The commentators 23-01-15
...on UK politics
The best politicians are almost always good fixers. Think Lloyd George or Franklin Roosevelt. And Thomas Cromwell, a fixers’ fixer, is right up there too. As long as we understand that knowing what you want is utterly useless unless you also know how to get it, then politics will have a storied future as well as a storied past.
- Martin Kettle, The Guardian
Labour’s tax plans tell you that they’ve settled for the hope that their core is bigger than the Tory core. It’s the politics of shrunken, insular, self-regarding parties and you don’t have to be Einstein to work that out.
- Philip Collins, The Times
David Cameron, in his visit to Scotland yesterday, claimed that the pre-referendum “vow” to Scotland was being delivered in full. Sadly, the reality falls a long way short of that boast. For a start, the proposals of the Smith commission, published last November, did not match the rhetoric of the unionist parties in the run-up to the independence referendum, when Scots were promised “home rule”, “devo max” and “near federalism” if they voted no.
- Nicola Sturgeon, The Guardian
The current field of would-be replacements for Ed Miliband is well-established: Andy Burnham for the union-backed left, Yvette Cooper for the Brownite centre, and Chuka Umunna for what remains of the Blairites. So no room for Dan Jarvis, right? Well, it’s quite possible to imagine Mr Jarvis supplanting Mr Umunna as the Blairite choice, not least since some of that faction sniffily recall Mr Umunna was a Compass group lefty not so very long ago.
- James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
Smoke, smoke and more smoke has issued from the tobacco industry in its attempt to block plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. Yet the case for such reform has long been clear. It reduces the attractiveness of cigarettes and makes young people less likely to pick up the habit. Smoking rates in Australia – the first country to introduce standardised packaging – have fallen at their fastest rate since the rule came into force in 2012.
- The Independent
Rosie in her bra and suspenders on Monday was the support act, sent on to test the audience. We may have to wait for the headliners - but not for long.
The Sun now has the results of its free market research. We can be pretty sure that bare boobs will vanish from page three, but they will do so without the paper appearing to have surrendered to a "spoilsport" campaign.
In the meantime, the Sun has had a bit of fun. And that's what it's best at.
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