The commentators 18-06-15
...on UK politics
George Osborne’s critics continue to underestimate him, bleating about the new round of £30billion austerity cuts that he plans in order to eliminate the deficit by 2018. But fiscal responsibility should be the instinctive principle of good governance. It is precisely because of Osborne’s willingness to take tough decisions that the economy is strengthening – and his own prestige is growing.
- Leo McKinstrey, Daily Express
Championing the living wage would be a big political risk for George Osborne but he will be attracted by the idea of stealing one of Labour’s trump policies. Yesterday’s news of a further fall in unemployment was not unexpected but earnings growth of 2.7 per cent really will have put more fuel in the Tories’ tanks as they invade Labour’s working class heartlands. The living wage could turbo charge those tanks.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
There’s no necessity to put up with the attacks the Tories are about to launch on millions of people’s living standards, and every reason to resist them. The austerity programme needs to be opposed in parliament, but also with industrial action, demonstrations and local campaigns. That process is already kicking off, with a national anti-austerity march in London this Saturday. If opposition is to be successful beyond particular issues, it will need to become a social movement.
- Seumas Milne, The Guardian
Partisanship has long been a valuable part of our political culture but select committees and their discursive style of inquiry mirror how voters increasingly prefer their politics. We now need to go further. Their role in public appointments should be strengthened, not least by building on the precedent of the Treasury committee’s veto on senior appointments and dismissals at the Office for Budget Responsibility.
- Andrew Tyrie, The Times
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
Scottish National Party
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