The commentators 04-08-15
...on the Labour leadership
If Britain’s Labour party rounds off this golden summer for Conservative voyeurs by electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader, here is an abridged account of the aftermath. First, the sugar rush of novelty. A republican Marxist peacenik fronting Her Majesty’s loyal opposition is a story to please radicals and entertain bored neutrals. As Jeremania spreads, commentators, devoted to the craft of reading too much into transient commotion, will suggest he “has a point” about capitalism and “engages young people” with his “authentic” idiom. This credulous guff will go on until political gravity does its remorseless work, perhaps by the end of the year. Voters will grow bored of the joke. The unstable compound of trade union heavies and teenage dreamers that is Team Corbyn will melt down
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
The time has come for Liz Kendall, above, to realise that she has fought the law bravely, but the law has won. Her withdrawal, and subsequent endorsement of Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper, would be a major first step towards uniting her party’s estranged modernisers and pragmatists. And, then, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper have to take the rather more difficult step of endorsing each other. Jeremy Corbyn has stumbled. For his opponents, unity must be the new watch-word
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
If those in the self-described “centre-left” offered a coherent, inspiring vision, the Corbyn phenomenon would never have happened. They have failed to develop one. If they want to regain momentum within their own party – let alone win over the country – they should sideline the voices of negativity and learn how to inspire people. And however much they resort to cod psychology or sneering about the Corbyn phenomenon, the truth remains: they made it possible
- Owen Jones, The Guardian
Most of the Labour leadership candidates have talked rather vaguely of their commitment to “Labour values” without really articulating what those values are; they don’t want to offend great chunks of the party electorate they are trying to woo. But, after the election, the new boss needs to set out those values and stick to them if Labour is to have a productive five years in Parliament
- Isabel Hardman, The Independent
Labour’s dilemma is that most Corbyn policies are supported by most Labour members. The dispute is not, as Corbynites claim, about core beliefs previously betrayed – but about tactics on how to win so as to put them into practice. Blown-away Blairites now in the private defence, health and finance industries may no longer share recognisably Labour values.
- Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
The only reason this case from Shoeburyness reached the public consciousness was because someone mentioned age. That turns out to have been a side issue, and we shall probably never know the full story. That may be right and proper, a family's private traumas should not be aired for public entertainment.
But if women are being coerced into signing away the right to look after their children when they are not mentally fit, in order that councils can meet adoption targets - as the grandparents' lawyer and MPs suggest - then we need to know.
The journalists covering this story have fallen for the clickbait angle and missed the real issue.
Editor's blog: Grandparents' tale of woe
Comment archive, 2015
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