In Depth

Instant Opinion: Tories’ botched game plan ‘could cost them election’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 7 November

Newspapers

The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Sherelle Jacobs in The Daily Telegraph

on working class voters

The Tories' botched game plan in the Labour heartlands could cost Boris Johnson this election

“Soggy One Nation Toryism risks dominating this election because wet Westminster politicians do not understand the working-class. The Tories’ campaign strategy seems to be inspired by the proto-Blairite cartoon character Workington Man. This council-housed Brexiteer who favours security over freedom is the contrived answer to a flawed question. In the real world, 'freedom' is not the natural opposing value to 'security'; this bizarre assumption merely reflects how deeply liberalism permeates the philosophical premises of Western academia. If the question had been: 'do you favour security (staying still) or progress (getting on)', the response would have been different. If No 10 policy wonks threaten to botch this election by distracting the PM with caricatures, it begs the question: who is the real Workington Man to whom Johnson must appeal?”

2. John Rentoul in The Independent

on Labour’s civil war

Tom Watson has done his duty – he has ensured there will be a Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn

“If Labour loses this election, it will be time for Corbyn to go. Without Corbyn himself, the party is bound to move beyond Corbynism. But it will take a long time to rebuild, and Watson may want to hand over to others to do that. If Labour were to win – that is, if the Conservatives lost more than seven seats and Corbyn became prime minister – there wouldn’t be a meaningful role in government for him. He has done his duty in making sure that the post-Corbyn parts of the party have survived the past four years, ready to help take Labour forward to a broad-based politics again.”

3. George Monbiot in The Guardian

on elites

Boarding schools warp our political class – I know because I went to one

“The justification for early boarding is based on a massive but common misconception. Because physical hardship in childhood makes you physically tough, the founders of the system believed that emotional hardship must make you emotionally tough. It does the opposite. It causes psychological damage that only years of love and therapy can later repair. But if there are two things that being sent to boarding school teach you, they are that love cannot be trusted, and that you should never admit to needing help.”

4. Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail

on the power of Auntie

Why I fear the Boris Bashing Corporation may sway the most critical election since the War

“Although I don’t at all discount the influential new role of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the BBC is probably as powerful as ever and, because of the relative decline of newspapers, arguably more so. With extra power goes extra responsibility, and it’s my contention that in recent days our national broadcaster has shown a worrying lack of balance. It has dwelt obsessively on Tory mistakes and cock-ups while tending to ignore serious Labour failings.”

5. David Aaronovitch in The Times

on scams

We can’t resist the lure of getting rich quick

“Since most of us are not, in the normal run of things, outrageous liars we don’t expect others to be either. We fool ourselves that we are good at spotting untruthfulness (in fact, as study after study has proved, we aren’t) and we are easily persuaded to reshape reality to suit our desires. Or ‘dreams’ as we rename them. That’s why it falls to those in authority to whom we give the job of saving us from ourselves.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a weekly round-up of the best articles and columns from the UK and abroad, try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues for £6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

Instant Opinion: ‘Bigotry entrenched in British society’
A march against racism in London
In Depth

Instant Opinion: ‘Bigotry entrenched in British society’

Instant Opinion: Government’s ‘pantomime authoritarianism’
priti_patel.jpg
In Depth

Instant Opinion: Government’s ‘pantomime authoritarianism’

Instant Opinion: UK ‘quietly retreating from world stage’
johnson.jpg
In Depth

Instant Opinion: UK ‘quietly retreating from world stage’

Who did Trump pardon on his last day in the White House?
Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court.
In Focus

Who did Trump pardon on his last day in the White House?

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 Jan 2021

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day
Tall Tales

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time
A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
In Focus

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time

Free 6 issue trial then continue to