The commentators 03-11-15
...on state surveillance
The feverish paranoia about “surveillance” reflects an unsurprising suspicion of the state in all its manifestations. In the UK of the 21st century the attitudes follow a familiar pattern: a Home Secretary cannot be trusted because he or she is a politician, a judge can be trusted because he or she is not an elected politician and the state is always an instrument of stifling oppression and never one that can act benevolently
- Steve Richards, The Independent
While the modern terrorist threat is all too real, the state’s desire to snoop is not merely a response to an “emergency” but an irresistible urge to pry that is as old as civilisation itself. In the past, finding out what was going on was circumscribed by the difficulties of surveillance. Steaming open letters, tapping phones, trailing suspects from the shadows: all ran the risk of the spy’s cover being blown. Now that the bad guys hide and communicate on the internet they have to be followed there by the good guys. And while they are about it, I am sure you won’t mind if they take a peek at what you are up to, just in case - Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
Converting Britons to liberalism is no less a fool’s errand than making them fervent Europeans. If independent nationhood has always worked for a country, supranational government will seem otiose. If the security state has not seriously menaced its life, libertarianism will smell like an answer to a question nobody asked
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Corbyn needs to get to grips with the mainstream media. Shunning Andrew Marr and the Sun is not a strategy that will lead to electoral success.
But the Press, too, must rethink. If people are offended by Corbyn's singalong choices or dress sense, it is fair that they are reported. If his oratory leaves something to be desired, it is fair that that, too, is commented upon. But let's get this into perspective. Those are side issues; the first job of the Press is to report the news, so when a new leader makes his first important setpiece speech, it would be good if newspapers told us what he said rather than what they thought
- Editor's blog: All singing from the wrong hymn sheet
Comment Awards, 2015
Thursday 17 September, 2015 The Financial Times and The Times again lead the way in this year's ei Comment Awards, with eleven nominations apiece in the shortlists announced today.
Sathnam Sanghera is responsible for four of those Times nominations - featuring in the media commentator, diversity, technology and individual comment piece categories.
Freelance Yomi Adegoke who founded Birthday Magazine for black teenage girls, is among four writers shortlisted in two categories - in her case young commentariat and media commentator.
George Monbiot of the Guardian completes the media line-up and is also nominated as science commentator and Gillian Tett of the FT is listed in both business and economics.
Her colleague Janan Ganesh is shortlisted for political commentator and the big prize - commentariat of the year, where he is up against the two most recent winners David Aaronovitch (also nominated for comment piece of the year) and Caitlin Moran.
SubScribe is honoured and surprised to find a place on the individual blogger shortlist, and fully expects to come third behind Barrister Blogger Matthew Scott and Stuart Forster of Go-eat-Do.
You can see all the shortlists here.
Comment archive, 2015
Lords v Commons
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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