Instant Opinion

‘Prince Charles will only prosper beneath a crown if he scores fewer own goals’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Max Hastings in The Times

Charles can only succeed if he learns humility

on royal failures

“Another week, another royal ‘scandal’,” wrote Max Hastings in The Times. “I insert the quote marks because a real scandal requires a quorum of the Queen’s subjects to be scandalised.” In reality, “the real cause for dismay is that nobody is any longer surprised by any folly committed by any Royal in pursuit of cash or to procure some jollification”, he continued. “The Queen herself, of course, is above such things, as she has been all her life”, but “the rest are dogged by a common lack of judgement and sense of entitlement that repeatedly leads to trouble”. When the time comes, the “only hope” for Prince of Wales to be a success on the throne is if he “appoints better people and learns - odd word this, to use about a prospective king - humility”, Hastings added. This “averagely intelligent, eccentric septuagenarian” will “only prosper beneath a crown if he scores fewer own goals and makes fewer unforced errors”.

2

George Monbiot in The Guardian

Earth’s tipping points could be closer than we think. Our current plans won’t work

on climate crisis

“If there’s one thing we know about climate breakdown, it’s that it will not be linear, smooth or gradual,” said George Monbiot in The Guardian. “Current plans to avoid catastrophe would work in a simple system like a washbasin, in which you can close the tap until the inflow is less than the outflow,” he continued. “But they are less likely to work in complex systems, such as the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere.” Meanwhile, “the old assumption that the Earth’s tipping points are a long way off is beginning to look unsafe”, and “if Earth systems tip as a result of global heating, there will be little difference between taking inadequate action and taking no action at all.” Indeed, “the target that much of the world is now adopting for climate action - net zero by 2050 - begins to look neither rational nor safe”, he added. And “a miss is as good as a mile”.

3

Con Coughlin in The Telegraph

Joe Biden has left the West blind to the next 9/11

on unlearned lessons

When Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda carried out its “devastating” terrorist attack on the US two decades ago, “it is fair to say the West’s leading intelligence agencies were completely caught off their guard”, wrote Con Coughlin in The Telegraph. “There had, as the subsequent report of the 9/11 Commission concluded, been numerous warnings about the increased sophistication of al-Qaeda’s terrorist expertise.” But “no one in Washington or beyond fully comprehended that al-Qaeda had acquired the capability to fly three hijacked civilian aircraft into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon”. By any measure, the attacks “were the result of a catastrophic failure of intelligence”, said Coughlin. Now, thanks to Joe Biden’s “ill-judged decision” to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, “the Western powers find themselves once again powerless to protect themselves against the threat posed by al-Qaeda and its associates”. A “vital intelligence-gathering operation, which has been central to degrading and disrupting the ability of Islamist terror groups to target western democracies, has been dismantled”, leaving the West “ill-prepared to defend itself against a new wave of Islamist attacks”.

4

Peter Franklin on Unherd

Angela Merkel’s reign of failure

on longevity vs. success

“After 16 years, Angela Merkel’s long reign as German Chancellor is drawing to a close,” wrote Peter Franklin on UnHerd. “So prepare yourself, preferably with a sick bag, because the hagiographies will be nauseating,” he warned. “Just as Boris Johnson represents everything that British Remainers hate about Britain, Angela Merkel embodies everything they love about Germany”, a “country they regard as the grown-up in the room”. But “that’s not something to be proud of”, said Franklin.“Indeed, the closer you look at her record, the less there is to show for it.” With the exception of the 2013 election, when her hard-line policies tapped into rising populist sentiment, Merkel “has never received a ringing endorsement from the German electorate”. No, instead, she has “just been in the best position to pick up the pieces of her own political failures”. And her “parting shot is Armin Laschet”, a successor “so uninspiring that German voters have turned to the dying Social Democrats in desperation”.

5

Gail Collins in The New York Times

Trump Wants Your Money. Again.

on desperate fundraising

The former US president “just can’t stop writing me”, said Gail Collins in The New York Times, and “all of these letters involve fund-raising”. Admittedly, Donald Trump “is almost an internet monk now, compared with the way he communicated during his last presidential campaign”, wrote Collins. “In the months before the 2020 election, his supporters were reportedly getting an average of about 14 emails a day from his organisation.” Yet while “Trump hasn’t said whether he’ll be running again in 2024”, he is “out beating the bushes for donations” once more. He is “hardly the only major political name” to do so, she added. But “many of the Trump emails suggest he needs money to challenge those evil, wrongheaded, ‘Biden won!’ election results” - which “doesn’t seem like all that great a legal investment”.

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