The commentators 26-02-15
...on minor party leaders
It’s never easy being a politician in the limelight, and it shouldn’t be. We are asked all sorts of questions, from our taste in breakfast cereal to our thoughts on macroeconomic policy, and we’re always expected to have a well-informed and thought-through opinion. On Tuesday morning I gave a terrible interview on LBC – let’s not pretend it was anything else. If you cringed listening to the show, than I’m sure you can imagine what I felt like.
- Natalie Bennett, The Guardian
Bennett has a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from Leicester University so she is supposedly well-acquainted with the techniques of the modern media. Yet Bennett was so useless, not because of nerves or inexperience, but because she was trying to put forward crackpot, extremist policies completely alien to the British public. It was the wild, profligate, immoral absurdity of her party’s plans that made her brain freeze.
- Leo McKinstrey, Daily Express
How many LBC listeners who were tempted by the Greens at the start of the week will have trusted Bennett any less, in terms of the character thing, after her rambling radio performance? The answer, I’d suggest, is precious few. While Westminster insiders were listening to a social housing policy coming apart at the seams, many voters elsewhere may have heard an honest woman decline to pretend to an irritatingly insistent man that she could remember a load of statistics that only a freak would commit to memory anyway. - Tom Clark, Guardian
The man who most understands the need for a simple message is Nigel Farage. He knows that his party is hopelessly divided on many issues. While he is a pretty conventional libertarian he knows that large numbers of Ukip’s older voters are socially quite reactionary. But there isn’t just a gap between Ukip’s leadership and Ukip’s voters, there are growing gaps between Ukip’s leading lights.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
Up until five or ten years ago, it would not be unusual for editorial to throw out or move an ad if it sat uncomfortably with the news on a given page. That tended to be in everybody's interests: BA no more wants its ad on a page devoted to an air crash than the journalist placing the story. This may still be the case, although I suspect that these days pressure would be on editorial to reposition the story rather than the other way about.
If so, that is an example of fissures starting to appear in that dividing wall. If a story, however insignificant, has to move from its optimum position in the paper because of advertising considerations, a line has been crossed.
A layman's guide to the relationship between editorial and advertising
Please sign up for SubScribe updates
Chelsea and racism
Anti-semitism and Islam
Religion and freedom