Columnist Award: Jeff Randall. Mr Randall’s piece in this morning’s Telegraph is almost the only thing you need to read about yesterday’s Budget. It is magisterial in its analysis of what the Chancellor’s words mean for business, pensions and the nation’s finances. The article’s opening paragraph also wins the Best Quotation Award:
"For most taxpayers, Brown’s final Budget feels like being given a few quid by the burglar who has been robbing our homes since 1997. Not exactly a cause for wild celebration; a glass of Tesco’s cheap fizz at best."
Brown-noser Award: The Sun. Britain’s best-selling newspaper’s front page headline is bad enough but today’s Sun Says is unbelievable:
"While the Tories have ducked firm pledges on tax, Mr Brown has steamed ahead and sensationally cut them. Cameron’s 15-point poll lead may now melt like snow in the spring sunshine."
Does Ms Wade really think her readers are going to believe that guff?
Can’t-make-its-mind-up Award: The Daily Mail. Paul Dacre can’t quite get over his admiration for Gordon Brown and the Mail’s main leader declares "Final flourish to ten remarkable years." Opposite that leader Stephen Glover announces to readers that Mr Brown has been a "great Chancellor." Fortunately the rest of the newspaper subjects Mr Brown to more searching examination. "What Gord Giveth, Gord Taketh Away," is the front page splash. Within the newspaper Edward Heathcoat Amory questions Gordon Brown’s record on marriage, City editor Alex Brummer makes the case for lower and lower taxes and Quentin Letts calls it an exercise in "befuddlement."
Most honest front page of the day: The Daily Express. "Tax Cut: It’s Just A Big Con," the Crusader informs its readers.
Most incisive coverage overall: The Business. Allister Heath and Fraser Nelson confirm their reputations as two of British journalism’s foremost analysts. Their coverage yesterday was fast and insightful.
See here for how The Mail and The Sun covered last year’s Budget.