In Depth

Instant Opinion: ‘Corbyn’s supporters were right. So what?’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 15 April

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 Chessum in The Independent

on claims that anti-Corbyn sentiment hindered anti-Semitism action within Labour

Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters were right. So what? Vindication means nothing if they walk away now

“For many left-wing commentators and activists who follow Labour politics closely, myself included, the report’s revelations were decidedly unsurprising. Much of the party establishment had been almost open about preferring a Conservative government to a left-wing one. Even if they spoke about how they wanted a Labour government, their actions spoke louder: from the attempted leadership coup of summer 2016 to the constant, endless briefings against the party throughout Corbyn’s tenure, this was a faction that constantly prioritised power in the party over power in the country.”

2. Marina Hyde in The Guardian

on confounding clarifications

Eamonn Holmes under the hammer as daytime TV’s fiercest sleuth goes rogue

“‘Just before we go on,’ said a desperate-to-go-on Eamonn Holmes at the start of [Tuesday’s] edition of This Morning, ‘I want to clarify some comments that some of you may have misinterpreted from me yesterday morning.’ Classy of Eamonn to blame the viewers, but I’m afraid the mistake – suggesting that a link between 5G rollout and coronavirus ought to be considered – was all his, and this quarter-arsed ‘clarification’ is faintly insufficient in the circumstances. Though arguably the biggest Holmes triumph since he concluded an interview with a rape victim with the words: ‘I hope you take taxis now.’”

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3. Ahmad Massoud, a politician in Afghanistan, in The New York Times

on decentralising power

What is missing from Afghan peace talks

“My father, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the national hero of Afghanistan, was one of the few leaders in our history who was able to unite the ethnic groups under one banner. He brought together important Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara leaders. Two days before the Sept. 11 attacks, two Al Qaeda suicide bombers posing as journalists assassinated my father. The two events were intertwined and forever changed the fate of both Afghans and Americans. In the 19 years since his killing, Afghanistan has lost that sense of solidarity among its ethnic groups that he was able to forge. Last year, after realizing that Afghanistan is on the verge of disintegration again and might experience a brutal internal war, I decided to enter politics to continue my father’s path of bringing genuine peace to this country and to revive the unity and solidarity that he achieved.”

4. Jane Moore in The Sun

on the reality of coronavirus

Boris Johnson didn’t beat coronavirus because he’s a ‘fighter’ – he beat it thanks to the NHS

“It’s a recurring narrative in Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s life that he has always been a robust, no-nonsense character with the ‘keep calm and carry on mentality’ that every good leader needs. But in the case of Covid-19, it perhaps nearly killed him. For it transpires that, despite doctors at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital being told to expect him on Thursday, April 2, the PM decided to soldier on because he didn’t want it to look like he was getting preferential treatment. Nice sentiment but, as we now know, he was eventually admitted on Sunday, April 5, his condition worsened and, ultimately, he was admitted to intensive care with a ‘50-50’ chance of survival.”

5. Edna Bonhomme in Al Jazeera

on healthcare and coronavirus across demographics

Racism: The most dangerous ‘pre-existing condition’

“The contagion by now is known to wipe out whole families, as happened with Sandy Brown, an African American woman living in a suburb of the black-majority working-class town of Flint, Michigan, who lost her husband and son. Inequality is ingrained in America and the latest statistics concerning this are damning. Unfortunately, the US government so far has not taken adequate action; instead, it has put the responsibility entirely on minority communities to protect themselves against health inequities they are not responsible for.”

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