In Depth

Instant Opinion: Sadiq Khan’s bid to ‘open EU hearts’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 19 February

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

1. Kate Andrews in The Spectator

on the dying embers of free movement

In defence of Sadiq Khan’s EU citizenship plan

“Brexit was about restoring rights nationally, not denying your fellow neighbour interesting offers from abroad. Opposing associate citizenship would amount to actively denying others an opportunity just for the sake of it – a rather petty, dictatorial attitude that feels at odds with the ‘global Britain’ mantra. Living in Britain after Brexit with the option to live and work in the EU would be a win-win scenario. Khan is taking a shot in the dark. And his bid is likely to pan out as little more than a PR stunt. But if he helps convince the EU to open their hearts and borders to Brits going one way, we should hail his efforts as an unbelievable success.”

2. Stephen Pollard on UnHerd

on Peter Shore

The lost world of Left-wing patriotism

“Peter Shore was a figure of his times. He was taken seriously as an economic heavyweight by professional and academic economists but, 37 years after he ended his service as Shadow Chancellor, his variations on Keynesian economic ideas, with prices and incomes policies, state planning and suchlike, are not so much dated as irrelevant now. But in losing its memory of him, Labour has lost not just a vital aspect of its history but its future. If the party is ever to recover from the damage of the past four years, it will need to convince voters not just that it is competent and can be trusted with the economy. More than anything, it will need to show that it understands what voters want from the Labour Party.”

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3. George Monbiot in The Guardian

on the gruesome reality of ecological restoration

I shot a deer – and I still believe it was the ethical thing to do

“Were we to apply a universal prohibition on killing other animals, even vegans would starve. Though a plant-based diet requires much less land (including less arable land) than a meat-based diet, it still results in the inevitable death or exclusion of other animals, from the mouse scooped up by the combine harvester to the owl that would have lived in the woods the field replaced. No animal can sustain its existence without privileging itself above other life forms. Even when our minds reject it, our stomachs insist on speciesism.”

4. Yannick Giovanni Marshall in Al Jazeera

on lazy generalisations of black America

Meet the US presidential candidates’ ‘blacks’

“Individual human beings who are black are rounded up as part of the aggregate known as ‘the blacks’. These ‘blacks’ bear no relation to, nor are they even an attempt at an accurate reflection of, the many different individuals that make up a group of more than 40 million people. Instead, ‘the blacks’ is an amalgam of historical anti-black invective collected in a bucket and poured over a community. ‘The blacks’ are not people, they are the caricatures that precede actual black people when they enter a room or become the subject of a conversation. Black people - despite ourselves - are seen to be ‘the blacks’.”

5. Orla Muldoon in The Irish Times

on internet abuse

Tabloid culture rightly in the dock over Caroline Flack’s death

“The death of Caroline Flack has again thrown the issue of trial by media into relief. Flack is not the first person to take her own life after being vilified. The attribution of her suicide to the relentless portrayal in print and social media of her personal problems is rife but Flack, in both life and death, is more than any of these portrayals. Given what we know about suicide contagion, speculation about her death is both risky and unhelpful. Nonetheless, her high-profile death should cause pause for thought. Why do people feel they can abuse celebrities online without consequence?”

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