From an excellent letter in today’s Herald by Chris McLaughlin of Giffnock:
The only fault in Chris’ logic is that he’s a bit too generous to Labour.
Frank Cottrell Boyce in the Independent, 7 August 2015:
“Only 25 per cent of the population earns more than £30,000 a year. Most media commentators (including me) do. For people like me, the country basically works. Politics doesn’t affect me. Politics, for me, is about how other people are treated. It’s easy inside my echo-chamber to believe that I am the norm, or the middle. Easy to forget that there are voices outside.
To people in my position, austerity can be read as regrettable but pragmatic. But to my friends and family, who live outside the bubble, it’s not regrettable, it’s terrifying. It’s also not pragmatic. The crackpot, gimcrack ideological nature of austerity becomes more apparent the closer you get to the point of delivery.”
From an editorial leader in this week’s London Evening Standard:
“The man likely to lead the SNP in Westminster, former party leader Alex Salmond, has made it clear that he is contemplating keeping a minority Labour government in power on a case by case basis. ‘If you hold the balance, then you hold the power,’ he said yesterday.
Seems to sum it up pretty well.
From politics.co.uk this morning:
Balls’ comments expose a deeper problem for Labour. For five years now, they have opposed the government’s austerity programme and yet the scale of cuts we have seen this parliament are broadly in line with those planned by Alistair Darling in 2010.
And here’s Ed Balls saying it, just so we’re sure:
Iain Macwhirter in “Disunited Kingdom” (Cargo Publishing, 8 December 2014):
Look at any of the internet sites related to the Yes campaign and you will now find, not just criticism of mainstream media but a complete rejection of it, as if it were the propaganda arm of a foreign power.
This degree of alienation from the press, shared by hundreds of thousands of Scottish voters, is unprecedented and should be causing alarm, not just in editorial offices, but in the political parties which are also losing their ability to communicate. “
It’s a difficult assessment to dispute.
The Times, 14 December 2014:
“Scottish Labour has an ‘intellectual deficit’ because it is filled with ‘time-servers’ given seats to keep them quiet, according to Paul Sinclair, who served alongside Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader, and at the heart of the ‘no’ campaign against Scottish independence.
As someone who wrote Johann Lamont’s speeches for the last three years, on this occasion we’re going to defer to Mr Sinclair’s superior expertise.
Mark Steel in the Independent, 16 October 2014:
“Maybe one way they can reverse this is to try a more forthright approach, and to start with they could say: ‘If the Scottish are so daft as to believe our vow, maybe that proves they’re not fit to run their own country anyway, the idiots.'”
Craig Murray said something quite similar recently from the other side, as it were, and at the moment we’re finding it quite tough to disagree with either of them.
The Evening Standard, 16 October 2014:
The Evening Standard panel decided Mr Osborne is London’s most influential person because of his willingness to invest in the capital despite pressure for the Treasury to spend the money in other parts of Britain.”
Nice to know he’s looking after your money, isn’t it?
George Monbiot in the Guardian, 10 September 2014:
“If Scotland becomes independent, it will be despite the efforts of almost the entire UK establishment. It will be because social media has defeated the corporate media. It will be a victory for citizens over the Westminster machine, for shoes over helicopters.
It will show that a sufficiently inspiring idea can cut through bribes and blackmail, through threats and fear-mongering. That hope, marginalised at first, can spread across a nation, defying all attempts to suppress it. That you can be hated by the Daily Mail and still have a chance of winning.”
We could have picked almost any paragraph. A tour de force.