In Depth

Instant Opinion: ‘It felt like seeing the Head Boy debate the class clown’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 10 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. Henry Deedes in the Daily Mail

on last night’s Tory leadership TV debate

It felt like seeing the Head Boy debate the class clown

“Mr Hunt was Captain Sensible, Mr Reliable, pressing his opponent on detail every which way. Boris, hair once again a shambolic bird's nest, hands in pockets, shrugged and shuffled his feet and often rambled incoherently. At times, it was like watching the head boy debating with the popular class ragamuffin.”

2. James Moore in The Independent

on Labour’s ongoing Brexit fudge

Labour’s new, fuzzy Brexit position won’t go far enough for ardent Remainers

“In a public vote on a Tory deal, or no deal, Labour is campaigning for your favoured option. With a Labour government in power it’s a lot more fuzzy. The trouble is that among the public, and certainly a large majority of Labour members and, yes, trade unionists, there isn’t much appetite, or belief, that a ‘jobs first Brexit’ can be achieved. It looks like a unicorn. But as things stand, so does a Labour government.”

3. Alice Thomson in The Times

on how Whitehall staff are leaving in droves

Civil servants are sick of being the fall guys

“Now the service is attacked daily and many are leaving, having had enough. The younger generation don’t see the advantages; there is no potential public glory unless you count the small possibility of a gong at the end of your service. They are still working on everything from preventing the spread of ebola to sorting out universal credit. But they are also gaming endless scenarios, depending on who ends up in No 10 and how Britain leaves the European Union. As one says: ‘We’ve become glorified rubbish collectors, clearing up the mess created by politicians’”.

4. Steven Longden in The Guardian

on education’s class ceiling

Labour must be bold, and finally abolish private schools

“There are models of excellent education systems that exist without private schools. Finland is often held up as a system that consistently achieves some of the best educational outcomes across Europe and the OECD countries. In Finland, private schools were effectively brought into the comprehensive education system over the course of a decade. It is time England started to seriously plan a school system without private schools, so that in the future teachers like me can look their students in the eye and tell them that this country has removed one of the biggest barriers that the richest people erected to unfairly advantage their progeny.”

5. Sarag Jeong in The New York Times

on the truth behind Britain’s national obsession

‘Love Island’ Is a Lesson in Surveillance

“The Love Islanders, after all, eventually get to go home. We should fear how our liberties and our own behaviors will be warped by the proliferation of cameras on every street corner, on every car dashboard and in every pocket. But we should be more afraid of how impossible it will be to tell that we’ve changed. There will be no ‘outside’ for us to leave for, no surveillance-free home to return to. In a real surveillance state, even the surveillants must live under the all-seeing eye. Without an ‘outside,’ there are only other contestants within the bubble to film, monitor and confront one another. And what’s worse — being watched by Big Brother, or being watched by your fellow increasingly crazed and desperate comrades?”

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