Instant Opinion

‘Don’t blame the old for the young’s Covid plight’

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


Clare Foges in The Times

Don’t blame the old for the young’s Covid plight

on generational division

“Now righteous anger on behalf of Britain’s locked-down young is the new stick to beat older generations with. The pitting of baby boomers against millennials is nothing new, of course. Never mind how hard those in their sixties, seventies or eighties worked for their comforts, they are routinely held as responsible for twentysomethings’ housing woes, stagnating wages and environmental concerns - as though they were part of a conscious gerontocratic conspiracy to short-change young people, rather than just being hard-working individuals who made the best of the economic climate they found themselves in. Nevertheless, the intergenerational envy and resentment persists, now sharpened by the allegation that baby boomers are being selfish in expecting the young to put their lives on hold.”


Philip Collins in the New Statesman

How supporting a Scottish referendum may be the only way Labour avoids being wiped out

on the least worst option

“At the moment, the more Labour in Scotland tells its electorate how awful Johnson is, the more it contributes to the master argument of the SNP. There is a more radical version of this argument in which Labour signals it might sponsor a referendum in due course. This might be the only way back for Labour in Scotland, to try to peel off the large body of voters who are not especially committed to the SNP but who do want an independence referendum. This is the kind of tangle that a party born to respond to an economic question gets into when the basis of political affiliation changes. It is what we call an identity crisis.”


Carla Hall in the Los Angeles Times

The military coup in Myanmar is an outrage

on a familiar cry

“What we had hoped was that Suu Kyi would be emboldened to become a defender of human rights, not the military, as time went on. Her National League of Democracy party again won a landslide victory in November. Unfortunately, that landslide was one of the things that appears to have unsettled the military (at one point, they declared the election a fraud - sound familiar?) and pushed it into declaring it was taking over the country in a ‘12-month state of emergency.’ All this is tragic. And it’s unclear what the U.S. can do. The army general who has taken power, Min Aung Hlaing, is already under economic sanctions by the U.S. for his involvement in human rights abuses. Nonetheless, world leaders should denounce this and work to put Myanmar back on a democratic course. Monday was to have been the opening day of parliament.”


Saira Rao on HuffPost

Trump Is Gone But Women Of Colour Are Still Suffering

on continued injustice

“We can celebrate each day that white supremacists do not commit an act of mass terrorism, as they did on January 6, while acknowledging that white supremacists have been committing acts of mass terrorism in this country since its inception, well before January 2021 – and will continue to do so until and unless we dismantle white supremacy. We can be grateful that more people weren’t killed during the Capitol attack while simultaneously acknowledging that had Black or Brown folks been the ones behind it, they would be dead or in jail, or, at the very least, not attending the presidential inauguration.”


Tim Burgess in The Guardian

Even before Covid, music was broken. Let’s use this moment to hit reset

on cultural woes

“These days, some of the tinfoil-hat brigade are referring to a ‘great reset’. It’s something to do with a cabal of world leaders and a dastardly plan to reshape the economy, I believe. And while I don’t favour their headgear or their appetite for badly made YouTube videos, I’m not averse to the idea of a musical reset: using the pandemic as an opportunity to look again at how things are working in the industry. To take this moment and this strange landscape we find ourselves in, and just switch things off and back on again. They say, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.’ Have they also considered, ‘If you’re busy and you don’t look too closely, it might seem to be working fine, but actually it’s not’?”


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