The commentators 08-12-15
The way we communicate now threatens the existence of the old political parties. On the one hand, there are the two vast UK governing parties, each supposedly bound together by common values and policies. On the other there is Twitter. If there is a word out of place from a leader, or a leader’s critics, the Twitterati leap. The pace of politics has speeded up beyond recognition. An internal spat can become a noisy, uncontrollable civil war within seconds. The last two highly charged shadow cabinet meetings relating to the thorny issue of Syria were not only reported on Twitter and the rolling news TV channels before they had even ended, but, in a surreal manner, their outcomes were also determined by reports of what was happening
- Steve Richards, The Independent
With so many people wanting to stop the war, and with Mr Corbyn also wanting to stop the war, it may seem strange that the Labour leader’s greatest weakness right now should be his long-standing association with a group called Stop the War. And yet it is. At the weekend Tristram Hunt described the group as “disreputable” and called upon his leader to pull out of the address he’s meant to be giving at their Christmas fundraiser. He was right, Corbyn should ditch them and all for one simple reason. Which is that they’re crazy
- Hugo Rifkind, The Times
Prime ministers approaching the end always finish up worrying about legacy. For David Cameron, how he will be remembered rests on Europe, which is not how it was meant to be. Mr Cameron came to the leadership pledging to stop his party “banging on about the EU”. Thanks to an accident of historical timing, the unravelling of the integrationist EU model and Mr Cameron’s attempts at party management, he risks being defined by the subject he set out to avoid
- Iain Martin, Financial Times
As he celebrates 10 years as party leader, David Cameron is stepping closer to taking Britain out of the EU: will he make such a momentous move for such trivial reasons? Caught in a trap of his own devising, he has twisted together two wicked political issues – Brexit and benefits – like a pair of snakes
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
Only a few years ago, the puff would have been chucked out the moment the scale of a story like this became apparent, partly as a matter of taste and partly to maximise the potential for display and give the story room to breathe.
Last night only the Telegraph dispensed with the blurb - and that decision may have been influenced by the oversized ad at the foot of the page. The Times had signed up Bake-Off's Nadiya and wasn't about to surrender a millimetre of her promo. The Guardian was similarly wedded to its taste of autumn and the Mail to its Lego toy... but journalism was still the winner
How the papers covered the Paris attacks
Comment Awards, 2015
Teenage ebola diarist honoured
Tuesday 24 November, 2015
A 13-year-old girl whose diary of life during the ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone made the Observer splash became the youngest winner at the EI Comment Awards in London today.
Bintu Sannoh was named young commentariat of the year for this piece about the crisis and two further articles about the stigma and poverty and hunger that came in the wake of the disease. Six months later she was able to return to school - but she writes about how everything had changed, with only a third of pupils having survived.
Janan Ganesh emerged the sole double winner of the morning as the Financial Times took pride of place at the ceremony at the RIBA headquarters. He won the top accolade of commentariat of the year, having earlier been named political commentator of 2015.
His paper won the award for the best comment pages, Gillian Tett was business commentator and Michael Skapinker won the new prize for business ethics commentary.
The Times also claimed a clutch of prizes: David Aaronovitch was honoured for comment piece of the year for this article after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Jenni Russell won the new diversity award, Hugo Rifkind was arts and culture commentator and Sathnam Sanghera media commentator (in succession to SubScribe).
Other winners included Simon Jenkins, Gary Younge and Cory Doctorow of the Guardian, Allister Heath of the Telegraph, Channel 4, and the science writer Philip Ball.
The chairman's award went to Andrew Rawnsley, of the Observer, while the Sun punctured the domination of the broadsheets (even if few of them are physically broadsheets these days) by winning the eiDigest special award for its leader column.
SubScribe was honoured and surprised to find a place on the individual blogger shortlist, but delighted to see the award go to Matthew Scott, whose excellent Barrister Blogger can be seen here
You can see all the winners here and the full shortlists here.
Comment archive, 2015
Labour and Syria
Russia in Syria
Strategic defence review
Britain and Europe
Sinai jet crash
Lords v Commons
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
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