The commentators 17-02-15
...on UK politics
You don’t have to be Arthur Daley to grasp that everyday cash transactions help grease the wheels of enterprise and make the world go round. Not everyone who runs a cash business is guilty of tax evasion. Who expects a receipt from a fish and chip shop or a burger van? How many market traders do you know who hand out printed VAT invoices?
- Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
Ed Miliband’s targets, the people he calls “vested interests”, are just too obvious. Look at that enemies list again: they are all commercial forces of some kind, and pantomime villains at that. He has never defined himself against anyone you would not expect a generic leftwinger to define himself against. Like an alternative comedian venting about Margaret Thatcher at the Hackney Empire in 1987, there is nothing brave or surprising here, even if there is something of a spectacle.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Here’s what the two Eds need to do, and fast: one, make clear that the scale of dodged tax is a moral issue for them – that the hedge trimmer matters much less than the hedge fund manager. Two, promise a radical review of UK tax laws, to make them far, far simpler.
- Jackie Ashley, The Guardian
The Conservatives seem strangely lacking in self-knowledge. Perceived as the party of the rich, they held a party in Mayfair at which hedge fund managers and bankers, porn barons and lap-dance millionaires, were invited to bid for pheasant shoots, château holidays and chalet trips. Now the Tories are embarking on a vitriolic attack-ad campaign that will surely remind voters of their reputation as the “nasty party”.
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
Moral superiority is basically all Labour have left now. Ed Miliband’s party long ago gave up trying to convince the country Labour could govern more efficiently or prudently than the Conservatives. Their entire offer is now based upon convincing people they can do so more ethically.
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
There has been celebration today of the recommendation that a judge should approve applications relating to journalists - but most reports have omitted the caveat in the second half of the sentence from their intros. Here it is in full (my underscore):
"Judicial authorisation must be obtained in cases where communications data is sought to determine the source of journalistic information."
Even under the commission's formula, journalists could still have their phone and email records examined by the police on the say-so of a senior officer for other purposes...And why shouldn't they?
No similar protection is proposed for lawyers, doctors, priests and their confidential dealings with clients, patients or parishioners. Perhaps their respective trade journals should kick up a fuss as Press Gazette did.
And how about the other half-million people whose personal data are scrutinised every year?
Protection for sources, not journalists
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