In Depth

Instant Opinion: school meals the beginning of a ‘looming political war’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 27 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. William Hague in The Daily Telegraph

on impending inequality

The school meals row is the first skirmish in a looming political war

“What is not yet obvious is that the pandemic may well be followed by something else that will make a huge difference to this debate: a wave of innovation. Three factors could make the next decade a time of extraordinary technological advances. These are the superpower rivalry of the US and China, the coming together of developments in many different fields of materials, genetics, communications and energy, and the response to the pandemic itself bringing more automation at the expense of jobs. If that happens there will be many benefits, but making us more equal will not be one of them. It will be a great time for the highly educated and those with shares in tech start-ups, and a very rough time for the rest.”

2. Tom Kibasi in The Guardian

on a fiscal dilemma

Boris Johnson is no socialist. But his big spending will make Labour’s job harder

“This leaves Labour with two choices. It can either outflank the Tories with an agenda of deep economic reform to overhaul the fundamental basis of the economy, not just the size and scope of the state. Or it can try and position itself, in opposition to the explosion in expenditure, as the new fiscal hawks. Last week Labour chose the latter, claiming that the government’s missteps would cost £110bn or “£4,000 for every household”, in an increasingly familiar attempt to secure tactical advantage. But attempting to seize the mantle of fiscal responsibility by channelling George Osborne circa 2009 is unlikely to succeed as a political strategy.”

3. Harriet Williamson on HuffPost

on lecturing the poor

I’m sick to death of your middle class stupidity about food poverty

“It’s just as sick-making to see people who have absolutely zero experience of living in poverty try to ‘own’ suffering and desperate families by posting pictures of their meals and totting up the cost. It’s not inspirational or clever, it’s vile and stupid. This scummy behaviour needs to stop. Children are not responsible for the choices their parents make. Children did not ask to live in a world where Conservative party policy has ridden roughshod over the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society. Children are the future of this country, and our ruling class has decided that the most underprivileged among them simply do not matter.”

4. Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, in The New York Post

on the newest Supreme Court member

Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation is a triumph for women

“It was a triumph for a judiciary that we rely on to protect our system of representative democracy. It was a triumph for those who recognize the importance of upholding the Constitution as written, not sidestepping it or contorting it into a vehicle for unelected judges to legislate from the bench. And it was a triumph for conservative women, who for many years have been marginalized in much of our political culture. Of course, there was a time within living memory that women altogether were denied opportunities that are taken for granted today.”

5. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in The i

on a circle of chauvinists

Princess Diana found her voice when she gave her BBC Panorama interview – it was an act of bravery

 “The historian and erstwhile editor Max Hastings has revealed that Diana had urged him to write her side of the story. He thought the fears were ‘absolutely crazy’, that she was a vulnerable, ‘brilliant enchantress’, who was not ‘very bright’ and decided his job was to stop her going public. The knight of the realm knew where his loyalties should lie. The Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson knows too. He excoriated the Bashir interview this weekend, and, opined that instead of maintaining good relations with Buckingham Palace, Diana: ‘would take terrible decisions entirely through her own (considerable) will’. Oh, how outrageous – a woman making her own, wilful decisions!”

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