Instant Opinion: Farage ‘risks leaving Brexit’ to Remainers
Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 6 November
The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.
1. Asa Bennett in The Telegraph
on a backfiring Brexit bluff
Nigel Farage’s bogus insistence that anything but a no-deal is surrender risks leaving Brexit at the Remainers' mercy
“The Brexit Party leader’s past flirtation with softer forms of Brexit, at one point advocating ‘doing what the Norwegians do’ even though it has to follow most EU rules like free movement, is well-known. But there are bigger reasons why Mr Farage's rubbishing of anything short of what he calls a ‘clean break’ is dangerously disingenuous. In short, the problems Mr Farage identifies with Mr Johnson’s deal are nowhere near as dreadful as he makes out. He complains for example that the United Kingdom is set to pay the EU £39 billion for ‘nothing in return’ beyond the right just to talk about a free trade agreement, but the bloc will actually be obliged legally to negotiate it under ‘best endeavours in good faith’.”
2. Alex Massie in The Spectator
on the Leader of the Commons shooting himself in the foot
Jacob Rees-Mogg cannot escape his own carefully crafted persona
“Should you find yourself in such an appalling situation do you heed the advice of fire experts – who, after all, know more about these matters than you – or do you ignore it? Heeding the advice could be reckoned ‘common sense’ too. And in moments of high confusion, when so much seems uncertain and even unknowable, it takes courage or daring or even, perhaps, a certain recklessness to ignore the advice given by those people in authority who must, surely, have some good reasons for recommending a particular course of action. The headlines for Mr Rees-Mogg and his party will be terrible and they are made worse, much worse, by the fact his remarks are so very easily perceived as being so very ‘on-brand’. Hark at the patrician Tory talking down to the common folk; gasp at his apparent heartlessness. Wonder at how it came to be that this man, the proud owner of a carefully crafted reactionary persona, is at the heart of the British government. In 2019.”
3. Greg Olear in Newsweek
on a vice president laying low
Mike Pence knew
“It strains credulity to believe that Pence was unaware of Trump's crooked intentions. If Bill Taylor and Fiona Hill and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and Tim Morrison and Gordon Sondland and John Eisenberg and Mike Pompeo and Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton and the still-anonymous whistleblower all knew what Trump was up to regarding Biden and Ukraine, how could Trump's second banana possibly be in the dark? It's not like Mike Pence is the poster boy for telling the truth. He's lied before to cover Trump's shady dealings—as in his January 2017 appearance on Face the Nation, when John Dickerson asked him if anyone on the Trump campaign had meetings with Russians. ‘Of course not’ was his indignant - and mendacious - reply.”
4. Akanksha Singh in the South China Morning Post
on India’s troubling legacy on women’s rights
A year after #MeToo came to India, what has changed?
“The question Indian women find themselves asking is: was India’s #MeToo moment a failure? The answer, in a country like India, is incredibly complex. There’s no denying that sexism is a problem – one faced by women across class, caste, region and religion.
However, while middle-class upper-caste women are able to move on with their lives, albeit to varying degrees, after going public with a #MeToo story, this is much harder for underprivileged women, those from the lower castes or transgender women.”
5. Tayo Bero in The Guardian
on an unspoken problem in the Great White North
Canada is overdue for a reckoning with its anti-black racism
“In North America, our general understandings of destructive racial dynamics are typically mapped on to the US, where anti-blackness often appears to be more visible. I’m thinking of young men like Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, who were taken from their families well before their time, because of society’s irrational fear of black boys. And the distinctiveness of these cases creates what lawyer and racial justice advocate Anthony Morgan calls a ‘Canadian racial exceptionalism’, the idea that Canada is somehow removed from the racial ‘messiness’ that our neighbors down south are notorious for.”