The commentators 26-08-15
Pro-Europeans need to lay a foundation of principled optimism about Britain’s future. They need to give their potential supporters pub-ready arguments for EU membership: defensive rhetorical armour against the more emotive claims of the sceptics. Failure to anticipate the sheer social awkwardness of pragmatic unionists when confronted with garrulous separatists was one of Better Together’s strategic errors. Britain will not fall in love with the EU at any point in the next 12 months. The task for the pro-European campaign is to give voters confidence that membership is a good idea anyway, emboldening the head before the heart turns any harder
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
Our national broadcaster won’t like to be compared with Radio Moscow, which used to pump out endless good news on tractor production to what it hoped would be a grateful population. But when it comes to handling the story of migrants trying to enter Europe, the BBC seems intent on emulating its defunct Soviet counterpart. Since the decision to broadcast an edition of Songs of Praise from a makeshift canvas church in the migrant camp at Calais two weeks ago, the BBC has persisted in promoting only positive images of migration
- Ross Clark, Daily Express
While impatience for change is admirable when government can so easily chug along without achieving very much, Cameron must beware of pushing his ministers too far, too fast. One reforming secretary of state worries that Cameron’s impatience to see quick results could become a liability. “Giving up on stuff because there is too little fruit may not be best if the course is the right one. He has four years to make a legacy but some of what we are trying to do will take a generation.” That means Cameron must avoid being too frenzied as he recovers from his party’s near-death experience. After all, he doesn’t want the Tories to have another fright at the ballot box in five years’ time
- Isabel Hardman, The Times
Jeremy Corbyn has made some sensible and laudable suggestions on tackling the scourge of sexual harassment: the extension of a scheme tested in Bradford to register the number plates of men who shout at women in the street, and the creation of a police hotline for reporting harassment and assault staffed exclusively by women, is especially encouraging. But a polite scheme of women-only train carriages after 10pm? Not so much
- Holly Baxter, The Independent
Those who still hope to avert a Jeremy Corbyn victory know, in their hearts, that the ill-starred military adventures and neoliberalism of Tony Blair were the incubator for another, still-untested evangelist. Though his enemies would never admit it, Islington’s vest-wearing Dionysos is the true heir to Blair
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
The only reason this case from Shoeburyness reached the public consciousness was because someone mentioned age. That turns out to have been a side issue, and we shall probably never know the full story. That may be right and proper, a family's private traumas should not be aired for public entertainment.
But if women are being coerced into signing away the right to look after their children when they are not mentally fit, in order that councils can meet adoption targets - as the grandparents' lawyer and MPs suggest - then we need to know.
The journalists covering this story have fallen for the clickbait angle and missed the real issue.
Editor's blog: Grandparents' tale of woe
Comment archive, 2015
Boris Johnson, Greece
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