In Depth

Instant Opinion: Black Britons ‘know why Meghan Markle wants out’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 10 January

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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. Afua Hirsch in The New York Times

on prejudice in the land of royals

Black Britons know why Meghan Markle wants out

“If the media paid more attention to Britain’s communities of color, perhaps it would find the announcement far less surprising. With a new prime minister whose track record includes overtly racist statements, some of which would make even Donald Trump blush, a Brexit project linked to native nationalism and a desire to rid Britain of large numbers of immigrants, and an ever thickening loom of imperial nostalgia, many of us are also thinking about moving.”

2. Minxin Pei in the South China Morning Post

on Beijing benefitting from global chaos

George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq war paved the way for China’s rise. Is Trump about to make the same mistake?

“Like Bush, when Trump entered the White House, his administration quickly branded China America’s top geopolitical adversary and adopted a confrontational policy, exemplified by a trade war that, despite a ‘phase one’ agreement, has yet to be resolved. In effect, Trump revived great power competition – focused primarily on containing China – as the organising principle of US foreign policy. Then Trump had Soleimani killed, and all eyes turned towards Iran. If the conflict continues to escalate – even if it stops short of all-out war – the US will most likely redirect significant resources towards confronting the Islamic Republic, and, like after 9/11, move China to the foreign-policy back-burner.”

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3. Ravi Ghosh in HuffPost

on the future of the opposition

To solve Labour's identity crisis, candidates must leave labels behind

“After the election result, critics atomised Labour into its supposedly irreconcilable voter groups using these dated metrics, ignoring Britain’s rapidly shifting demographic sands. Politics professor Matthew Goodwin splitting the party into three entities and calling one group an ‘awkward alliance of students and ethnic minorities” is a case in point of this theoretical divide and conquer. As with a similar argument made about the US Democrats, such analysis often seems to suggest terminal disunity — not a strong starting point for any leadership candidate.”

4. Elena Shih in Al Jazeera

on unions in the developing world

Worker organising can counter labour abuse in the Global South

“Take Myanmar as an example; a pivotal country of origin for migrant workers in the manufacturing sector both domestically and abroad. Global North brands have trained factories employing Myanmar workers about responsible business practices and conducted audits to detect labour abuse, yet workers still have limited ways of seeking remediation when their rights are violated. Only workers whose conditions are highlighted by their proximity to privileged consumer markets are understood by such approaches as exploited labourers who deserve attention, and the power remains within the hands of these few actors to stop the abuse.”

5. Emma Brockes in The Guardian

on the benefits of kids talking back

In the age of momsplaining it sometimes takes a child to cut through

“Children, with their sixth sense for the hang-ups of the adults around them, have had to find new ways to enrage us. When I was young you weren’t supposed to be weedy about losing, and you might get shouted at for giving up, but that’s not how we do things now. We are simultaneously worried about our children’s resilience while understanding that yelling at them doesn’t improve the outcome.”

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