The commentators 18-11-15
Great crises demand great leaders. In the absence of such Titans, lesser figures are expected to assume the stature befitting devastating events. In France, President Hollande has recast himself as the avenger of the Paris atrocities, while David Cameron has adopted a statesmanlike stance in addressing the threat posed to Britain by Islamist terrorists. The opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, never struck even his most fervent disciples as Roosevelt in shorts. His response to the assault on French citizens has now convinced some less compliant figures that he is a menace to his party and his country. On Monday Mr Corbyn embarked on a series of television interviews that one senior backbencher calls “catastrophic – a car crash”.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
Francois Hollande used to be a utopian socialist known as “marshmallow”; now he sounds like Dubya on triple rations of testosterone. No one who admires and wishes him well wants Corbyn to replicate that journey by feeling obliged to say stupid things. But to get people to listen to intelligent things in times which demand ritual stupidity, a would-be national leader must first capture the mood of the nation he wishes to lead. Until now, Corbyn has spoken eloquently for a minority that has awaited a voice like his for too long. This week, sad to say, he spoke for almost no one but himself
- Matthew Norman, The Independent
We can learn from Libya, and Afghanistan too. War-making has to become less tentative. Isis can be defeated with a relatively small force but we cannot duck out of the region once the task is complete. We have to re-think the relationship between war, peace and aid, not dive under the bed when someone mentions the word nation-building. It will be worth it, and not just because our teenagers will be able to go out on a Friday night without bulletproof vests. The world is being reshaped and we have to be more than fretting spectators
- Roger Boyes, The Times
The charge sheet against western policy dating back a generation is easily drafted. It takes moments to weave a tale of counterproductive geopolitical vandalism, starting from US support for the mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan, via the chaos of post-Saddam Iraq, pausing to condemn blind eyes turned and arms sold to Saudi Arabia, whence the theology of infidel-murder pullulates. But to stop there is lazy. Worse, it takes an effort of analytical obtuseness to make aggressive western governments the initiating agent of all that is sinister, void of good intent or positive consequence, and thus explain jihadism as a symptom, with the CIA and Tony Blair as the virus
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
Is there anything Islamic about Islamist terrorism? No, say the faithful; Islam is peace. Yes, say the fearful; the clue is in the name. In truth, neither answer is adequate. What the question demands is something that Muslims today struggle to supply: a party line to demarcate the boundaries of the creed that all respect. Of those Muslims who have anything at all to do with Isis ideology, the overwhelming majority are its victims. The group targets Muslims far more than it targets anyone else — and most of the people fighting Isis are Muslims, too
- H.A. Hellyer, Financial Times
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
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
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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