In Depth

Instant Opinion: ‘Trump in North Korea: history as farce first time round’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 1 July


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

1. Michael H Fuchs in The Guardian

On Donald Trump’s bizarre relationship with Kim Jong Un

Trump in North Korea: history as farce first time round

“Over the last year, we’ve all watched Trump’s made-for-TV bromance with the world’s most brutal dictator. Trump thinks Kim is his ‘friend’ and a ‘great leader’. He even claims he ‘fell in love’ with a man who runs concentration camps and has people killed for speaking their minds. It would all be comical if it came from a Hollywood studio. But this is real life, with real lives at stake. Trump has embarrassed himself and what the US stands for by defending Kim’s human rights abuses.”

2. Michael Bociurkiw for CNN

On modern-day international summits

At the G20, those who yelled the loudest were heard

“The G20 is supposed to be the time and place for multilateral consensus. Instead, it’s become more of a display of the tantrum diplomacy leaders have embraced -- whoever screams the loudest or bullies the hardest is permitted to get their way. Once again, major discord among the world’s superpowers -- this time sparked by America’s refusal to endorse the Paris climate accords -- calls into question whether such multilateral meetings are becoming an anachronism. Whether they meet in Japan, Argentina or Papua New Guinea, the drift of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia -- and yes, the United States -- outside the familiar sandbox of the rules-based international order makes the summit less of a venue for compromise and unity. That, in turn, has translated into host nations having to settle for watered-down final communiques with little accountability -- and even less substance.”

3. Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph

On the conundrum of the Labour party leader

Jeremy Corbyn is very extreme and very dull, and poses no electoral threat to the Tories

“As leader, his situation seems simultaneously secure and impossible. Secure, because he still has far more followers in the membership than any of his centrist rivals; impossible, because he cannot control his own parliamentary party, most of whom exhaust themselves plotting coup after unsuccessful coup against him. Now aged a not very energetic 70, and with views that have been unaffected by reality for at least 50 years, Mr Corbyn is perhaps the least persuasive or powerful person ever to lead one of our two main political parties. So, while Conservatives may not be able to say so publicly, it is greatly in their interest that Mr Corbyn stays exactly where he is.”

4. Fiona Fox in The Times

On knowing when to intervene in a neighbour’s dispute

A fierce row is not the same thing as domestic abuse

“Surely there is a world of difference between couples who have feisty relationships and homes where there is serious domestic abuse? If we are not even making this distinction, what are the chances we will make considered and measured decisions about when to intervene? Many commentators are urging us not to think too hard. Better to call the police and get it wrong than live to regret a woman being harmed. Well possibly, but not for couples having a private row who will be reported to the police. However well intended, for me that would be mortifying and far more traumatic than our rows.”

5. Hettie O’Brien in the New Statesman

On climate change inequality

The uninhabitable city: what happens when heatwaves become the new normal?

“‘Because it costs money [and] is no longer free, conditioned space inevitably becomes conditional space,’ writes the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Entry to air-conditioned shopping centres, gymnasiums, cinemas and supermarkets hinges on disposable income. As cities prepare for climate change, they have a choice: finding solutions that share the cold, or becoming more like Dubai – a place where the rich escape the heat in air-conditioned malls while the urban poor swelter in the sun outside. Air conditioning, in other words, deepens existing forms of social exclusion. In the cities of the future, the rich may wall themselves into privately owned refrigerators, while those without air conditioning sweat for want of shade.”


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