In Depth

Instant Opinion: the UK needs Joe Biden ‘to fix America’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Tuesday 3 November

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 a pivotal election

We don’t need Biden to be our best friend. We need him to fix America

“In Britain we will have to accept from the beginning that Biden, if elected, will want to show that he is very different from Trump. When he looks at Europe, he will not want it to fall apart. He will be worried that Emmanuel Macron faces an uphill struggle to be re-elected in France and needs visible support, and that Germany faces a huge unknown over who follows Angela Merkel. He will accept the fact of Brexit but not think it was a good idea. So his priorities and body language towards Britain and Europe will be different from Trump, and he will in any case regard the Asia-Pacific region as having become vastly more important. We British should acknowledge this and get over it, rather than retreat into an agony of wondering how influential we are.”

2. Mohammed Hanif in The Guardian

on America’s need for a new mascot

It’s not just Trump – to much of the world, the US is a bully whoever is in charge

“Trump makes the US look bad, makes the US look too white, makes the US speak bad English, makes the US look ill-mannered, greedy, overweight. But as far as many of us around the world are concerned, even if he loses, it’s not a sign that the US is about to change; it really just heralds a bit of a makeover. The US needs a lean mascot, someone who wears better suits, who is not as overtly racist. US presidents are like the boss who goes to work terrorising his employees but comes home to spread sunshine and love. Deal with Trump by all means, lock the door and throw away the key. Elect the person you believe will save the US soul – but don’t send him out into the world to save us.”

3. Dr Sandesh Gulhane in The i

on long-term coronavirus consequences

Long Covid is having a devastating impact on my patients’ lives – some can’t walk to the toilet unassisted

“We need to stop thinking of Covid as a disease that is like the flu or a cold, a disease that does not affect the young or fit and a disease that we are over reacting to. We saw from the first wave the death it causes and we are now seeing the longer-term effects in some cases. I am a fit and healthy 38-year-old but I am scared of contracting Covid-19 and the long-term consequences it may have on my life and that of my family. We must enforce the rules that we have and after the full lockdown we must return to simple and clear rules, so that we all know what to do. Let us work together to stop the spread of the virus.”

4. Hugo Rifkind in The Times

on the Brexit Party’s rebrand

Don’t dismiss the return of Nigel Farage

“Farage has always had a keen ear for political opportunity, but his skill lies in knowing the message that an audience will want to hear. If there is a difference between that and actual reality, maybe he genuinely doesn’t comprehend it. Here, his message is that lockdown is brutal and unfair, and ruinous for the physical and mental health of many, and that businesses will go to the wall, and that jobs will be lost. It is a message with resonance, because it is true. Everybody knows this, though. None of it has any bearing on whether or not we need to stay at home to avoid swamping the NHS. You either see that, or you’re trying hard not to.”

5. Qais Hussain in The Independent

on Tory racism

It is time for an investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party

“It was disheartening that Conservative MPs, such as Michael Gove, had the audacity to talk about antisemitism in the Labour Party, while refusing to talk about Islamophobia in their own party. There is strong evidence that the Conservative Party is rife with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll for anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate found that 40 per cent of Conservative members want to reduce the number of Muslims coming to Britain, nearly half would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister, 54 per cent believe Islam is a threat to the British way of life, and two thirds of members believe the far-right conspiracy theory that parts of UK are under Sharia law.”

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