Instant Opinion

‘How does this pandemic end, and how can we end it faster?’

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


Devi Sridhar in The Guardian

How the Covid pandemic could end – and what will make it happen faster

on the roadmap out

Devi Sridhar asks the questions on everybody’s lips: “How does this pandemic end, and how can we end it faster?” One answer to the latter question, she writes in The Guardian, is for “richer countries such as the UK” to support the vaccination efforts of less well-off nations. “Many poorer countries, lacking the resources and millions to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, have been unable to access vaccines for the majority of their population, while some rich countries have purchased nine doses per person,” she points out. But even if governments do follow that advice, no one should rush to dust off their passport, as “the trade-off for greater freedom at home would be restricted international travel”.


Nick Timothy in The Daily Telegraph

The answer to Scotland lies in tackling the English question

on saving the union

“The pandemic has exposed how rotten our post-devolution constitutional settlement is,” says Nick Timothy in The Telegraph. “The Welsh and Scottish governments have often gone their own way, exposing the absence of even coordinating powers for Whitehall in the midst of a dire emergency”, he continues. And “a return to centralised government from Westminster for the whole of the UK” would be “impossible in Northern Ireland, where the peace process relies on power-sharing at Stormont”. So the only remaining option is “decentralised government in the form of a federal system”.


Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times

McConnell’s choice is emblematic of the GOP’s rot

on avoiding responsibility

“If Mitch McConnell were just another Republican senator, I’d say he was the eighth-bravest,” writes Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times following Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment. “The seven bravest are the ones who voted to convict” the former president. By contrast, McConnell denounced the former president but voted to acquit him, a decision that Goldberg says is “emblematic of the GOP’s rot”. The Senate minority leader’s actions reveal his belief that “he can have it both ways: simultaneously denounce Trump and provide him cover in the hope of reconciling the divisions in the party that cannot be reconciled”. 


Sathnam Sanghera in The Times

Don’t tear them down, just throw a tomato

on divisive statues

“I am so bored by the cartoonish way our national ‘debate’ about colonial statues plays out, with one group of people seemingly wanting to tear them all down and another wanting to protect them,” says Sathnam Sanghera in The Times. Instead, he finds himself “warming” to “a silent middle ground of people who realise imperialism could be rotten, and want to be educated, but equally don’t want to destroy everything that colonialism has touched”. So what should be done? Rather than pulling down the monuments, Sanghera suggests, we should introduce a “Spanish-style fiesta day when anyone can go out and throw tomatoes at the statues they dislike”.


Nadia Nadim, professional footballer, in The Independent

It’s a new dawn for women’s football, but our fight for equality rolls on

on equality in sport

“When I was young, we only had male footballers to look up to… how far we’ve come,” writes Paris Saint-Germain and Danish international player Nadia Nadim. Of course, “there is still a way to go”, with female players “still fighting for equal pay” and conversations around race and gender equality punctuated by “derogatory, misogynistic and gender-biased social media comments”. But “girls who have a footballing dream should never give up - now is your time to shine and make your voice heard”, Nadim urges. “Together, we can take on the world.”


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