Instant Opinion

‘EU should crawl away in shame over its vaccination rollout’

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

1

Patrick O’Flynn in The Telegraph

Grim vaccine nationalism is shattering the EU’s founding myths

on stuttering jabs 

“A new poll by YouGov of 8,000 people across seven European countries shows more people now consider the AZ jab unsafe than safe,” writes Patrick O’Flynn in The Telegraph. “A less arrogant political elite might detect that now would be a good time to crawl away in shame”, but the EU Commission is “doing just the opposite”. Why has the EU engaged in an “illogical” tussle over the exports of AstraZeneca vaccines? “The answer, I fear, is that this is now the only way in which the European Commission can demonstrate an advantage of EU membership to those still in the club,” O’Flynn says. “That advantage is that a country can avoid being beaten-up.”

2

Alex Massie in The Times

A diminished Sturgeon is all Johnson needs

on post-shame politics

“If Boris Johnson were a better chess player he would have sacked Priti Patel,” writes Alex Massie in The Times. A “cunning” prime minister would recognise that “dismissing her for breaching the ministerial code might in turn one day heap additional pressure upon Nicola Sturgeon”. With an investigation into whether Sturgeon broke the ministerial code due to be published this week, the first minister’s “troubled” position “may have become precarious”, he adds. “But in these post-shame days, guilt is not necessarily the mother of consequences.”

3

Adam Smith in The Independent

It’s 15 years since Twitter launched – but we’re still not ready for it

on social media anxiety

“From its humble origins as a social space for random thoughts and innocuous images, Twitter and its potency is now impossible to ignore,” says Adam Smith in The Independent. “You can walk away from the machine but not its machinations.” He adds: “But if there is one message that we should take away from the significant impact Twitter has had on society in 15 years, it is this: we were not ready for it. And we are still not ready for it now, nor are we ready for what is to come.”

4

Will Dunn in New Statesman

David Cameron’s lobbying shows businesses should be wary of friends in high places

on political connections

In 2010, David Cameron described lobbying as “the next big scandal waiting to happen”, writes Will Dunn in New Statesman. This week the former prime minister is reported to have lobbied the Treasury on behalf of supply chain finance company Greensill, in which he owned a “significant quantity of shares”. Revelations that Rishi Sunak received “multiple text messages” from Cameron, who was then passed on to top Treasury officials “at the chancellor’s request” could be “hugely damaging” in a less crowded news environment. “Political connections are not inherently wrong“, Dunn adds. ”But calling in favours is a risky business and the public has no sympathy for anyone who gets their fingers caught in the revolving door.”

5

Rhi Storer in The Guardian

The future looks bleak for Britain’s young people – and Rishi Sunak isn’t helping

on graduate prospects

“Search through Rishi Sunak’s budget speech, and you’ll find not one word related to ‘children’, ‘graduates’ or even ‘teenagers’,” says Rhi Storer in The Guardian. “While ‘young’ did appear in relation to the touted ‘kickstart scheme’, it’s clear that the chancellor has little interest in the generations below him.” New graduates are entering a jobs market with record redundancies and a 23% reduction in entry-level jobs. “No amount of polishing CVs will solve this: the answer does not lie in being part of the debate team, going on a year abroad, or obtaining a first-class degree.”

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