The commentators 18-12-15
The only conceivable reason Thatcher’s wedding dress can be worth £20,000 is that its value is deemed likely to rise again in future, given she’s the sort of politician unlikely to fade from the collective memory fast. This is what she leaves her grandchildren: a coldly transactional world where people with more money than they could ever spend blow five figures on a dead woman’s wedding dress, only to keep it locked in a bank vault. A world of bubble markets, bloated on cheap money, where the value of arbitrary objects – fine art, wine, bricks and mortar – has been artificially inflated out of all possible proportion to their intrinsic worth, providing a shelter where money can hide from the taxman. What a monument to the particular breed of capitalism she did so much to create
- Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
The auction of Margaret Thatcher’s property this week was an undignified spectacle for anyone who admires her legacy — and raises the question of whether prime ministerial artefacts would be better off in dedicated museums along the lines of US presidential libraries
- Andrew Roberts, The Times
The caricature of George Osborneis of a power- hungry schemer who’d only subsidise Star Wars films to woo the 177,000 Brits who gave “Jedi Knight” as their religion in the last census. Someone who would reach a position on the referendum only once he was sure who was going to win. But instead, the Chancellor has decided, whatever happens on migrant benefits, that Britain’s future lies in the European Union – and to bet everything on his ability to persuade the country. This, at least, gives him all the more incentive to get the best possible deal out of Brussels. His future now depends on it - Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
David Cameron’s entire EU renegotiation strategy is a complete farce. He’s not addressing any of the big issues, which are exactly the same as they were at the time of John Major’s Maastricht sell-out two decades ago. Will any new deal restore our national sovereignty and give us the power to pass our own laws and control immigration, without any interference from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels? No way, Pedro, as Del Boy Trotter used to say.
- Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
Some Labour MPs and Blair supporters seem so consumed with fury about their leader that every comment on any issue erupts into an anti-Corbyn rant. One of them responded to the murders in Paris by complaining about what he thought Corbyn might say about them. They probably hear the football results and snarl: “I bet Chelsea would do even worse if Corbyn was their goalkeeper.” It’s like watching someone try to put up a tent, while someone else keeps treading on it, pulling out the pegs and setting it on fire, then runs to BBC News to say: “This bloke’s an idiot, he can’t even put up a tent.”
- Mark Steel, The Independent
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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