The commentators 21-12-15
David Cameron wants to persuade biddable waverers that the direction of travel in Brussels is at last sympathetic to Britain. What he calls “renegotiation” is a means to an end – probably a fairly modest end. But it is also an end in itself. It is a public process designed to enable Eurosceptics to campaign for Britain to stay in the EU and not surrender their dignity. The diplomatic process to which Cameron is committed is symbolic before it is substantial
- Matthew d'Ancona, The Guardian
I can no longer see a rational pro-Brexit case for the UK as a whole. Globalisation and European integration produced losers, including in the UK. Yet overall the country did not lose — or, if it had, leaving the EU would not redress the problem. If Britain were to vote Out, one cannot exclude the risk of macroeconomic instability: a sterling crisis, a plunge in house prices or another Scottish referendum
- Wolfgang Muchau, Financial Times
Many right-wing politicians and business people want us to get out of Europe because the EU gives workers a degree of protection, a fair deal and some respect. This government is determined not only to slash all state safety nets but to also make Britain into a mini United States, where workers get few holidays or basic employment rights and citizens pay for their own healthcare or die. That is the big Tory idea. They don’t put the details in their manifesto but, by stealth, European social democracy is being pushed out in favour of American social Darwinism. Is that what you want?
- Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent
Once a country has decided to leave, the remaining members of the EU decide on the terms. The exiting country has no say in this discussion. Once presented with the terms set out by the EU, the exiting country has no opportunity to reconsider, a second referendum could not be done, the decision would have been taken. The exiting country would simply have to accept the terms that it had been presented with. The implications of Article 50 could be dire, with Anatole Kaletsky pointing out that some EU members may try to treat Britain punitively, either out of anger or to seize an opportunity
- Bronwen Maddox, Prospect
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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