The commentators 01-12-15
...on Labour and Syria
If I had to explain to Syrian refugees what has been going on in the Labour party about the life-and-death decision to bomb their country, he doesn’t think he would be able to look them in the eye. Anyone who is proud of our internationalist, outward-looking party must surely feel a little ashamed to witness how a murderous civil war has been used as a proxy for a domestic power struggle in the Labour party between Jeremy Corbyn and his MPs
- Tom Baldwin, The Guardian
We have seen Labour’s blackest day. Her majesty’s official Opposition was asked to fulfil its most solemn duty, and pass collective judgment on whether or not the nation should go to war. It failed. British servicemen and women are being asked to fight, and possibly die, in the service of their country. And the response of Jeremy Corbyn’s party is “meh”
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
here is an incestuousness to the Labour leader’s “new politics”. On Syria — as on Trident, welfare, immigration and the economy — Mr Corbyn is only interested in appealing to those who already agree with him. He and his supporters are not just looking inward to the Labour tribe, they are peering at a sect within a sect. This is no way to win the trust of a sceptical electorate. The Blairites used to talk about “breaking the link” with the trades unions, but the Corbynistas are breaking the link with the voters instead
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
Airstrikes without an effective ground force are unlikely to make any meaningful contribution to defeating Isis. And there is no effective ground force. If, through international collaboration, a ground force can be agreed, the situation would be different. But the prime minister’s reliance on what he calls “around 70,000 Syrian opposition fighters on the ground who do not belong to extremist groups” to retake the ground from Isis is wholly unrealistic
- Keir Starmer, 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
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
If you would like
to help to keep SubScribe going,
please click here