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Instant Opinion: Flybe collapse ‘awkward’ for government

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 15 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. The Times editorial board

on the forced hand of a fiscally tight government

Flybe’s fortunes

“The failure of Flybe, the largest regional airline in Europe, would have damaged transport links in parts of the country beyond the cities. It operates 189 routes in Britain and Europe. Most domestic flights that do not include a London airport are operated by the company. It is responsible for the great majority of flights from smaller airports, including Anglesey, Southampton, Belfast City, Exeter and Newquay. For a new government that has put ‘levelling up’ Britain’s regions outside London at the heart of its agenda, Flybe’s collapse this week would have been particularly politically awkward.”

2. Anushay Hossain on CNN

on what the president deems insulting

Trump’s outrageous retweet of hate

“On Monday, the President retweeted a blatantly doctored, fake image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer in Middle Eastern garb together in front of an Iranian flag... All of this is a new low, even for the impeached president who is infamous for making low blows, and it’s a new low for the people who work for him. Trump’s tweeting the racist pictures show that this president apparently believes portraying someone as Muslim and as sympathetic to a Muslim country is a good way to insult them. Making fun of Islamic clothing, reducing the world’s roughly 1.6 billion Muslim population to turbans and veils is offensive and incorrect, especially considering not all Muslims choose to cover or wear religious headgear.”

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3. Ahmad Sadri on Al Jazeera

on accountability in a secretive nation

Why did Iran lie about shooting down the Ukrainian plane?

“[American] whistle-blowers are seen as heroes, not public enemies - even when a president wishes to make such an allegation. They are protected by laws and valorised in public for their commitment to truth. The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran does the opposite. It is a unique blend of theocracy and democracy - and it is uniquely godawful when it comes to transparency. By covering the state under a sacred shroud of theocratic sanction, the system unifies, rather than divides its ruling elites. This makes a mockery of the separation of powers that is in the letter of the Iranian Constitution.”

4. Jessa Crispin in The Guardian

on a boring brawl in Iowa

Who won the Democratic debate?

“Look. We’re all tired of this. Every time they broadcast one of these debates the viewership drops by a lot. The candidates are tired of this, of being asked to explain within 40 seconds complicated policy and ideology. The viewership is clearly tired of being asked to decide the future of our country based on 40 seconds of information. The only people who are excited are the moderators, who get to have their big moment on cable television. What fun it must be for them to talk over someone explaining how we might lower insulin prices enough so that people don’t have to ration lifesaving treatment to ask how they feel about the latest Trump tweet.”

5. Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. in the Wall Street Journal

on Boeing’s inconsistent self-reflection

Boeing emails explain nothing

“The email furor not only sheds no light here. It gets matters exactly backward. If the hypercritical people seen in these messages had known about MCAS’s design flaws, it never would have gotten through. Where are the emails referring to the last-minute changes that disastrously increased its scope of action, that allowed it to intervene during low-speed maneuvers right after takeoff, that made it repeatedly triggerable by a single, fallible data input?”

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