The commentators 10-03-15
...on UK politics
The union is not ready for the molten asteroid scheduled to crash on May 7. The likeliest election result is the least survivable for the UK. If neither Labour nor the Conservatives can govern alone, and the SNP is the third party, whoever is prime minister might have to secure Nationalist assent for every law he proposes. To repeat, UK legislation would hinge on a party opposed to the UK, probably commanded in parliament by Alex Salmond, whose wiles and ruthlessness marked his tenure as SNP leader.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Now may not be the best time to be fanning tensions between England and Scotland, nor telling Scottish people that no matter how many of them vote for the SNP, the nationalists should never have a sniff of influence and power at Westminster. Yet that is exactly what David Cameron is doing, with apparently no concern for the consequences.
- John Harris, The Guardian
The outcome in May will not be the same as 2001 or 1992, because of Scotland, Ukip, the rest of the smaller parties, and a thousand other reasons. Nonetheless, the debate about the size and function of the state is more pivotal than the one about whether Scotland will leave the UK or whether the UK will leave Europe. Those apocalyptic scenarios will not be decided at this election. The future size of the state will be.
- Steve Richards, The Independent
David Cameron is behaving like the lord of the manor carrying a priceless family heirloom across the drawing room, when all he has in his hands is an old Ikea pot that may already be cracked. With the Tories flat-lining in the polls — and heading for a minority government if they are lucky — he has spectacularly misjudged the balance of risk.
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
Why would anyone in their right mind trust Ed Balls now, as he says a Labour government would be careful with our money, when the promises that were made in 1996 were so spectacularly broken just a few years after the party took power in 1997? As Albert Einstein observed, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is a definition of insanity. The country is not mad, even if Mr Balls thinks it is.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
Politicians should not be permitted to enter politics until they are 40-plus. In the US, there is a stipulation that the president should be at least 35; a senator 30 and a member of the house of representatives 25. It’s a start, but I’d add at least 10 years to all those ages. The UK is a prime example of how youthful career politicians can give politics a bad name, with the three current identikit leaders of the “main” parties having worked as wonks and spads for a decade or so before getting to the top of the greasy poll. No sense of being knocked about by life there - Stephen Moss, The Guardian
Having restored some dignity to the victims, we have yet to learn not to glorify the killer - most particularly by not according him an identity that might secure him a place in folklore. That also means avoiding describing Emwazi as Isis's "star executioner" or saying that he "features" in the group's videos.
For six months we have been providing propaganda for Isis, and sprinkling words such as "evil", "vile", "depraved" around doesn't mitigate that failing.
- Emwazi is not a folk hero, let's stop treating him as if though were
Comment archive, 2015
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