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Instant Opinion: ‘The disturbing spectacle of Greta the Great’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 25 September

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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. David Aaronovitch in The Times

on the need for hope

The disturbing spectacle of Greta the Great

“Greta Thunberg is a phenomenon. In some ways she fulfils everything that adults say adolescents should be: serious, hard-working and honest. Horribly, horribly honest. The epitome of the unselfie generation. Which is not the same thing as being right. She is also not a hypocrite: the convenient category awaiting almost anyone who tells us we should all behave better. The arguments of hypocrites are easy to knock down but when somebody is inconsiderate enough to practise exactly what they preach, they’re almost impossible.”

2. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Daily Telegraph

on climate change militants

The Green Taliban will sweep away our liberal order unless we get a grip on climate change

“There are now two opposite risks: one that leaders drag their feet and too little is done; the other is that the green extremists will succeed in asphyxiating the liberal economy or provoke a paralysing backlash as they try to do so. France’s gilets jaunes revolt over fuel taxes is a warning of what happens if you impose inequitable measures de haut en bas without regard for losers.”

3. Frank Bruni in The New York Times

on unintended consequences

Why a Trump Impeachment Should Terrify You

“While an impeachment’s impact on November 2020 is unknowable, its effect on us as a nation is almost certain. A dangerously polarized and often viciously partisan country would grow more so, with people on opposing sides hunkering down deeper in their camps and clinging harder to their chosen narratives as the president — concerned only with himself — ratcheted up his insistence that truth itself was subjective and up for grabs. That’s not a reason to blink, but it’s a reality to brace for. At a juncture when we so desperately need to rediscover common ground, we’d be widening the fault lines. Bringing the country together afterward would call for more than a talented politician; it would demand a miracle worker. None of the Democratic presidential candidates qualify.”

4. Rachel Connolly in The Independent

on workplace sexism

At a Lloyd's of London insurer, I was bullied, harassed and called ugly – it's still the 1950s for women in the City

“The culture of sexism and misogyny is widely acknowledged, but a prevailing hostility towards women who complain means many (probably most) feel too scared to do so. After all, I only felt comfortable raising kicking up a fuss because I knew I had a different career plan altogether. Until that changes, nothing will.”

5. Afua Hirsch in The Guardian

on cultural appropriation

The struggle for equality is real. The ‘woke police’ are a myth

“Woke – a term once used by African Americans to denote people who were alert to racism and social injustice – has been retired. As is often the case with black innovations, overuse by the white mainstream killed off its authenticity. Today, the person using the word is likely to be a rightwing culture warrior angry at a phenomenon that lives mainly in their imagination.”

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