Instant Opinion

‘If Boris Johnson cared about schools, he’d already have sacked Gavin Williamson’

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


Rafael Behr in The Guardian

If Boris Johnson cared about schools, he’d already have sacked Gavin Williamson

on the embattled education secretary

“The only credentials that mattered to the new prime minister were loyalty and readiness to defend the most extreme Brexit. Williamson had been a remainer for David Cameron, and a defender of May’s doomed deal when she was his benefactor. When May resigned, Williamson adopted a more hardline position instantly and without qualm, like a true mercenary. It did not take Johnson long to see the utility of a man as lacking in principle as himself. What might happen to schools was never a consideration.”


Clare Foges in The Times

Celebrities who ignore lockdown should be shamed

on dangerous influencers

“Many Times readers may think this trivial; if you cannot even name these Instagrammers and wannabes, does it matter in the grand scheme of things if they have a holiday? The trouble is that millions of young people do know who these people are. They follow them, idolise them, have their sunlit selfies drip-fed to their smartphones all day — and seeing these golden creatures sail above the government’s rules is not going to encourage them to follow them.”


Jenna Norman on HuffPost

No, this lockdown won’t affect men as much as women

on lockdown inequalities

“Mothers, especially single mothers, were more likely to do more home schooling than fathers in the first lockdown, with consequences for their own working time. And the impact of the first lockdown on women’s employment has now been laid bare. Mothers did 50% more unpaid work than fathers during this time, according to a large Institute for Fiscal Studies survey from May 2020. More of their time was disrupted by childcare responsibilities and, potentially as a result, mothers were one-and-a-half times more likely than fathers to have either lost their job or quit by May. They were also more likely to have been furloughed, seeing their earnings cut by 20%.”


Editorial board of Haaretz

How Netanyahu Helped Tear Down the Jewish-Arab Wall

on another flip-flopping PM

“Netanyahu is the national inciter, who never missed an opportunity to label Arab Israelis a fifth column, an existential threat and a ‘state within a state.’ He had the nerve to try to motivate his supporters in the 2015 election with a video in which he warned of the danger of Israel’s Arab exercising their right to vote. He’s a racist whose campaign slogan, referring to Arab MK Ahmad Tibi, was ‘Bibi or Tibi.’ He accused the opposition of cooperating with Arab parties that seek Israel’s. He deemed the Joint List’s Knesset seats illegitimate. Under his leadership, the legislature passed the nation-state law, which enshrines Jewish superiority and Arab inferiority. Yet now this man is wooing Arab voters and is even willing to cooperate with Arab parties.”


Allison Pearson in The Daily Telegraph

The BBC doesn’t represent me – or half the country

on Auntie Beeb

“On Graham Norton’s New Year’s Eve special, the ‘comedian’ called Nigel Farage ‘a sack of meat brought to life by a witch’s curse’, adding: ‘Now we have finally completed Brexit, I predict we will have a taste for leaving things and will vote to leave more stuff, starting with the continent of Europe, then the United Nations and finally the Earth.’ Funny to think that ‘Busy Lizzie’ Truss, the International Trade Secretary, has managed to secure 63 trade deals in two years. The UK seems to to be joining more than leaving. Here’s my new year reduction: if BBC glums continue to fight a bitter rearguard action against Brexit (and, incidentally, against a big chunk of its audience), we know who will have the last laugh. And it won’t be Frankie Boyle.”


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