Instant Opinion

‘Humanity - all 7.8 billion of us - is on a collision course with the planet’

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

1

Larry Elliott in The Guardian

We’re on a collision course with the planet. But with public support, that can change

on activist states

“Let’s be honest: few government-commissioned reports make a real difference”, says Larry Elliott. What hope then, continues The Guardian’s economics editor, for Cambridge University academic Professor Partha Dasgupta’s report that “humanity – all 7.8 billion of us – is on a collision course with the planet”? The Covid pandemic has “illustrated the virtues of smart, activist states” who can stimulate real world change. “The need for change is glaringly obvious, and the opportunity is there too,” he adds. “That opportunity must not be squandered.”

2

Paul Nurse in the Times

We need to speed up our Covid vaccination plan

on accelerating the jabs

“Britain’s vaccine programme is going very well but it could go even faster,” says Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute. “We are in lockdown, there is huge public demand to be vaccinated at the moment, motivation is high,” he adds. “That momentum must be maintained in case motivation is lost for lower priority groups when restrictions are eased.” After all, as he points out, the stakes are high: every delay “costs lives and livelihoods”.

3

Charlie Taylor in The Daily Telegraph

The end of lockdown could trigger a surge in crime

on post-lockdown rehabilitation

“The plight of prisoners may not evoke much sympathy at a time when the rest of us have been stuck at home,” Charlie Taylor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, writes in The Telegraph. But “apart from a handful of lifers, all of the 78,000 prisoners in England and Wales will one day be released”. Once lockdown is lifted, there must be a “much more ambitious response to restoring education, training and rehabilitation” he says. Otherwise there will be an inevitable “surge in crime”.

4

Naima Khan for Huffington Post

Female Imams Aren’t The Only Feminist Solution. I Know Because I Am One

on BBC bombast

Naima Khan says BBC presenter Emma Barnett was wrong to use female imams as a battleground in a recent interview with Zara Mohammed, the first female secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. Barnett’s hostile questioning led to “facepalming from Muslim women across the country” at the presenter’s “lack of religious literacy” and at the “shaming of a Muslim woman of colour by a white woman on a woman-led radio show”, Khan says. “Reducing our feminist progress to this one question about the number of female imams marginalises the other brilliant progress happening and imposes the priorities of white feminism on Muslim women.”

5

Séamus Dooley in The Irish Times

State support for journalism is in the public interest

on the health of the media

“At a time when public-interest journalism is most needed the media is in crisis,” says Séamus Dooley in The Irish Times. “Commercial media organisations are struggling to survive, the regional newspaper sector teeters on the edge while Facebook and Google siphon off revenue by exploiting the work” of journalists and writers. “State support” for the media is in the public interest, he adds. “The time has come to challenge the shibboleth that acceptance of government support, however regulated, would automatically compromise editorial standards.”

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