London has surrendered to the alien power of Locog
Opinion digest: Olympic invasion, BBC tax hypocrisy, and why smart women need balls
EVERY weekday morning from The Week online - a daily wrap-up of the best comment and opinion articles from the morning papers and the top political bloggers. If you think we've missed a good one, please let us know. Contact us via Twitter @TheWeekUK.
CIRCUS ECONOMICS IS DESTROYING LONDON
SIMON JENKINS ON THE OLYMPICS
Who can blame G4S, asks Simon Jenkins in The Guardian. "They have done what everyone has done with a nose in this trough." Offered stupid amounts of cash for minimal responsibility, they took the money and ran. "London is now being given a taste of what an unaccountable world government might be like", an Orwellian realm of Zil lanes, G4S and Locog inspectors roaming the streets, tearing down Pepsi ads. Locog [the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games] also enjoys unlimited access to the British exchequer, with a budget ballooning from £3bn to £9bn. "Not since William of Orange arrived with his Dutch army in 1688 has London's government been surrendered so completely to an alien power." But modern cities have no future as theme parks. Trying to allot 100 miles of crowded roads to Olympic VIPs and telling citizens to stay away from work for a month is crazy. "Circus economics" did no good for Rome – nor will it for London.
BBC MUST SET HIGH MORAL STANDARDS
STEPHEN GLOVER ON THE TAX AVOIDERS
The taxpayer-funded BBC needs to maintain the highest ethical standards and set an example to all of us, says Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail. Yet this week the broadcaster admitted that many of its presenters are paid 'off the books', often as private companies, to reduce their tax liabilities. It can't be right that thousands of its regular journalists pay 40 per cent tax while its highest paid stars pay tax at much lower company rates. It also makes outrage from BBC presenters discussing tax avoidance seem unconvincing and hypocritical. "I blame the broadcaster more than Paxo and the rest of the gang." By indulging its senior presenters, the BBC compromises its reputation for truthfulness and even-handedness, as well as the integrity of presenters.
WOMEN NEED BALLS AS WELLS AS BRAINS
CHRISTINA PATTERSON ON GENDER INEQUALITY
Many women have been cheered by the news that they have higher average IQs than men, says Christina Patterson in The Independent. The trouble is that they continue to let men rule the world. Only a fifth of MPs and less than a quarter of the Cabinet are women, and only two per cent of chief executives of the world's top 500 companies are female. Perhaps what you need to get on in the world, particularly in the bits of the world that seem to have the most influence, like politics and business, isn't a high IQ, but what some might call "balls". You can have too much testosterone in the room, but maybe you can also have too little. If we want a better balance of power, we may not need higher female IQs, but for "men to be more like women, and for women to be more like men".