In Depth

Instant Opinion: Tories treated Manchester as ‘callously’ as the miners

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 22 October

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

1. Owen Jones in The Guardian

on the Boris vs. Burnham battle

The Tories have treated Manchester as callously as they did the miners

“Johnson has promised the pandemic will not lead to austerity: he is not a man renowned for sticking to his words, but the Tories undoubtedly fear having to hike taxes on big businesses (who form their donor base), or affluent older citizens (their core vote) to pick up the tab. In the 1980s, it was Britain’s miners who were faced down so that other workers could be taught a lesson. As Manchester’s bartenders, bookies and taxi drivers are about to discover, the Conservatives will respond to this pandemic as they do to every crisis: with cold-blooded class warfare.”

2. Stephen Collinson on CNN

on a return to the political frontline

Obama delivers scathing takedown of Trump before final debate

“It was a reminder of Obama's talent as an orator and skill at framing overarching political arguments that won him two White House terms. But the former President was also a singular figure who often struggled to transfer his aura to other Democratic candidates. As he spoke it was impossible not to be reminded that it was also in Philadelphia four years ago where he gave a speech urging Americans to choose Hillary Clinton on election eve in which he also took aim at Trump's policies and temperament. The next day, Trump defied the polls and pulled off a shock win in Pennsylvania en route to a national victory that was in essence a backlash against Obama's eight years in office.”

3. James Nicholls in The i 

on taking drugs out of the hands of criminals

We could save lives if we change UK laws and sell cocaine and MDMA in regulated pharmacies

“Rather than a nudge and a wink, the sale will come with harm reduction and health advice as part of a holistic system geared towards encouraging less, not more, consumption. And rather than spending billions policing supply, while every penny of profit goes to a shadow economy, the income from the market can be channelled into the help and support people with drug problems desperately need. Such a proposal may seem far-fetched to some people (although state-run sales of alcohol are normal in Scandinavia, Canada and many other parts of the world). However, making this system work is far less improbable than the unachievable goal of a ‘drug-free world’ that remains the explicit objective of the global war on drugs.”

4. Sherelle Jacobs in The Daily Telegraph

on a method to beat coronavirus

The triumph of China’s Covid spin offers a terrifying glimpse of the West’s future

“The zeal with which we have swallowed Beijing’s guff about the superiority of its draconian approach to pandemics is not a good start to the 21st-century clash of civilisations. It is chilling that China has exported a deadly virus to the West. But it is even more scary that China has exported a Chinese model for dealing with it. Beijing’s useful idiots overlook the glaring flaws in the official CCP version of events. How can China be proof of the effectiveness of lockdowns when it took weeks to close off Wuhan after reports of the virus first surfaced? And given that Beijing likely under-reported deaths in its first wave on an industrial scale, how can we take at face value China’s transformation from the source of ‘Wuhan flu’, to a Covid-zero country zapping isolated cases imported from abroad?”

5. Scott Martelle in the Los Angeles Times

on the suffering of migrants

Three years later, hundreds of migrant families remain separated

“The most disturbing aspect of this on-going tragedy is that it was brought about intentionally by the Trump administration, whose representatives cared so little about the human implications of their actions that they didn’t bother to keep track of which families it was destroying. All in service to a hardline, anti-immigrant set of policies that, at the most generous, ignores US and international laws and treaties governing how asylum seekers must be treated. History will not judge this administration lightly for a host of reasons. But the emotional torture intentionally inflicted on migrant children and their families stands alone as an indictment of Trump’s fundamental inhumanity.”

 

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