In Depth

Instant Opinion: the rules of impeachment

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 31 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. The New York Times editorial board

on removing Donald Trump from office

The Rules of Impeachment

“If transparency and accountability are the goals of this process, they will be achieved by focusing on those officials who are willing to serve the public interest by testifying under oath about their experiences. The White House is not interested in transparency or accountability, which explains its efforts to stop potential witnesses from appearing. In other words, process, as important as it is, gets you only so far.”

2. Stephen Bush in the New Statesman

on Labour’s election strategy

Jeremy Corbyn defied the odds in the 2017 election, but can he pull off the same trick twice?

“Corbyn knows the type of election he wants to contest: big rallies designed to generate clips for social media and feel-good stories for the local broadcast news and local papers, which will form the majority of his media appearances. His manifesto will be heavy on radical proposals to reshape the British economy and low on Brexit. He will hope that televised debates – an arena he excels in, as opposed to parliament, where he struggles – will expose Boris Johnson, who performed poorly in the TV hustings for the Conservative leadership. Yet he faces a Conservative campaign with greater unity of purpose, message discipline and policy cohesion than the one he dismantled two years ago.”

3. Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail

on a future Labour government

Jeremy Corbyn's Marxist politics of envy would bankrupt the UK

“Overwhelming evidence suggests a Corbyn government risks kicking away the underpinnings of our free-market economy and trapping Britain in a socialist slump. Superficially, Labour's spending plans for the NHS, social care for the elderly and social housing, to be paid for by taxes on corporations and the 'wealthy' might not look very different from the Conservatives' plans. But Labour's spending commitments are the tip of an economic iceberg that could bankrupt the nation. At the heart of their project is Marxist redistribution. Income, assets, ownership and power would all be re-allocated on a scale hitherto unseen in Britain.”

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4. Joy Persaud in The Independent

on money and climate change

No wonder Greta Thunberg handed back a £40,000 prize – she knows commitment matters more than cash

“The power of Thunberg’s approach is that she doesn’t go in for self-promotion. Her platform grew organically, like a cell dividing into a being. So globally famous though she has become, her core message still claims one of humanity’s most fundamental fears – our planet dying – as its focus. Thunberg also eschews the lip service of politicians who like to plaster over the cracks for personal gain, preferring to concentrate on quantifiable action and scientific evidence for her demands. After all, as Shakespeare once said: action is eloquence. Words are certainly not enough for Thunberg. And neither is money. Talk and profits, many argue, are the crux of the problem we face with climate change. The capitalist obsession with adding as much as possible to global corporations’ coffers, while undertaking a useful bit of green-washing to make the annual report look a tad more acceptable, stokes her ire. For Thunberg, talk is cheap. She cannot be accused of doing the same now.”

5. Janice Turner in The Times

on holding an election the same night as most Christmas work parties

Drunken parties will do well in this election

“I pity canvassers, not just for dark nights on icy streets, but because people they’ll talk to may be half-cut. The cheery drunks will pledge undying support, but have forgotten by polling day. The angry drunks will be disinhibited from finger-jabbing Brexit rants. The Drunk Election has its upsides. A ready excuse for many of us for avoiding dull engagements. The plentiful supply of comforting snacks, Quality Street and a motherload from the Wine Society to take the edge off listening to Priti Patel or Richard Burgon. While a hybrid Christmas/election night party could be a riot.”

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