Instant Opinion

‘What’s as scary as Covid? The fact our leaders still have no plan to control it’

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

1

George Monbiot in The Guardian

What’s as scary as Covid? The fact our leaders still have no plan to control it

on a nation in reverse

“The government could have used the first two lockdowns and the school holidays to carry out an emergency refurbishment programme in schools, fitting them with ventilation, filtering and heat exchanger systems and windows that open; setting up Nightingale classrooms in unused entertainment venues, and hiring new teaching assistants to reduce class sizes and allow sufficient distancing. Astonishingly, it did nothing except rebuff the desperate pleas of headteachers: not a single penny was provided for school refurbishment. Still the government fails to act: it plans no programme of works. Schools, when they fully reopen, will once again become incubators of infection. If anything, we are going backwards.”

2

Joseph J. Ellis in the Los Angeles Times

Worst. President. Ever.

on Trump’s place in history

“After Jan. 20 — and possibly earlier — President Trump exits the present and enters history. On several occasions, Trump has suggested that he expects to take his place on the list of former presidents aside Abraham Lincoln, presumably knocking George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and all the others in the top rank down a tick. To put it politely, he needs to adjust his expectations. Donald Trump is quite likely to assume the title as the worst president in American history.”

3

Allison Pearson in The Daily Telegraph

Our freedom must return not a day later than necessary

on lockdown struggles

“I really don’t know how much more of this we can take. The message may not have reached the ear of ministers, whose important lives continue much as normal, but every day brings fresh reports of people driven mad by loneliness being sectioned, of students struggling, of cancer patients turning their face to the wall. If fear of the NHS being overwhelmed is really all that our government is bothered about, then sufficient progress with the vaccinations should relieve that pressure and leave it with no excuse to not start caring about the non-Covid casualties.”

4

Tara O’Reilly on HuffPost

Hungry children deserve so much better than these miserable meals

on paltry provisions

“The beige and sad looking food packages don’t just send the message to poor families that your children do not deserve to eat: they say your kids are not allowed to eat well – they should be malnourished, because they are poor. Your kids are not allowed to enjoy hot meals – they should be cold, because they are poor. Your kids, because you are poor and struggling, are not allowed to eat colourful and nutritious food. And you, failure of a parent, are not allowed to choose what they eat because you don’t know how. Or worse, can’t be trusted. Chartwells calling their free school meals provisions ‘hampers’ adds more insult to injury – as though they are a gift, something to be grateful for and accepted with no questions asked, as though they would be filled with condiments and jams.”

5

Matthew Parris in The Times

Wrong shots

on jumbled jabs

“Much talk (I hear from my horse-mad partner) about the idea that the nation’s vets could help with vaccinations. Vets are experts at vaccinating on an industrial scale and (he said) many veterinary centres have state-of-the-art deepest-freeze refrigerators. I asked him why. ‘Oh, to store priceless horse semen for artificial insemination. They could keep the vaccine doses there... ‘He paused, as the same thought crossed both our minds. ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be awful if they got the two muddled up.’”

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