Instant Opinion: SNP may ‘usher in era of Tory government’
Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 29 October
The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.
1. Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph
on the SNP’s decades-long tightrope act
Will the Nats once again help usher in an era of Tory government?
“But now we have a situation where, once again, the SNP is pushing for a general election and where again the electorate could back the Tories, given that they and the Lib Dems are demanding a December 9 vote. It’s an incredible situation for the Nats to be in, given that it was only last week that Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Commons leader, described Boris Johnson’s aim of holding a general election on December 12 as ‘barking mad’. Not only that but he complained long and loud that his Highlands and Islands constituents in Ross, Skye and Lochaber would very likely have only six hours of daylight in which to cast their votes, given the shortened winter days.”
2. Jennifer Weiner in The New York Times
on the anatomy of a reality check
Why did it feel so good to see Trump booed?
“But what about civility? the pundits cry. Funerals and sports should be partisan-free zones. What are we becoming? Civility is a wonderful thing, when shared among equals. When people who have power require civility from those with less, or none, though, that demand is a cudgel, a weapon the haves use to keep the have-nots in line. When you’re confronted with evil, you don’t shake its hand or applaud it. If booing is incivility, bring it on.”
3. Jack Shenker in The Guardian
on Generation Disillusion
This wave of global protest is being led by the children of the financial crash
“One direct impact of the crash has been a rapid diminishment of opportunity for millions of young people in rich countries – who now regard precarious work and rising inequality as the norm. At the same time, the aftermath of the crash has cracked the entrenched structures that had evolved to detach citizens from active participation in politics – be that through authoritarian systems or via an institutional consensus on the inevitability of market logic and technocratic management. Amid widespread economic and social failure, it has become harder than ever for elites to justify power, even on their own terms.”
4. Tara O’Reilly on HuffPost
on the public shaming of female politicians
Katie Hill’s resignation shows women have always been held to a double standard
“Women in the public eye are expected to meet unattainable standards: be smart but not too smart, be sexy enough to get attention but not too sexy, be confident in your looks but not so confident that you take photos of yourself. Men in politics, and especially here in parliament, get away with affairs and it is overlooked and passed off as boys being boys. But when a woman doesn’t follow the rules – Katie Hill is not accused of assault or harassment, she is alleged to have had sexual relations with staff members – it is talk of the town. And the media will go to town on that woman.”
5. Ibrahim Al-Marashi on Al Jazeera
on the future of a caliphate reduced to rubble
The day after al-Baghdadi’s death
“While Trump can boast of a victory against Isil, it is hardly a decisive one. Al-Baghdadi gave Isil’s followers a tangible experience of an Islamic state established in the 21st century - something that had previously only been discussed in theory. As a result, the remaining members of the terrorist organisation and its future followers have a clear vision of what they are fighting for - the resurrection of al-Baghdadi’s caliphate, which given the instability in the region, will remain within their reach.”