Instant Opinion

‘With Dominic Cummings gone, the government has rediscovered how to succeed’

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

1

William Hague in The Daily Telegraph

With Dominic Cummings gone, the Government has rediscovered how to succeed

on shedding dead weight

 “Whether in Westminster or confined to their constituencies, many Tory MPs are becoming happier with how the government is being run. They find the Prime Minister’s new chief of staff, Dan Rosenfield, is assiduous about consulting MPs and taking them seriously. What is more, he succeeds in staying out of the news himself, which is a sign of a system that is working well. Of course, there are many who remain deeply concerned about the decisions that ministers make – on school closures in particular, and on the likely pace of releasing the lockdown of the economy. Yet increasingly, they are unable to complain that they are not being listened to.”

2

Hugo Rifkind in The Times

Jordan Peterson’s feminised men just don’t exist

on images of masculinity

 “If you’re Vladimir Putin and you base your image around the bare-chested wrestling of elk, or whatever, then you end up being particularly vulnerable to the suggestion that you’ve spent a billion pounds on a palace and filled it with flouncy cushions. Likewise, if you are Jordan Peterson and you define maleness as toughness and domination, then a grim bout of illness leaves you looking like a failure despite being one of the most successful authors in the world. The real irony, I suppose, is that exactly like the trans activists of the hated left, the Peterson-friendly right seeks to reduce the space that both men and woman have to escape gender roles altogether. Personally, I’ll take the Harry Styles vision of masculinity over the Peterson one any day, and I say that owning no chiffon at all.”

3

David Scott Mathieson in The New York Times

The story behind the Myanmar coup

on trouble in the ranks

“At a minimum, the coup, being a major step backward, may undermine morale and cohesion among the troops. Decades of armed conflict with several ethnic groups have inflicted numerous casualties on ordinary soldiers. Desertion has been on the rise... By deploying the dirty playbook of clichéd dictators, General Min Aung Hlaing and the new junta may have thwarted their nemesis, and power is theirs, for the time being. But the Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s military] now risks widespread instability and faces the very real challenge of confronting an entire nation, including members of its own ranks, that has developed a taste for democracy. By dragging the entire country into the depths of their praetorian aspirations, Myanmar’s generals are working against their own self-interest.”

4

Owen Jones in The Guardian

The cladding scandal is an indictment of how Britain treats its poorest people

on social hierarchy

 “The Grenfell disaster should have provoked a national debate about Britain’s housing crisis. That it did not is indicative of a macabre hierarchy that everyone knows exists. After all, those most likely to suffer the consequences of Britain’s social crises are the poor and people of colour. They lack an organised voice in society, and people from such backgrounds are woefully underrepresented in both media circles and in parliament, while voter turnout is lower among society’s poorest. If white, affluent middle-class professionals had lived in the flats that went up in flames, urgent action would have been taken. But Grenfell was not a catalyst for drastic and belated change because its victims were condemned to the bottom of Britain’s hierarchy of human worth.”

5

Michael Cashman in The Independent

The stigma we faced in the 1980s is now being directed at trans people

on a repeating cycle

 “I realised that despite the sacrifices over the years, the pain, the decimation of people’s humanity, the denial of their integrity and their identity, the stigma that they had faced, the same things are happening again now. This time the target is not LGB people, but trans women, trans men, non-binary people and trans teenagers.  The fact that some of the instigators of these misrepresentations are LGB people, including some who lived through this period, angered me even more. It signifies that, for some, nothing has been learnt. Trans people have become the individuals to discriminate against, to debase, and to portray as a ‘threat’ – in the same way that previously they portrayed gay men, lesbians and bi women as a threat.”

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