Cameron can learn from Sarko about dealing with extremists
Opinion roundup: women baiting, appreciating John Major, what Dave could learn from Sarko
CONTINUING a new service from The Week online - a daily wrap-up of the best comment and opinion articles from the morning papers and the top political bloggers. Posted mid-morning Mondays to Fridays. If you think we've missed a good one, please let us know. Contact us via Twitter or Facebook, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT DAVE CAN LEARN FROM SAVVY SARKO
SIMON HEFFER ON DEFENDING BRITISH VALUES
France kicks out its extremists, says Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail. This week President Sarkozy sent two Islamic extremists - one preaching anti-semitism, the other a convicted terrorist - back to their home countries without giving the European Court of Human Rights an opportunity to voice its feelings on the matter. "Compare this resolute action with the farce in Britain" over the attempted deportation to Jordan of hate preacher Abu Qatada. In contrast to our "craven" approach, Sarkozy has said: "Those who make remarks contrary to the values of the Republic will be put outside the French Republic." He is proud of France's heritage and culture. If only David Cameron could similarly bring himself to embrace British values, he too "might do what is required to stand up for this country, and those values".
WOMAN BAITING KEEPS MEN IN CONTROL
HARRIET WALKER ON THE SAMANTHA BRICK BACKLASH
Journalist Samantha Brick has made a lot of money for the Daily Mail, says Harriet Walker in The Independent. She has also "made herself a laughing stock in the process". Her article on the isolation and cattiness she experienced as a beautiful woman was read by more than 1.5 million people, and scorned by thousands on social media platforms, while the newspaper raked in the cash from the extra clicks. She might be a glutton for punishment, socially inept and doing it for the money, but Brick is also a witless puppet for a male hegemony that derives its power partly from the myth that all women hate and hurt each other. It's "a taboo that needed shattering", says Brick. The fact is, no one, man or woman, likes someone who tells us how great they are. The real maxim begging to be flouted here is that women – the bullies or the bullied – "are set up for this kind of fall again and again".
JOHN MAJOR LOOKS BETTER WITH HINDSIGHT
PETER OBORNE ON THE FORMER PM
It's been 20 years since the Conservative party managed to achieve a real victory at a general election, says Peter Oborne in The Daily Telegraph. In 1992, John Major, triumphed at the polls. He was always underestimated by "a sneering metropolitan media class", and his administration suffered a reputation for sleaze, incompetence and weakness. But as time passes, history may be kinder. He helped navigate Britain out of the deep recession of the early 1990s and helped bring the IRA to the negotiating table. But probably Major's greatest achievement was the Maastricht Treaty. In the light of the Eurozone crisis, Britain's opt-out over European monetary union seems visionary. He may not have been a great leader, but his Conservative party had a clear, coherent message about low taxes, less regulation, and a smaller state. "And, lo and behold, the Conservatives won."
KILLERS AREN'T CREATED BY GAMES AND MOVIES
JOHN WALSH ON CHILD VIOLENCE
The horrific details of Daniel Bartlam's hammer murder of his mother "must have been music to the ears of the anti-videogames lobby", says John Walsh in The Independent. It seems that the teenager's homicidal onslaught is proof that the depiction of violence leads to acts of violence. Daniel was obsessed with a Coronation Street murder plot and horror films. But the claim that young people are educated in violence by watching violent films or games fails to recognise that savagery is part of humanity. We may be "civilised" by centuries of moral and religious education and law, yet a vestigial liking for violence lurks inside us still. It's why we watch violent sports, games and movies. But it doesn't make us killers. Knowledge and will are different. Depictions of muggers, thieves or killers won't turn us into them unless we have the will to be so. Daniel Bartram was "a once-in-a-blue-moon" example of someone who had that will.