In Depth

Instant Opinion: Johnson stunt ‘the perfect metaphor for Brexit’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 11 December


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

1. Michael Deacon in The Telegraph

on smashing down your own message

This stunt by Boris Johnson was the perfect metaphor for Brexit... but perhaps not in the way he meant

“The metaphor wasn’t the most taxing to decipher: the wall representing parliamentary deadlock, the JCB representing a Tory election victory, and Mr Johnson representing, well, Mr Johnson. To judge from his grinning thumbs-up for the cameras, the Prime Minister considered the stunt a great success. Admittedly, it also created an awful lot of mess, and concluded with Mr Johnson sauntering blithely from the scene, while ordinary workers were left to pick up the pieces. It wasn’t clear whether this was meant to be part of the metaphor or not.”

2. Gina Miller in The Independent

on pride beating out praxis

Please Corbyn and Swinson, don’t give Boris Johnson an early Christmas gift

“Dear Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson... I’m writing to you about the joint early Christmas present you’re planning to give to Boris Johnson – a Tory majority and a clear five years to reign. Very thoughtful of you both. It’s what he always wanted. It’s a tragedy for our nation that no one was able to knock your heads together and get you to reach an agreement about standing down your candidates in key constituencies where they had no chance.”

3. Thomas L. Friedman in The New York Times

on a landmark moment for Washington

Impeach Trump. Save America.

“Generally speaking, I believe presidents should be elected and removed by the voters at the polls. But when I hear Trump defenders scream, ‘Impeachment subverts the will of the people,’ I say: ‘Really? What the hell do you think Trump was doing in Ukraine?’ He was subverting the will of the people by scheming to use our tax dollars to knock out his most feared opponent in the coming election - rather than trusting voters to do that.”

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4. David Fickling on Bloomberg

on Sydney smog

Politicians fiddle while Australia burns

“The silence has been deafening. Until a press conference Tuesday, the last time a journalist had asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison a question in a public forum about the rampant bushfires was during a radio interview more than two weeks ago. The opposition Labor party has confined its questions in Parliament over the past month to a mild request to bring state and federal governments together to discuss the problem. The reason is coal.”

5. Eilis O’Hanlon in the Belfast Telegraph

on rudderless politics in Northern Ireland

Whatever the outcome of the election, the NI parties due to start talks should just ‘Get Devolution Done’

“The DUP once fought an election under the slogan ‘Smash Sinn Fein’. For good or bad, campaign mottos tend to be more wishy-washy these days. ‘Let’s get Northern Ireland moving again’ is what the party has plumped for this time round. It sounds like an ad for castor oil. Alliance has gone for ‘Demand Better’. Demanding better slogans from local politicians would definitely be a good start.”


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