The commentators 23-07-15
These are the worst of days for Britain’s Left. The Labour Party, fresh from its wipeout in Scotland, is allowing itself to fall for Jeremy Corbyn, a hardcore socialist with views seemingly designed to chase away Middle England. The trade unions, now largely irrelevant to private sector workers, are finding it especially difficult to accept the outcome of the election; some are threatening to break the law in a vain attempt at halting the Tories’ planned anti-union legislation, a suicidal strategy that will merely hasten their final demise
- Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
Before Corbyn entered the race, there was hardly anything to distinguish the three other candidates from each other. Now that he is in the race, demonstrably the only interesting politician among them, it seems that those same candidates are running scared. None even have the confidence to argue that their respective policies are in themselves best for the country - other than the line that their Tory-lite plans will make Labour more 'electable', allowing them to ‘regain trust’ from an apparently right-wing electorate
- Rachael Ward, The Independent
The Labour Party is sliding further into meltdown and madness. Nothing encapsulates that flight from political reality more graphically than the surge in support for the hard-Left MP Jeremy Corbyn, who now looks on course to gain the Labour leadership. If he wins Labour could fall apart or be consigned to oblivion. That is why so many commentators are now saying that the top Conservatives cannot believe their luck
- Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
Labour needs radical change, but it is simple-minded to equate radical change with left-wing leadership. Before it can even contemplate winning a general election Labour needs to win back friends and credibility as an open, collaborative, broad-based social movement
- Matthew Taylor, The Times
Sometimes the murder of a journalist shocks people to such an extent that they take to the streets to protest - as with the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in France and Abdel Karim al-Khewani in Yemen. Sometimes, as with the Isis victims in their orange jumpsuits, the killings are filmed and used as propaganda.
Often, however, the death goes unremarked and uninvestigated. A couple of men ride up on a motorbike and fire a few shots at the target as he or she is leaving the office, arriving home or simply waiting at a bus stop - summary retribution for exposing a corrupt politician or crossing a criminal.
In the first half of this year, sixty media workers around the world were killed while doing their jobs.
Editor's blog: Death and dishonour
Comment Awards 2015
Anyone can nominate their favourite writer
Friday 12 June, 2015 Are the comment pages and columnists too Londoncentric? And if they are, what is the solution when the financial and political powerhouses are based in the capital?
Does the character or personality of the writer matter? Should we read columnists with whom we violently disagree or is it, as Eleanor Mills suggested, good for the soul but bad for the blood pressure?
Why did the so-called political experts get it so wrong in calling the general election? And will they - and Rupert Murdoch - influence the result of the EU referendum?
All these points and more were addressed under the guidance of Dr Anthony Seldon at the launch of the 2015 Comment Awards last night. Seldon will chair the judging panel for the awards, now in their seventh year.
Nominations are now open and anyone can put forward anyone writing in the UK media - broadcasting, print or online - by submitting the URLS of three articles published between August 1, 2014 and July 31 this year, which is the closing date for entries.
The 17 awards include four new categories: Comment piece of the year for a single piece of excellent writing; Young commentariat; Society and diversity commentator; and Technology and digital commentator.
There is no charge for entries. Details and the nomination forms can be found here.
Oh yes, and who was the most frequently mentioned columnist at last night's event? Matthew Parris? Andrew Rawnsley? Stephen Glover? No. By a country mile, the most discussed writer was Katie Hopkins.
Comment archive, 2015
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