Instant Opinion

‘Liz Truss may be ready and primed to take over as optimist-in-chief’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph

In Liz Truss, Boris may have created a force more powerful than he realises

on the heir apparent

Liz Truss spent the Tory conference “revelling in her new status as Foreign Secretary and posing for selfies with her army of admirers”, writes Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph, adding that her fans “see her as refreshing, entertaining, perhaps a bit naughty”. Nelson, the Spectator editor, suggests that “to find where she was speaking at Tory conference, you just needed to look for the rooms with the longest queues” because she is seen as “the keeper of the Thatcherite flame”. Painting Truss as a potential new “heir apparent” to the prime minister, he points out that “in many ways, she is Johnson’s creation” because “he likes her boosterism, remembers her early support for him and has kept her safe from jobs where she would have to put her low-tax ideals to the test”. While conceding that “it’s too much to say that Johnson has created a rival”, there will be “hard times ahead for him”, believes Nelson. And he “may well find” that “there is someone ready and primed to take over as optimist-in-chief”.

2

Michael Lockwood in The Times

Police culture must change to root out racism and misogyny

on institutional challenges

Policing in the UK is facing a “watershed moment”, writes Michael Lockwood in The Times. The director general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct says the force must “take a long hard look at its own culture and change”. He says he has “raised concerns about police behaviour on social media, racism, stop-and-search and most recently published a review of 101 Taser investigations” but received a “defensive response”. Lockwood’s organisation “remains concerned” about police culture, but “colleagues calling out poor behaviour should be the norm and not the exception”. “Officers need to feel protected in an environment of zero tolerance. You cannot rely on individuals to do this if the culture does not support them.” In the wake of the Sarah Everard case, it’s “now or never for policing to change”.

3

Michael Day on The i news site

Newcastle United-Saudi deal: The next time players take the knee they might consider racism in the Gulf state

on a dodgy deal

Writing on the i news site, Michael Day tells Newcastle United that “as a Saudi Arabian court upholds a 20-year prison sentence on an aid worker Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, for his comments on Twitter, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the House of Saud – your new bosses – are evil”. After a regime-backed consortium seized control of the Premier League club, the news site’s chief foreign commentator points out that the Saudis’ “gifts to the world run from 9/11 to mass starvation in Yemen”, adding that “the next time Callum Wilson, Joe Willock or any of the other Newcastle United players take the knee, it’s going to seem pretty incongruous”. The deal, he says, “gives the impression that money matters more than black lives or any other lives. Doesn’t it?”

4

Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian

The Tories have become the party of optimists. Labour needs its own story

on the need for cheer

“Miniskirts are back in fashion – a classic signifier of good times, from the swinging 60s to the cool Britannia 90s,” writes Gaby Hinsliff. “And cheery boosterism is in political vogue.” There is a reason for this, says the Guardian columnist: “After a miserable 18 months, much of the country just want to briefly forget its troubles, and Boris Johnson is happy to let it.” The prime minister has made the Tories the “party of optimists”, with Keir Starmer “typecast as the buzzkiller in the corner”. Therefore, she continues, Labour also “badly needs to find a happy place of its own” and to “look… like it’s enjoying itself”. Hinsliff sees “glimmerings” of this mood in Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and MP Wes Streeting, but she wants more. “The Labour party must now show, as its old election anthem once had it, that things can only get better.”

5

Clive Stafford Smith in The Independent

I have watched six people die. It’s time for America to end the death penalty

on history’s verdict

“I have watched six people die in front of me,” writes Clive Stafford Smith in The Independent. “None had a fatal illness; they were simply slated for death by the US government.” Having campaigned against capital punishment since 1978, the British lawyer argues that “of course it’s not a deterrent; of course it’s a grotesque waste of money; of course we make ‘mistakes’… of course it’s ironic that we kill people who (we think) have killed people in order to show that killing people is wrong”. He adds that “the history books are always ultimately our judge” and that “they do not look kindly upon our earlier notion that we should burn women at the stake because we were convinced that they were witches”. He predicts that “we will eventually kill off the death penalty, if not in my lifetime then shortly thereafter”, leaving its proponents “in an historical hall of shame”. The only question, he believes, is “how many people must die before we get there?”.

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