The commentators 28-10-15
...on tax credits
Did the conduct of the House of Lords in voting down George Osborne’s tax credit reform represent wisdom and compassion by the legislature’s revising chamber? Or was it instead a parade of self-indulgent protest politics by a rabble of superannuated placemen, left-behind Lefties and flatulent bishops? The BBC’s account suggests opponents of the measure, led by veteran Labour peer Baroness Hollis, displayed rhetoric worthy of Cicero and the statesmanship of a bygone age. The rest of us, though, are left to scratch our heads about how long the absurdities of the Lords can be allowed to continue.
- Max Hastings, Daily Mail
If the Conservative Party had told voters in advance what it was going to do, then the Government would not have been humiliated on Monday night. The Salisbury Convention prevents the Lords opposing second or third readings of a Bill that appeared in the governing party’s manifesto. But the Tories anticipated, quite correctly, that cutting benefits to people who are in low-paid work would be deeply unpopular. So they didn’t bother to spell it out in their manifesto
- Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
Even Conservative MPs and ministers who cannot stand Osborne believe that the row over tax credit cuts will ultimately make no difference to his leadership bid. And his large fan club in the 2015 intake doesn’t seem to have lost heart. “Even if he disagrees with what we say, he takes the trouble to listen,” says a new MP. These are the men and women who will, to a large extent, decide whether he succeeds David Cameron. And if the chancellor does manage to mitigate the cuts, and if Labour remains in turmoil in 2020, the electorate at large may conclude that a vote for an Osborne-led Conservative party is a vote for the devil you know. Team Osborne has a lot of hypotheticals to overcome before their man can move next door to No 10. But one thing is for sure: he cannot afford too many more weeks like this one
- Isabel Hardman, The Times
The Conservatives might have won a small majority at Westminster but they cannot rule the UK in the way they, or indeed other parties, used to. Politics is viewed on the assumption that a Conservative Government rules mightily against a Labour party in disarray. There is plenty of ammunition for such an assumption, but take a step back, look around the wider UK and a subtler, complex picture emerges
- Steve Richards, The Independent
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
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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