Instant Opinion

‘The Tories have abandoned London’

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

1

Allister Heath in The Telegraph

The Tories have abandoned Sadiq Khan’s London to a doom-spiral of permanent decline

on Labour’s backyard

“If you are a Tory voter in London, tough luck,” writes Allister Heath in The Telegraph. “You now live in a one party city-state, controlled forever more by… Labour.” One in three Londoners voted Tory at the general election, which is “low but hardly trivial”. So why have the Tories “given up” on the mayoral election? “Many Tories believe that they must be seen to be anti-London, with losing the capital a cheap investment to grab votes elsewhere”, Heath suggests. “But in abandoning Londoners to long-term decline, while simultaneously and mindlessly embracing Left-wing urbanism, it is betraying not just its electorate but also the country’s long-term interests.”

2

Andrew Ellson in The Times

Transparency is vital to keep our politicians in line

on clean politics

“Light is said to be the best disinfectant,” writes Andrew Ellson in The Times. “Yet if you try to shine a torch on the practices of either central or local government their first instinct these days is to try to turn the power off.” Councils have become ever more reluctant in recent years to answer freedom of information requests, with demands “increasingly turned down for a variety of questionable reasons”. “Let’s not forget,” Ellson adds, “that local authorities have borrowed £6.6 billion since 2016 to buy shopping centres and office blocks, which are now plummeting in value… Perhaps if councils had been more afraid of proper scrutiny they might have been more cautious about such obvious gambles.”

3

Ailbhe Rea in the New Statesman

How worried should we be about the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine supply problems?

on jab shortages

“There is a distinct note of panic to some news coverage on the vaccine roll-out this morning,” says Ailbhe Rea in the New Statesman. Next month, there will be a “significant reduction” in the weekly supply of vaccinations available. But the “government line”, that we are still on track to hit our targets, is a “valid” assessment, Rea says. However, it is a reminder that vaccine delivery is a “lumpy” process. “Just because there is no major roadblock yet, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of further setbacks in the months ahead.”

4

James Forsyth in The Spectator

Unopposed: why is Keir Starmer making life so easy for the PM?

on soft opposition

“If there is one thing worse than being talked about, it is not being talked about – and this is the fate beginning to befall Keir Starmer,” writes James Forsyth in The Spectator. “He is at risk of becoming an irrelevance,” he says. “Labour’s approach means little opposition – which means a lack of proper scrutiny,” says Forsyth. “As normality begins to return, it is time for proper parliamentary politics again.”

5

Cathy Newman in The Independent

We may have new rules on misogyny – but little has changed since #MeToo

on tragic inaction

Four years on from 2017’s #MeToo movement “little has changed”, writes Cathy Newman in The Independent. “Then, as now, there was an extraordinary solidarity among women disclosing their own experiences of sexual abuse and harassment, after the Harvey Weinstein story broke.” While men were held to account – including Weinstein – “the profound cultural change many activists dreamed of remained elusive”, she adds. “If the culture had really changed, the government would have heeded calls for action long before the tragedy which prompted the fire and fury of the last week.”

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