The commentators 16-03-15
...on UK politics
What Michael Gove and the Good Righters say is that the left uses the state to enslave people. By contrast, they want to use it — as Conservatives have a history of doing — to help people to emancipate themselves. This attempt to redefine conservatism, however, faces a deeper problem. It might be called conservatism’s existential crisis. Conservatism is a cast of mind that involves conserving and defending what a society holds to be precious.
- Melanie Phillips, The Times
The Tories prospered in the 80s as the champions of the market. Now they are too widely seen as its slave, and – more specifically – as the trade union of the rich. That is an electorally deadly impression which is why, in a remarkable speech last week, Michael Gove declared that “inequality remains the great social and political challenge of our time” and that the Tories must be seen as “warriors for the dispossessed”.
- Matthew d'Ancona, The Guardian
It's good news for anyone fed up with the in-depth examination of how many kitchens Ed Miliband has and which one he uses when. This week’s Budget should mean that for a few days Westminster will be busy with a serious debate about what the main parties want to do with the economy. But will we really get that good a debate this close to an election? All the signs are that George Osborne is focusing on the key groups and messages needed to get his party over the line.
- Isabel Hardman, The Independent
Too often in the past he’s been Mr Rainbow, a kaleidoscope of yellow and green with only flashes of pale blue. There’s been too much hugging of huskies and hoodies and not enough about what really matters to voters – tax cuts, family values, strong defence and no more nonsense from Europe. Whichever way you cut the opinion polls, one thing is crystal clear: If we’re going to have another Conservative government we need to be convinced beyond any doubt that we have a Conservative Prime Minister.
- Chris Roycroft-Davis, Daily Express
The main message to traditional Tories, as well as to those remaining Lib Dems in Scotland, will be: Hold your noses and vote Labour. Tory high command is furious that such tactical voting is being planned. Labour’s bosses, meanwhile, are pretending they don’t need it. But they are fooling no one and in constituencies all over Scotland, on street corners, in pubs and clubs and in door-to-door canvassing, Labour MPs are privately wooing – and being wooed by – their one-time Tory enemies. Beating the Nats is the common purpose.
- Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph
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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