In Depth

Instant Opinion: Elizabeth Warren on the ‘up, up, up’ after Democratic debate

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 13 September


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

1. Frank Bruni in the New York Times

on an assured debate performance from a veteran Democrat

Up, up, up with Elizabeth Warren

Warren, meantime, is becoming the designated ambassador of the former. Performance-wise, she’s pulling away from Sanders. He shouts and then shouts louder. She’s hardly quiet, but she has grown better and better at layering in personal anecdotes and dabs of humor, which he has never been any good at. He still favors the word “oligarchic,” as if saying it for the zillionth time will finally make it roll off the tongue. She instead talks of “multinational corporations” and their corrupt chief executives, using more concrete images and language and doing, from a different end of the political spectrum, what Trump did with such effectiveness: identifying a class of villains on whom all of the country’s problems can be blamed.

2. Larry Beinhart in Al Jazeera

on the link between Washington and Wall Street

Why mainstream analyses of the upcoming recession are wrong

“If it comes before the election, it almost certainly elects a Democrat, just as the crash of 2008 did, even though the candidate was African American with an Arabic name. If it waits, Trump might be reelected. If he is, and then it comes, it will likely lead to real worldwide political turmoil. The acceptable economic weapons for saving the economy - ultra-low interest rates and deficits - are already in use and there is not much further to go. If it waits, and a Democrat is elected, and the recession hits immediately, they get blamed, Republicans hoot and howl, and tax hikes, universal healthcare, and government green spending are more difficult to put through. If they manage to put through such things before the recession hits, it will likely be significantly smaller with a quicker recovery.”

3. James Bartholomew in The Telegraph

on the UK lagging behind on cancer treatment

Britain's dire cancer statistics are a damning indictment of our failing NHS

“The report from the World Health Organisation is damning. Out of seven advanced countries – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Ireland and the UK – Britain’s ability to keep alive those suffering from cancer is the worst. Yes, the absolute worst of the seven. The study looked at cancers affecting the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, and ovary. In only two of these was the NHS not in bottom place. Cancer care by the NHS is so poor, compared with what is on offer around the world, that the five-year survival rate for stomach cancer is actually worse here than it was in Norway, Canada, Australia and New Zealand two full decades ago.”

4. Philip Collins in The Times

on common misunderstandings about the Prime Minister

Boris Johnson is more liberal than conservative

“In The Anatomy of Thatcherism Shirley Robin Letwin makes the brilliant observation that the virtue Thatcher saw in markets was not the freedoms they allowed; it was the discipline they imposed. The economic liberal was motivated by a conservative impulse underneath. This is not true of Mr Johnson. I have no doubt he regards himself as a liberal person, which was at the root of his claim to the cabinet. Quite how he squares this with his offensive language about women who wear the burka is entirely a matter for him. Yet his decision to let foreign students stay in Britain for up to two years after graduating demonstrates a liberal instinct that Mr Johnson feels he exhibited in his time as London mayor. He is, at root, more of an economic liberal than a protectionist. He is not a judgmental man and he thinks people should be allowed to live and let live in their private lives.”

5. Robyn Urback in the CBC

on the lack of choice in Canada’s upcoming election

The NDP should've been the “change” option this election. Instead, it’s grasping for relevance

“The differences in policy between Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer mostly come down to footnotes: on climate change, for example, it's a choice between the Liberals' ineffectual carbon tax, or the Conservatives' even more ineffectual climate policy. Both parties have terrible records on access to information, on the use of sneaky political tactics, on crossing ethical boundaries with and for important friends. The NDP should — should — be the logical alternative. But [NDP leader] Singh isn't even registering as an option. He stumbled in the early days and weeks of his leadership, struggling to find the correct line to take on Air India terrorists, flubbing his own party's position on language requirements for Supreme Court judges, and learning about his own caucus's support of gun-control legislation live in front of cameras.”


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