the workers. That is and will forever be the purpose of the Labour party, but power is a many-splendoured thing and those who style themselves as modernisers are horribly out of date. Labour now has to work with people, not do things for them. Leadership has to be inclusive and thoughtful, not draconian
- Philip Collins, The Times
Liam Byrne’s description of Jeremy Corbyn as a “craft ale” might have been well-intentioned – “authentic with strong flavours” – but it was also hopelessly off the mark, both as a metaphor for the message Byrne was trying to convey and for Corbyn himself. Say craft beer and most people think genteel nerdery: someone with the time and dedication to devote themselves to the subtleties of the micro-breweries. The only possible crossover between Corbyn and a craft beer is that both might be described as “specialist tastes”. To me, Corbyn looks like a man who might put value before taste: a man who would wander up to CostCutter and buy four Polish beers on special offer at £1.99. Happy memories of his motorcycle trip in the old Eastern bloc and all that.
- John Crace, The Guardian
Corbyn needs to get to grips with the mainstream media. Shunning Andrew Marr and the Sun is not a strategy that will lead to electoral success.
But the Press, too, must rethink. If people are offended by Corbyn's singalong choices or dress sense, it is fair that they are reported. If his oratory leaves something to be desired, it is fair that that, too, is commented upon. But let's get this into perspective. Those are side issues; the first job of the Press is to report the news, so when a new leader makes his first important setpiece speech, it would be good if newspapers told us what he said rather than what they thought
- Editor's blog: All singing from the wrong hymn sheet
Comment Awards, 2015
Thursday 17 September, 2015 The Financial Times and The Times again lead the way in this year's ei Comment Awards, with eleven nominations apiece in the shortlists announced today.
Sathnam Sanghera is responsible for four of those Times nominations - featuring in the media commentator, diversity, technology and individual comment piece categories.
Freelance Yomi Adegoke who founded Birthday Magazine for black teenage girls, is among four writers shortlisted in two categories - in her case young commentariat and media commentator.
George Monbiot of the Guardian completes the media line-up and is also nominated as science commentator and Gillian Tett of the FT is listed in both business and economics.
Her colleague Janan Ganesh is shortlisted for political commentator and the big prize - commentariat of the year, where he is up against the two most recent winners David Aaronovitch (also nominated for comment piece of the year) and Caitlin Moran.
SubScribe is honoured and surprised to find a place on the individual blogger shortlist, and fully expects to come third behind Barrister Blogger Matthew Scott and Stuart Forster of Go-eat-Do.
You can see all the shortlists here.
Comment archive, 2015
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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