In Depth

Instant Opinion: ‘Corbynism’s greatest liability is now Jeremy Corbyn himself’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 3 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. Rafael Behr in The Guardian

on Jeremy Corbyn

Corbynism’s greatest liability is now Jeremy Corbyn himself

“Brexit is degrading the Corbyn brand at a rate that alarms ideological devotees. It has been disorienting for many Labour supporters that the leader, normally quick on the draw with a megaphone, refuses to broadcast pro-European resistance. He sounds tongue-tied on the subject and looks like a man hiding from battle, which undermines the image of a candid crusader. When the hero no longer embodies principles on which his movement was founded, the whole edifice wobbles. The attention of young idealists drifts; affection turns conditional; benefit of the doubt is withdrawn.”

2. Con Coughlin in the Daily Telegraph

On the diplomatic challenges facing the Tory leadership hopefuls

Can we trust either of our potential prime ministers with the nuclear codes?

“Much of the criticism concerning Boris Johnson’s tenure in King Charles Street has centred on his handling of the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran on false spying allegations. Her supporters claim her plight has been made worse by Mr Johnson’s suggestion that she had taught journalism in Iran prior to her arrest, an activity guaranteed to attract the ayatollahs’ ire. Mr Johnson has vigorously defended his corner, pointing out that it is the Iranian authorities, not him, who are ultimately responsible for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s incarceration. Nevertheless, the suggestion that Mr Johnson misspoke when commenting on the case has raised questions about his judgment when handling delicate diplomatic issues. In times of crisis, the country cannot afford to have a leader with their finger on the nuclear trigger who has misread the situation.”

3. Angelica Malin in The Independent

On the gender pay gap

‘Rapid and real change’? The BBC’s pay gap shows women in the media are still underappreciated

“The BBC sets the tone for all media companies in the UK. So long as there is a gender imbalance at the BBC, the message is clear: gender inequality is acceptable. But that also means that achieving gender parity at the Beeb will go a long way to driving gender parity elsewhere. And by placing a greater emphasis on women at the BBC, and on their potential to be role models for others, they will encourage a flow of women towards higher and higher positions.”

4. Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times

On how environmental policy has become a battle ground in the culture wars

The perilous politics of climate change

“All this public attention suggests that putting climate change at the heart of their political programmes is not just a moral imperative for the left. It could also be smart politics. But there are warning signs that show how this could backfire. The urban riots that shook France in recent months had their origins in the government’s decision to raise fuel taxes. President Emmanuel Macron saw this as a vital step in the battle to save the planet. The gilets jaunes demonstrators saw it as an assault on the living standards and lifestyles of rural and small-town France.”

5. Alice Thomson in The Times

On drug reform

Only fools rush in to cannabis legalisation

“It is businesses that are pushing the weed agenda hardest because they are keen to replace the dealers. They will be equally determined to get as much of the population (legally) hooked as possible. For them it’s just a lucrative new market. But there’s no rush. We should wait to see the long-term results in Canada and Colorado before we start enabling people to order a spliff with their takeaway pizzas.”

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