The commentators 02-12-15
...on Syrian airstrikes
As MPs prepare to vote on whether or not the RAF should bomb Syria, the Chilcot report on the 2003 invasion of Iraq – the policy decision now widely recognised as the original sin that paved the way for Islamic State – should have been essential reading. MPs have instead been summoned to meetings to talk to “experts” – David Cameron’s reference to intelligence agencies that he is reluctant to identify after the disaster in Iraq. We are having to wait until next summer, more than 13 years after the invasion, to hear what Chilcot says about “lessons learned”, the main purpose of his inquiry
- Richard Norton Taylor, The Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn was elected precisely because of his opposition to things like the Syrian action. I firmly expect more Labour MPs — perhaps many more — will vote against action than for it. There is also a constituency in the country for his doubts about bombing. After the vote, he should prepare to reshuffle his shadow cabinet to ensure he has a shadow foreign secretary who shares his views. And at the same time he should signal to his Momentum friends that he is not going to stop them as they threaten MPs with deselection. The irony is that if Jeremy Corbyn wants a party that is against war, he needs to go to war in his party
- Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
MPs who have done all in their power to destabilise Mr Corbyn must take much blame for the inevitable success of the bombing vote. But so too must a leader who has alienated moderates, feigned autocracy and then, when the moment of truth arrived, backed down from ordering Labour to oppose air strikes and so removed the last obstacle to the PM’s plan. Mr Corbyn may rally or he may be doomed to the oblivion that many Labour backbenchers pray for. Either way, when the first British bombs fall, a leader with pacifism in his blood will know that he alone might have stopped the war. Whatever his political future, Jeremy Corbyn’s epitaph is already written
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
None of us can foresee how this will play out. But I have to say that the Prime Minister and our intelligence services are deluded if they really think that bombing will help solve the problem and that 70,000 Syrian armed rebels will then form those vital ‘boots on the ground’ to help us see off the most barbaric enemy that the world has seen in decades
- Michael Burleigh, Daily Mail
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
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