The commentators 30-11-15
...on Syrian air strikes
Not since Hitler ordered General Walther Wenck to send his non-existent 12th Army to rescue him from the Red Army in Berlin has a European leader believed in military fantasies as PR Dave Cameron did last week. Telling the House of Commons about the 70,000 “moderate” fighters deployed in Syria was not just lying in the sense that Tony Blair lied – because Blair persuaded himself to believe in his own dishonesty – but something approaching burlesque
- Robert Fisk, The Independent
Whether we bomb Syria is neither here nor there. If the Commons votes yes, we’ll be doing it for a political reason — ie, to remain a member of the coalition. But it’s absurd for Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to claim that bombing will hasten a political settlement there — or prevent terrorist attacks here
- Peter McKay, Daily Mail
I have not heard a single British Muslim or Arab voice calling for this bombing campaign. OK, some Isis expert called Hassan Hassan thinks it would be smart for Britain to get into the fray. “The importance of Britain’s involvement in the US-led international campaign against the Islamic state should not be in doubt,” he says. Well, sir, millions of us are filled with doubt and fear. Isis exploits the idea of a “crusade” and Western governments and commentators are giving them fodder for this dangerous, seductive narrative
- Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent
You cannot say the do-nothing option has worked: we have seen 240,000 people killed in Syria; we have seen millions displaced; the biggest refugee crisis in our lifetimes and terrorist plots emanating from the ideological cesspit of the so-called Islamic state. Of course bombing alone will not solve the problem; everyone can see that. But the military and political effort must go hand in hand, and Britain must be part of both. I hope Parliament votes resoundingly to join our allies in taking the fight to the enemy
- Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
Only a few years ago, the puff would have been chucked out the moment the scale of a story like this became apparent, partly as a matter of taste and partly to maximise the potential for display and give the story room to breathe.
Last night only the Telegraph dispensed with the blurb - and that decision may have been influenced by the oversized ad at the foot of the page. The Times had signed up Bake-Off's Nadiya and wasn't about to surrender a millimetre of her promo. The Guardian was similarly wedded to its taste of autumn and the Mail to its Lego toy... but journalism was still the winner
How the papers covered the Paris attacks
Comment Awards, 2015
Teenage ebola diarist honoured
Tuesday 24 November, 2015
A 13-year-old girl whose diary of life during the ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone made the Observer splash became the youngest winner at the EI Comment Awards in London today.
Bintu Sannoh was named young commentariat of the year for this piece about the crisis and two further articles about the stigma and poverty and hunger that came in the wake of the disease. Six months later she was able to return to school - but she writes about how everything had changed, with only a third of pupils having survived.
Janan Ganesh emerged the sole double winner of the morning as the Financial Times took pride of place at the ceremony at the RIBA headquarters. He won the top accolade of commentariat of the year, having earlier been named political commentator of 2015.
His paper won the award for the best comment pages, Gillian Tett was business commentator and Michael Skapinker won the new prize for business ethics commentary.
The Times also claimed a clutch of prizes: David Aaronovitch was honoured for comment piece of the year for this article after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Jenni Russell won the new diversity award, Hugo Rifkind was arts and culture commentator and Sathnam Sanghera media commentator (in succession to SubScribe).
Other winners included Simon Jenkins, Gary Younge and Cory Doctorow of the Guardian, Allister Heath of the Telegraph, Channel 4, and the science writer Philip Ball.
The chairman's award went to Andrew Rawnsley, of the Observer, while the Sun punctured the domination of the broadsheets (even if few of them are physically broadsheets these days) by winning the eiDigest special award for its leader column.
SubScribe was honoured and surprised to find a place on the individual blogger shortlist, but delighted to see the award go to Matthew Scott, whose excellent Barrister Blogger can be seen here
You can see all the winners here and the full shortlists here.
Comment archive, 2015
Russia in Syria
Strategic defence review
Britain and Europe
Sinai jet crash
Lords v Commons
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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