Instant Opinion

‘Rishi Sunak is a lone voice for fiscal sanity in a Tory party full of spendthrifts’

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

1

Kate Andrews in The Daily Telegraph

Rishi Sunak is a lone voice for fiscal sanity in a Tory party full of spendthrifts

on the chancellor’s turf

“The Tories have a political problem. They may not feel compelled to embrace Thatcherite economics anymore, but they are fooling themselves if they think their appeal can be separated from being the party of fiscal responsibility. Are they really proposing to head into the next election with debt at historic levels and no proposals to address it? Do they really think the voters will buy that? Labour has already sought to moderate its positions from the last election. Plenty of economists will say time is on the Treasury’s side - but that’s unlikely to be providing much comfort for Sunak, who has the shadow Chancellor encroaching on his ideological turf, making the case for responsible spending.”

2

David Aaronovitch in The Times

Next time there won’t be a vaccine to save us

on the crisis to come

“Climate change is the most obvious example of the coming elephant. But there are others, and possibly the most urgent is antimicrobial resistance. To summarise: the wonder drugs we have relied upon since the mid 20th century to save us from dying from minor infections are losing their efficacy. The more we use them, the more microbes mutate to develop resistance. Unlike a pandemic this process doesn’t happen in one place at one moment and then spread. It’s happening all the time, unevenly, and involves large numbers of different microbes. So that amoxicillin that saved us from sepsis? It may very well not work for our kids.”

3

Simon Kelner in The i

Influencers posting holiday snaps from Dubai are just doing their job, so let’s be kind

on bad influencers

“How were they to know that their public, who had previously lapped up the images of a cosmetically enhanced existence, would now be so disgusted to see them cavorting on the beach? They inhabit an unreal universe, and in their minds, they were merely doing their jobs. It should be pointed out, also, that a cohort of rich Britons business people have also escaped our virus-blighted land, but have managed to stay anonymous. What the influencers in Dubai demonstrate is a lack of judgement and taste. But that’s no reason to pile in against them, when their actions are not in themselves harmful to us, and their attackers are primarily motivated by envy. The best sanction would be to refrain from buying into the images they peddle. They cease to be influencers if we resist their influence.”

4

Nicola Philp for The Sydney Morning Herald

We must change to battle climate change

on the need for unity

“Coronavirus has shown us that we can all work together to radically and quickly change our lifestyles for the greater good. We need to consider how we can prepare for a world that will be faced with regular extreme weather, unpredictable water and power supplies, food shortages and the resulting unrest that will come with these. We need to sit with the grief and fear and then work through it starting, well, yesterday. Basically, we need to be good ancestors... and the only way we can do this is together.”

5

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

Department stores are far more than just shops. Their loss leaves a hole in the heart

on urban sitting rooms

“They belong to the vanishing public realm: they’re intimate yet convivial places to meet, havens for idle browsing, to use toilets or linger in cafes. Their closure feels like losing a park, a library, an arts or leisure centre. A break from shopping in the coffee shop with my mother, nowadays with a daughter, was a rare time to sit and stare at all those other people just like us. One fine word, ‘haberdashery’, captures their all-encompassing ethos, those button boxes and racks of Sylko cotton reels proving there is no hook-and-eye or curtain ring too small to stock. Arding & Hobbs – pride of Battersea, delight for decades of my life – was later split into a Debenhams, now shut. Every town mourns these lost urban sitting rooms. Where is Hanningtons of Brighton, Lewis’s of Liverpool, or TP Hughes of Tenby? All are engraved on the landscape of local memory.”

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