Instant Opinion

‘A proportional system would allow both miserable old parties to divorce’

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

1

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

As events in the US have shown, two-party politics is no longer fit for purpose

on denying compromise

Looking across the Atlantic Ocean, Polly Toynbee says that the “lurch from Obama to Trump to Biden” shows how US politics “denies coalitions of compromise”. Writing in The Guardian, she says that the UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system creates the same problem. In contrast, she suggests that “a future of coalitions would see the power of factions within a ruling government defined transparently by electoral votes” and would mean “no more extreme factions ambushing selection processes within parties”. Finally, she adds, “a proportional system would allow both miserable old parties to divorce”.

2

Mark Wallace in The i

Enough with the vaccine passport hokey-cokey – some kind of jab documentation is inevitable

on delayed documents

The question of whether or not to have vaccine passports has “endlessly occupied ministers, civil servants and parliament in recent months”, says Mark Wallace in The i. “At various stages, the government and its opponents have ruled vaccine passports in, out, and shaken them all about”, he continues, all of which has been a process of “wasting time that could be spent on creating a workable system”. Insisting that “some kind of jab documentation is inevitable”, Wallace adds that the government should stop the “hokey-cokey” and just get on with it.

3

Max Hastings in The Times

We are all prisoners of the times we live in

on historic revisionism

Max Hastings tells readers of The Times that “on a dog-walk with a fellow writer, we agreed that we must engage with, rather than merely dismiss, the iconoclasts” who criticise controversial figures from Britain’s past. “They are right that a lot of grotesquely nationalistic history is still around”, he continues, “especially about the Second World War [where] many Churchill biographers ignore, for instance, his deplorable response to the 1943 Bengal famine”. “We need to talk about all this”, the historian adds, while acknowledging that “we cannot demand from the peoples of the past the values and language we think appropriate today”.

4

Bryony Gordon in The Daily Telegraph

Harry and Meghan are living their best life – let’s allow them a moment of happiness

on a contented couple

“Harry and Meghan are living their best life - let’s allow them a moment of happiness”, says Bryony Gordon in The Telegraph. Referring to the black and white photograph that accompanied the announcement that they are expecting a second child, Gordon gushes that “the camera never lies, and not since their wedding day have the couple looked so relaxed and happy”. She adds that “having worked with the Sussexes over the past few years, and knowing how difficult much of their early family life together has been”, she thinks their glee is simply “a lovely thing to see”.

5

Jon Davies in The Independent

What would a properly rewilded Britain actually look like?

on the wild way

A rewilded Britain would not be a “pastoral idyll in which we all picnicked amongst Wind In The Willows-style animals”, nor a “dangerous place in which apex predators like wolves, lynx and wildcats were roaming free”, says Jon Davies in The Independent. It’s nothing to be scared of, but is more likely to look “a bit messy and unloved; a patch of marshland, or the kind of forest that you can’t walk through easily because of impenetrable undergrowth”. He says to reach the goal of rewilding, “we need to get over our obsession with tidying up the countryside and see unkempt as a good thing”.

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