Overall I’m not a huge fan of the vast reams of political analysis churned out in the British media, because far too often it tells you plenty about who the writer would vote for in an election today and not very much else.
Discovering journalist X is very keen on party Y and really doesn’t like party Z is, at best, a one-shot piece of information. Next time I read something from X I really do want to find out something different. Even worse, the analysis is often based on a fairly limited display of knowledge. Sometimes that is for reasons that are deserving of sympathy – overworked journalists, spread thinly across many areas – and sometimes for reasons that are deserving of derision – they are so keen to tell you how much they hate Z they don’t even make a half-hearted attempt to tell you the full story.
Regular readers may have noticed me taking a few potshots at pieces in The Guardian in the last few months, so it’s only fair to point out that two of the most interesting pieces of analysis this week also appeared in that paper and both are well worth a read. I don’t agree with all the points they make, but then reading things which simply tell you back everything you already thought is only good for the ego; it is also tedious and bad for the brain. So here they are:
- John Kampfner: The Lib Dems are in a stronger position than the Tories – but hide it well
- Martin Kettle: The failure of Lords reform is great news for British democracy