The commentators 02-04-15
...on the general election
The drawn-out saga of the 2015 election TV debates is a classic example of a small-picture issue. Those in the Westminster bubble have obsessed over the debates. Will they happen? If so, how many? What will the format be? Which leaders should be included? Whose fault will it be if they don’t take place? The truth is that, apart from the tiny (and profoundly unrepresentative) cross-section of the electorate who are partisan activists and political true-believers, nobody cares.
- Andrew Cooper, The Guardian
Just as the Tories feared and Labour hoped, the television interrogations have turned out to matter. Labour’s poll boost was short-lived but as YouGov revealed this week, voters’ views of Ed Miliband have shifted for the better. Tonight, on the second programme in which Cameron and Miliband will appear, the PM will be attempting to reverse that impression and Miliband will try to reinforce it. Nervous Conservatives, already worried by their failure to take a lead, are anxious about why the PM didn’t do better last time around.
- Jenni Russell, The Times
The whole Conservative message is that if something’s good for business it helps us all. You can understand this way of thinking, because recently the banks did whatever they could to make as much money as possible, and that turned out ever so well. The disabled were especially grateful, eventually having to write to the Royal Bank of Scotland to say “please stop sending us things" - Mark Steel, The Independent
David Cameron’s “bonfire of the quangos” turned out to be rather like heather-burning on the grouse moors. At first, it looked as if all life had been singed, yet months later a new generation of plump creatures could be seen feasting on resurgent green shoots.
- Ross Clark, The Times
Nigel Farage needs Thanet more than Thanet needs him. Many locals are incensed at the publicity surrounding him, as it paints their part of the country as inherently small minded and racist.
- Suzanne Moore, The Guardian
There is an issue which apparently matters to voters more than any other. More even than the economy. It’s called immigration. And yet so far in the election campaign no party except for Ukip has bothered to mention it.
- Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
Out of the window went every ounce of compassion and thoughtfulness and in came the clichés, the crazed maniac theories.
Oh come on, I hear people say, he had to have a screw loose to fly a plane into a mountain.
To which the answer is: there had to be something very wrong to make him do that. But being depressed or losing your girlfriend or suffering burn-out six years ago doesn't cut it. Anyone with an ounce of sense must realise that there has to be more behind this.
- Another chance to get it right, another chance taken to get it wrong
Comment archive, 2015
Prince Charles's letters
Cameron's exit strategy
Lee Kwan Yew
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