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Instant Opinion: ‘Let’s make Farage ambassador to North Korea’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 9 July

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The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Hugo Rifkind in The Times

on Nigel Farage as ambassador to Washington

Let’s make Farage ambassador to North Korea

“Having seen the harm Nigel’s foaming entourage can do to Britain’s global reputation even in the inglorious fag end of our involvement in the EU, surely even Johnson would be wary of letting the entire mad circus relocate to somewhere they could do real damage. Give the old boy the knighthood he craves, if you must. Maybe even send him to the Lords. But diplomacy? From this lot? Do not make this man an ambassador. Unless it’s to North Korea. That would be fine.”

2. Danny Dorling in The Guardian

on student loans

When a nurse repays more than a banker, it’s time to scrap university tuition fees

“For fees and loans to work, the highest-paid UK professionals would have to carry on being paid many times more than those in ordinary jobs – otherwise the entire loan book would collapse. The UK already has the highest income inequality in Europe. The current system locks in that gross inequality so if we want a more equal society, we will have to scrap it.”

3. Michael Eltchaninoff in the New Statesman

on what Russia’s president wants

Vladimir Putin’s quest to build an anti-liberal empire

“To understand what Putin thinks and wants, it is essential to grasp what he means by ‘liberal’: that is, individuals who have been ‘Westernised’. In other words, they have been ‘zombified’ by the idea of human rights, by an open-mindedness to ‘the other’, and by mass consumption; they are reduced to inconsequential, cowardly, selfish beings who are unable to sacrifice themselves for their motherland and who have forgotten their origins. Putin relentlessly denounces this phantasmic “liberal” being and liberalism’s anthropological, religious, social and geopolitical dimensions.”

4. William Hague in The Daily Telegraph

on British diplomacy

Our man in Washington was doing his job - no thanks to the leaker

“After Brexit we are going to need more than ever that strong and professional network of the most able diplomats we can recruit and train. If, however, we stop asking the most experienced among them for the unvarnished truth we might as well not bother. So this furore does not tell us to conduct foreign relations differently. It does not mean we have to be ashamed. It should not lead to replacing anyone. It only reminds us that we benefit from being informed honestly each day of what is happening around the globe, that on the whole the people we ask to do that are doing it well, and that someone – for whatever motive – is trying to stop them.”

5. Slavoj Zizek in The Independent

on the dilemma facing the radical left

I believed in Syriza, but their election defeat was secured the moment they caved in to the forces of capitalism

“I often mockingly evoked a group of participants who, once a year, meet in a cafeteria at the anniversary of past demonstrations and sentimentally remember the bygone moments of ecstatic unity… but then a cell phone rings and they have to run back to their boring jobs. We can easily imagine such a scene today: members of Syriza meet in a cafeteria fondly remembering the unique spirit of their 2015 mass protests, and then a phone rings, and they have to run back to their office to pursue the job of austerity. This is our world today, a world in which right wing populists enact welfare-state measures and the radical left does the authoritarian job of imposing austerity. Will a new left find a way out of this deadlock?”

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