In Depth

Instant Opinion: Boris flounders amid ‘sham’ Queen’s speech

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 15 October

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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. Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

on a miserable Britain tearing itself apart

This sham of a Queen’s speech could prove the end for Boris Johnson

“As she named those 26 never-to-be-enacted bills engraved laboriously on goatskin vellum, they might as well have been scribbled in ballpoint pen, these electioneering geegaws and giveaways, embellished with thumbscrews on crime and migration. But nothing matters here except the evanescent promise of an EU withdrawal deal, always just beyond reach. ‘My government will...’ she intoned as if sucking lemons, but she has no government capable of doing anything at all.”

2. Frida Ghitis on CNN

on unanswered questions amid bloodshed in Syria

We need the real story of why Trump sold out the Kurds

“American presidents enjoy a great deal of latitude, particularly on foreign policy. Trump, like his predecessors, has a right to make the wrong strategic decisions. He has a right to make stupid mistakes. God knows previous US presidents have made them before. But presidents must make these decisions, even foolish ones, based on what they think is in the best interest of the United States.”

3. M Neelika Jayawardane on Al Jazeera

on India’s difficult relationship with women’s rights

Anonymity is a necessary tool for India’s #MeToo movement

“The stories shared with me, like those that appeared on Scene and Herd, made it clear that sexual harassment - and other forms of violence - endured by the class of invisible workers who set up shows is not only pervasive in the industry but accepted as a routine condition of work by many. Such a culture of violence against women cannot exist without a system of powerful institutions and stakeholders protecting those who have, for decades, been known to be predators.”

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4. Margaret Renkl in The New York Times

on not giving up on beating climate change

The case against doing nothing

“Despair is paralyzing, and we have no time left for paralysis. Many small efforts, especially when amplified by those of others, can have a big effect. What if every homeowner in the entire subdivision stopped using poisons and planted a pollinator garden? What if all the neighborhoods in a city, in a state, in the nation, did likewise? These efforts alone are unlikely to save the pollinators — on whom so much of our farming, and thus our very lives, depends — but they are the first steps toward the kind of collective consciousness raising that can be leveraged into political will.”

5. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Politico

on a controversial recipient of a prestigious award

Ignoble taste in literature

“Handke is also astoundingly silent when it comes to Serbia’s central role in the 1990s Balkan tragedy, including the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He presents the atrocities committed by Milosevic’s regime as allegations made by Western media outlets, rather than hard facts documented by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. By ignoring hard facts, Handke provides an implicit amnesty and apology for the Serbian leader’s genocidal endeavor. He’s also attempting to rewrite history.”

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