In Depth

Instant Opinion: confusion surrounding Brexit is ‘the whole idea’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 23 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. Tom Peck in The Independent

on another confusing night in Parliament

For seventeen spectacular minutes, the House of Commons actually had an opinion on Brexit

“If you’re confused as to why the House of Commons said yes to Brexit then said no to it 17 minutes later; if you’re confused at whether there’s going to be a Brexit extension when Boris Johnson both asked for one and then didn’t ask for one in the form of two letters in one envelope; indeed if you’re confused about why the country voted to leave the European Union when it is self-evidently not in its interest to do so – then it all starts to make a bit more sense once you’ve worked out that you being confused is the whole idea.”

2. Nathan Robinson in The Guardian

on an ugly feud developing in US politics

Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Tulsi Gabbard are embarrassing

“Even though Gabbard may be a flawed messenger, the message itself is correct: we no longer need to hear what Hillary Clinton thinks about anything. Her kind of politics is, thankfully, a relic of history, and we have moved on. It’s sad that instead of doing something useful with her post-political career, Clinton has decided to lob ludicrous, borderline defamatory, accusations at younger Democratic women who were less wrong than Clinton was about dozens of issues. Fortunately, hardly anybody is listening any more.”

3. Dominic Malcolm on HuffPost

on the risk of brain injury in sport

Football’s concussion crisis tells us as much about the dangers of sport as it does about the society we live in

“The concussion crisis in sport is particularly revealing; because neuroscience has so far proven so little there is a lot of room for extrapolation and speculation. There is no doubt in my mind that sports participants need much better information about how to recognise and respond to concussion, and concussion protocols need to be more effectively implemented at all levels of sport. But equally the response to findings such as these must be measured, or it will only serve to perpetuate sport’s concussion crisis and make it more difficult to resolve.”

4. Meg Bernhard on Politico

on speaking out in one of Europe’s quietest - and most religious - countries

Andorra’s abortion rights revolution

“There were no demonstrations in Andorra, until feminist campaigners took to the streets. For decades, the mountaintop microstate was synonymous with winter sports and tax-free shopping - not political protests. Wedged between Spain and France, the independent principality, one of the world’s smallest countries, has largely been spared the mass social movements that have rocked its neighbors. The country’s women’s rights campaigners want to change that - they’re pushing to overturn Andorra’s strict abortion law, which forces women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to seek treatment outside the country.”

5. UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande on Al Jazeera

on the enduring strength of supranational bodies

United Nations of difference

“Some say that today’s challenges are part of a pattern - the cycles of history. There are undeniably cycles of human history spanning generations: the rise and fall of empires, population booms and busts, the spread and disappearance of religions and cultural beliefs, decades of unification followed by separation. But history, of course, never fully repeats. There are always differences. For in today’s generation should there be a lack of willingness by world leaders to cooperate - and there have been many such times before - it comes, paradoxically, at the same time that the world’s citizens have never been more connected.”

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