In Depth

Instant Opinion: The method behind John Bolton’s ‘madness’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 28 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. Jonathan Stevenson, former staff member on the National Security Council, in The New York Times

on a potential key witness

The Method in John Bolton’s Madness“What is John Bolton thinking? The former national security adviser has indicated that he would testify in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump if subpoenaed… If he does end up further exposing Mr. Trump’s duplicity, in the fullness of time Mr. Bolton will end up, however fortuitously, on the right side of history. That’s a better legacy than he might have secured merely as the third of Mr. Trump’s four (and counting) embattled national security advisers. If nothing else, this week’s revelations show Mr. Bolton, even after being unceremoniously fired by his president, is still one of the cagiest political fighters in town.”

2. Beth Rigby at Sky News

on Tories in Labour clothing

There’s still everything to play for in former Labour heartlands“Boris Johnson may have won big but he’s very much on probation… Voters were clear they wanted to leave the EU, but less clear about whether this was a blue wave washing over the North East or rather a curious wash up of the politics of Brexit which has scrambled voters’ identities. Mr Johnson is now pledging to capitalise on it as he borrows some of Labour’s clothes to dress up his government as one which will level up the country, invest heavily in the NHS and put more police back on the streets. This is what Mr Corbyn was talking about after the election when he said Labour had ‘won the argument’. The million dollar question now is whether the Conservatives can follow through.”

3. The editorial board at the Financial Times

on the Libyan civil war

Foreign states must end their hypocrisy in Libya“When the foreign powers fuelling the civil war in Libya gathered in Berlin last week and committed to refrain from interference in the conflict, there was a moment of cautious optimism. In the end, as with so many previous initiatives intended to end violence in the north African state, the fighting resumed almost as soon as the ink had dried on the communique calling for a halt to the hostilities. The renewed clashes have dashed hopes of a ceasefire and exposed the hypocrisy of foreign states meddling in the north African state, which cynically promise one thing while doing the opposite.”

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4. Sara Tor in The Times

on the end of EU membership

It’s the mingling we’ll miss most after Brexit day“Oh EU… the best thing you ever did was allowing us all to move and mingle freely together. Not only did you make us all one big group of friends, but you also set some of our older population on the path to a warmer winter; buying a house on the Costa del Sol had never been easier. Where would they have been without you? Blocking tables in every M&S café across the UK moaning about the weather, that’s where. So thanks for everything and farewell, old pal. Or should I say, Auf Wiedersehen, pet.”

5. Peter Lantos, prisoner 8431 in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, on iNews

on the lessons of history

As a Holocaust survivor I am fearful of rising anti-Semitism“I have been back in Bergen-Belsen more than a couple of times: the last occasion was when shooting Belsen: Our Story. As we were filmed, one of the crew asked the local visitors to stop on the narrow path for a couple of minutes until they had finished that particular shot. As we were passing by, a man who was in a wheelchair pushed by his wife, stopped me and said: ‘We are ashamed at what the Germans did to your people.’ This single sentence was as unexpected as it was profoundly moving in its sincerity and spontaneity. For me it meant a great deal more than formal apologies of successive heads of state whose countries organised or helped the Holocaust. It would be uplifting to think that we have learned from the events of the Holocaust. However, occasionally one feels that we have learned nothing.”

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