The commentators 25-06-15
...on UK politics
Liberalism remains a vital component of the political spectrum. Yet despite its great history, there is no guarantee that the party that nominally claims to represent it must survive in turbulent political times. Once thing is sure as the Lib Dems struggle to regroup: the last thing they or the country need is to be led by someone like Tim Farron who does not seem to be a heartfelt liberal.
- Ian Birrell, The Guardian
The “acid, amnesty and abortion” agenda sank the presidential candidacy of George McGovern in 1972. Acid stood for tolerance of drugs; the amnesty for Vietnam war dodgers; abortion for women’s reproductive rights. Fast forward to today and the campaigns have changed but the basic themes haven’t: freedom to use recreational drugs; opposition to war; and equality for minorities — whether women, homosexuals or “people of colour”. The left’s great hope for four decades has been that the McGovern coalition that couldn’t win then would be victorious by now, when so many more voters are immigrants, single mums, university educated and environmentally aware.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
The Conservative plan to move to a new measure of the “root causes” of hardship, such as worklessness, debt and addiction, sounds reasonable, but the purpose is to cloud accountability – to create so many indicators that there is bound to be some nugget or other of good news to point to, even in a land where the poor are getting very much poorer.
- Tom Clark, The Guardian
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
To deny that British euro membership would have made the crisis better for all is to ignore the difference the UK would have made. Perhaps this is credible if one thinks Britain is as mismanaged at home and ineffectual abroad as Italy. But that is a strange view to take for those who believe Britain is so much more capable than its neighbours that it is better off outside their team.
- Martin Sandbu, Financial Times
Scottish National Party
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