In Depth

‘How big a price are we willing to pay for Christmas?’

Your digest of analysis and commentary from the British and international press

1

Lucy Pasha-Robinson on HuffPost

Cancel Christmas if it means I don’t have to give birth alone

on the consequences of a relaxed Christmas

“The government is now facing mounting pressure to scrap the Christmas easing, amid a resurgence in infections in recent days and fears that relaxations could cause the death rate to sky rocket. And quite rightly, in my view. How big a price are we willing to pay for five days of festivities? So call me scrooge, or selfish, or even naive for getting pregnant during a pandemic, but I’m dreading Christmas. As my February due date approaches, I’m filled with trepidation.”

2

Andrew Feinberg in The Independent

Progressive Democrats are getting frustrated with Biden already

on dissent against the incoming administration

“Both of Biden’s top candidates, former deputy attorney General Sally Yates and soon-to-be former Alabama senator Doug Jones, are white and are closer in age to Biden than most of the party’s activist base. Many advocates for social and racial justice argue that Biden – who has made racial justice a priority for his administration’s first 100 days – should select someone whose ‘lived experience’ would factor into their management of the Justice Department.”

3

Martin Kettle in The Guardian

Post-Cummings, are we seeing signs of a more consensual government?

on life after Dom

“The important thing that happened this week is that the UK governments have at last cooperated in ways that they have avoided doing throughout much of the pandemic. [Welsh First Minister Mark] Drakeford expressly linked this to the departure of Cummings at a press conference today. There is a similar embryonic cooperative momentum in this week’s tiering decisions. In the Cummings era, local concerns counted for nothing. National and local lockdown decisions were made by a small group in London. That is beginning to change.”

4

Muhammad Shehada in Haaretz

Will Israel help a pro-Iran hardliner win control of Hamas?

on manoeuvres in the Middle East

“Netanyahu’s recent solidly transactional relationship with Hamas – in which the group provides calm in return for easing the blockade – shows that Hamas is less a security threat to Israel, but rather a risk. Security threats imply an immediate need to confront, uproot and eradicate them. But Bibi has been clear that he’s not going to uproot Hamas in Gaza, because Palestinian division is far more useful. In his own words, he doesn’t want to ‘give [Gaza] to Abu Mazen’.”

5

Robert Tombs in The Spectator

Why Britain chose Brexit

on the reasons for leaving

“In short, while one might of course applaud or deplore Brexit, it cannot reasonably be explained by British political or cultural peculiarities. It was a straightforward consequence of the failings of the EU, political and economic, which have had consequences across Europe. Nevertheless, we almost found ourselves trapped within it by fear of the financial dangers of exit. Differences of history and temperament, which do exist, would then have been of no consequence, other than to leave us - like many of our European neighbours - in a state of festering but impotent discontent.”

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