The Guardian turns yellow, the Times blue

Those editorials -- abridged.

Of the four national newspapers that backed Tony Blair in 2005, only one will back Gordon Brown this time. The Sun abandoned Labour last autumn and today the Guardian and the Times do the same, putting their support behind the Liberal Democrats and the Tories, respectively.

In this unpredictable election campaign, one thing is certain -- the Daily Mirror will stick with Brown.

There's a certain formula to editorials of the sort the Guardian and the Times have written today. Both feature a laundry-list of achievements and failures across by all three parties. If you haven't got time to read the two in full (coming in at a combined 3,600 words), here they are, in abridged form:

 

Times

 

Likes Labour for:

  • delivering urban renewal and prosperity
  • introducing civil partnerships
  • military intervention for "noble principle" in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq
  • handling of the banking crisis

Dislikes Labour for:

  • improvident public spending
  • savaging the private pensions industry
  • selling off Britain's gold reserves "much too cheaply"
  • destroying trust in politics

Likes the Conservatives for:

  • promising to reduce the burden on enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • prioritising education, social policy and the environment
  • David Cameron's "energy, intelligence and integrity"
  • "measured and intelligent" approach to immigration
  • its "bold vision" of the Big Society

Dislikes the Conservatives for:

  • a "worrying streak of pessimism" in its foreign policy
  • its decision to abandon mainstream centre-right parties in the EU
  • its promise to match Labour's NHS spending
  • its desire to maintain the aid budget

Likes the Lib Dems for:

  • electrifying the election campaign

Dislikes the Lib Dems for:

  • its muddled policy on the euro
  • anti-business populism
  • promising to abandon Trident
  • promising to break up the banks

 

Guardian

 

Likes Labour for:

  • its "absolutely vital calls" during the financial crisis
  • the "salvation" of the health service
  • its "unmatched" record on poverty
  • major renovation of schools
  • the minimum wage
  • civil partnerships and the extension of protection for minority groups

Dislikes Labour for:

  • nurturing of the deregulatory system which contributed to the financial crisis
  • choosing to stick with Gordon Brown as leader
  • Brown's inability to "articulate a vision, a plan, or an argument for the future"
  • its inaction over pensions, public debt and housing
  • its pursuit of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • its uncritical support of the United States and "mealy-mouthed" approach to Europe
  • encroachment on civil liberties
  • increased centralisation while promising constitutional change

Likes the Conservatives for:

  • David Cameron's efforts to move the party to the centre ground
  • its modern thinking on civil liberty, the environment and aspects of social policy

Dislikes the Conservatives for its:

  • inability to translate this conversion into detailed policy
  • promise to rip up the Human Rights Act
  • hostility to electoral reform
  • alliances with some of Europe's "wackier xenophobes"
  • climate change scepticism on the backbenches
  • muddled approach to the financial crisis
  • inheritance tax cuts for the very wealthy

Likes the Lib Dems for its:

  • commitment to electoral reform, political and constitutional reform
  • approach to civil liberties and criminal justice
  • long term commitment to the green agenda
  • commitment to education
  • "comfort" with Europe
  • willingness to contemplate a future without Trident
  • foreign policy calls, notably over the Iraq War
  • support for press freedoms

Dislikes the Lib Dems for its:

  • hawkishness over the deficit
  • planned tax cuts and implied "slashing" of public services
  • failure to promote women and ethnic minority candidates

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter.

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs

Obama:

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

Trump:

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming

Obama:

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

Trump:

On the Middle East:

Obama:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 

Trump:

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”

Obama:

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Trump:

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

 

On trade

Obama:

This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  

Trump:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland