Louise Mensch: Republicans have missed their chance to win
Opinion digest: The Republicans won't beat Obama, and shale gas - the green option for Britain
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ROMNEY WILL LOSE THIS ELECTION
LOUISE MENSCH ON A MISSED REPUBLICAN OPPORTUNITY
The forthcoming US presidential contest is a “coward’s election”, writes Louise Mensch in The Times. The Republicans should easily capitalise on Barack Obama’s likeability problems - after all, “he’s perceived as a guy who plays too much golf and has failed to bring the ‘Hope and Change’ his ecstatic campaign promised” - but they won’t. Their activists are in denial. Believing that no sane-minded person will cast a repeat vote for Obama, they have failed to come up with a convincing candidate. This is an election where better-placed men and women, candidates who might have beaten Mr Obama, chose not to run. Romney was nobody’s first choice, he was simply the least worst of a dire field. The Republicans need a game-changer like Sarah Palin who was able to take a moribund campaign and give it a nine-point boost in the polls. Political fortunes favour the brave, and the Republican Party has failed to take its chances in an election which should have been winnable.
LEAVE THE EURO TO HEAL GREEK SOCIETY
COSTAS LAPAVITSAS ON THE EUROZONE CRISIS
By misreading the causes of Greece’s crisis, the ‘troika’ – the EU, IMF and ECB – are pushing it towards a desperate situation, says Costas Lapavitsas in The Guardian. Bailout loans forced sweeping cuts which only delivered an unprecedented depression. Since Greece remains bound to the euro, it cannot deliver the currency devaluation that would usually accompany austerity, pushing the pressure of adjustment onto its suffering people. And there is more misery to come. As the troika demands even deeper cuts, pensions will be slashed and social expenditure decimated. But Greece’s ruling elite is so fearful of a euro exit that they will continue down this path, "hoping to buy time until an overall eurozone settlement is reached". But "it will be too late for Greece", says Lapavitsas. To put economy and society together again, Greece must default and exit the monetary union. Only then will we see profound political change in this broken nation.
FRACKING: THE ANSWER TO OUR GREEN PRAYERS
FRASER NELSON ON OWEN PATERON’S GREATEST CHALLENGE
Politicians may take the countryside for granted, but the discovery of shale gas deposits in Lancashire could be the answer to Britain’s environmental prayers, writes Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph. As the green lobby denounces new environment secretary Owen Paterson as a “prominent hater of wind turbines”, the lines are being drawn for a new political war, and these people must be taken on. Paterson’s single greatest opportunity to revive the country’s environmental fortunes will come from shale gas exploitation, a policy he favours. In America, hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', has transformed the energy supply. This has been nothing short of an energy revolution, and it could well happen here. Despite what green lobby naysayers argue, shale gas is both an economic and an environmental godsend. The PM’s decision to send Paterson to the environment department may just open a new chapter in British environmental policy, says Fraser.