The commentators 17-04-15
...on the general election
when John Bercow recently declared that the House of Commons was crumbling and may have to be abandoned, this raised an intriguing prospect: should Parliament move to Manchester, or York? But there is a more pressing problem: the absence of a genuinely national party, able to appeal to the inner cities as well as the shires; able to win seats in Dundee as well as Dunstable. Bercow said that the Palace of Westminster may only last for another 20 years. It’s unclear if the same can still be said about the United Kingdom.
- Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
At last the Conservatives have an answer to the chaos caused by a lack of social housing. The solution is obvious, to sell most of it off so there’s even less. This is the way all shortages should be dealt with. When the Red Cross take parcels of food to famine areas, instead of sharing it out equally like idiots, they should sell it off to the handful who can afford it, so they can get on to the rice ladder.
- Mark Steel, Independent
This Labour pledge, which would allow working grandparents to take some of the 18 weeks’ unpaid leave available to parents of under-fives if they wished, is long overdue. It’s not an alternative to properly subsidised childcare or to creating more well-paid part-time jobs, but it may just allow some grandparents to hang on to careers while still bailing out their offspring over the summer holidays.
- Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
A Tory- or Labour-led Britain will retreat from the world. Mr Cameron’s promised referendum could wrench the nation out of the EU, his immigration rules would shut out the hard working and the talented from abroad. As for Mr Miliband, he sees the world as largely irrelevant to his grand project to build a fairer society. Both parties will annoy Washington by cutting defence spending. But then, these days, Britain’s voters are as mistrustful of foreign adventures as they are of the political leaders standing for election on May 7.
- Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Labour’s failure to combat the narrative that “Labour wrecked the economy” – chorused again this week by David Cameron and Nick Clegg – remains so damaging. It means Labour has been denied the standing to make the kind of case that Miliband wants. Public opinion remains massively critical of industries such as banking, insurance and energy. Yet outside its core support, the centre left fails to connect and inspire.
- Martin Kettle, The Guardian
Any thought of balance from our national papers in their overall coverage of the campaign vanished on day one. But SubScribe clung to the wistful hope that when it came to manifesto time, they might at least focus on the policies - even if they then proceeded to rubbish them. Dream on.
Excluding the FT, the only papers that came close to offering their readers the information they needed were the Independent, its little sister the i, and - to a lesser extent - the Guardian and the Times. The others have been little more than propaganda sheets.
- How the nationals covered the manifestos (or didn't)
Comment archive, 2015
Depression and killer pilot
Prince Charles's letters
Cameron's exit strategy
Lee Kwan Yew
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