In Depth

Instant Opinion: Ryanair is ‘being mean again but we don’t really care’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 24 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. Finn McRedmond in The Irish Times

on turning a blind eye to bad corporate behaviour

Ryanair is being mean again but we don’t really care

“There is little moral equivalence between Ryanair being slow to offer refunds and [Wetherspoons chairman Tim] Martin’s callous treatment of his already poorly paid staff. But for both companies, their value is not rooted in whether we perceive them to be good or bad moral actors but in the far simpler fact that they are cheap, accessible and largely democratising forces in their industries. It is, too, much easier for the average consumer to boycott a company when we can switch to another with no financial cost, and without forsaking convenience. There aren’t plenty of alternatives to Ryanair; and Wetherspoon’s entire raison d’etre is that you’ll get much more bang for you buck than at an independent local.”

2. Jonathan Bernstein on Bloomberg

on a darker revelation behind the laughs

Trump’s disinfectant idea is more than a silly soundbite

“All presidents enter the White House with significant gaps in their knowledge of public policy. Every modern one has worked reasonably hard or very hard to catch up. Trump by all accounts (including his own) instead watches hours of cable news every day. As I’ve said, there’s nothing wrong with presidents monitoring the media, even though they have much better sources of information. It’s a good way to get outside the White House bubble and understand what other people are hearing. But Trump appears to use cable news as a substitute, not a supplement, to basic briefings.”

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3. Robert Fisk in The Independent

on Israel’s awkward coalition 

Benny Gantz's betrayal of his voters marks the ultimate end of the two-state solution

“Gantz, more Faustus than Lear, has repeatedly said that future land-grabs must have ‘international consent’ - now reduced to ‘international discussions’ - and we all know what that means. Goodbye to UN Resolution 242. Goodbye to the Oslo Agreement. Goodbye to the two-state solution, to “road maps” and EU initiatives, to all the “peace plans” of Tony Blair - remember him? - and especially goodbye to decades of US presidential appeals to Israel for ‘restraint’.”

4. Diana Spechler in the New York Times

on the line between art and pornography

The nude selfie is now high art

“Though the debate about art versus pornography has never been settled, a case can be made that quarantine nude selfies are art. Some of us finally have time to make art, and this is the art we are making: carefully posed, cast in shadows, expertly filtered. These aren’t garish below-the-belt shots under fluorescent lighting, a half-used roll of toilet paper in the background. They are solicited or spontaneous. They are gifts to partners in separate quarantines, friends who aren’t exactly friends, unmet Hinge matches and exes. (Exes are popping up like Wack-a-Moles these days.)”

5. Valentine Low in The Times

on an acrimonious breakup

How Harry and Meghan ran out of patience with the press

“The case is eagerly awaited by those same tabloids: not just for the result, which will directly affect them, but for the opportunities it is likely to provide for courtroom drama. Thomas Markle has signalled that he is prepared to give evidence against his daughter: in turn the duchess has said that she is prepared to reveal details of royal public funding to undermine the argument that her ‘apparent wealth’ means she has forfeited a right to privacy.”

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