The commentators 16-07-15
...on UK politics
This country needs a strong and vibrant Opposition. The lack of one in the heyday of New Labour, when the Tories were weak and divided, contributed to Tony Blair’s hubris. The pity is that Corbyn’s strong showing is having the effect of tugging Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham further and further to the Left. Only the Blairite Liz Kendall among the leadership candidates has supported Miss Harman’s line on welfare. Admirable woman though she may be, I fear she looks and sounds as though she is about 19
- Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
These are lean times for liberal parties in many countries, not just in Britain. But these are fat years for liberal values and identities. The new Lib Dem leader should provide a party for those values. It may not take him to a government office. But it could make him the authentic voice of opposition that so many clearly crave
- Martin Kettle, Guardian
The revolution is already over and it’s only Labour that doesn’t realise. In the meantime the government is, in effect, unopposed. The progressive centre-left party, clear-eyed, practical, committed, reforming and internationalist, that could threaten the real Tories, may be — right now — abolishing itself.
- David Aaronovitch, The Times
George Osborne’s summer Budget was big. Changes to the taxation of companies, non-doms, dividends and rich people’s pension contributions will reverberate and complicate the tax system for many years. All of these will pale into insignificance, however, if the chancellor decides to tax pensions like Individual Savings Accounts in future. He said he was open to this radical change to help move from an economy built on debt to one with more secure foundations.
- Chris Giles, Financial 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
Scottish National Party
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