Instant Opinion

‘Restore a shared British identity to avoid the fate of Trump’s America’

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

1

Nick Timothy in The Daily Telegraph

Restore a shared British identity to avoid the fate of Trump’s America

on the risks of an atomised society

“We need a wave of institution building, to help us mediate our differences and rebuild a common identity. We need a radical transfer of power, to the four nations of the United Kingdom, and within them, to local communities, too. We need economic policies that are as intolerant of corporate abuse as of unfairness and entrenched inequality. All this will require an enthusiasm for active government, constitutional reform and economic intervention. Conservatives must ask themselves: are we prepared to risk people seeking out community – a primordial human need – in mobs and gangs and nihilism and extremism?”

2

Chris Stevenson in The Independent

No, a Twitter ban does not infringe Trump’s freedom of speech

on the president’s lost platform

“However, the spread of misinformation is far, far bigger than the president – and let’s not feed Trump’s ego by mixing that up. He and his supporters may see himself as a free-speech martyr, but in truth he is no such thing. Has there been any problem in hearing from Trump since the ban? No. His views on free speech and social media matter are also a clear matter of record going back years. Voters will not be left wondering what the president thinks as he tries to pivot away from events at the Capitol and towards the safer ground of galvanising his base around this.”

3

Robert Peston in The Spectator

Six things we need to know about the vaccine rollout

on the jab numbers

“As the prime minister has said, this is the most important government initiative of modern times. As such it could not be more important that we have the relevant information to hold ministers, the NHS and Public Health England to account. However... there will be a single statistic every day of total numbers vaccinated. So we will have to do the simply arithmetic just to work out the daily rate. And it is not even clear if there will be separate numbers given for vaccinations delivered and people vaccinated. This is all quite troubling. As one data scientist told me, ‘it’s not a good dataset’.”

4

Shannon Maree Torrens in Haaretz

Covid Vaccines: The Most Lethal Example of Israel’s Disregard for Palestinian Lives

on Jerusalem’s jabs

“It is one thing to blockade a people for supposedly security purposes, as Israel has done with respect to Gaza since 2007, which is already an inhumane act with little justification, but it is another level of deplorable behavior to then deny those who are occupied and blockaded a life-saving vaccine during a once-in-a-century pandemic that has killed over 1.9 million people worldwide. Israel is ignoring its obligations to vaccinate those beyond its own population, rendering its ‘successful’ vaccination rates that do not include Palestinians a shameful illustration of the complete disregard Israel has for Palestinian lives.”

5

Michael Henderson in The Times

Reading books is not meant to be a competitive sport

on rushed reading

“How many books did you read last year? I got through 48, about a dozen fewer than usual, but a respectable enough tally. It’s more or less a book a week, which is a sound foundation for a civilised life. Besides, whoever imagines the joy of reading is enhanced by the number of books devoured? It is not a race. There are no prizes. Andy Miller, author of The Year of Reading Dangerously, takes a different view. Last year, he boasted, like a boy scout acquiring badges for good conduct, he read 203 books - or at least turned the pages, as nobody can take in much of value by ploughing through four books a week like some literary combine harvester.”

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