Instant Opinion

‘One million women may have missed mammograms during the pandemic’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Dawn Butler at The Guardian

I have breast cancer but had no symptoms. A routine mammogram saved my life

on missed appointments

“Being told you have cancer is one of the biggest shocks you can go through,” says Dawn Butler, writing for The Guardian. The Labour MP for Brent Central says “all the normal support” is “something you need but are deprived of” when a diagnosis coincides with a pandemic. Butler says she was “lucky enough” to catch her cancer early, despite having “no symptoms whatsoever”. “A routine mammogram saved my life,” says the MP, who is now set for a “full recovery”. Many women’s cancers “will go undetected or be detected too late”. The Breast Cancer Now charity estimates a million women missed mammogram screenings due to Covid-19, and Butler is urging women to “book a routine appointment and get checked now”. She’s appealing to women of colour particularly “to please take it up, as we know that uptake of cancer screening is lower among this group”. Butler is sharing her story “to raise awareness” and hopes she “can make a dent” in the number of women who have missed appointments.

2

Sean O’Grady at The Independent

The Partygate prime minister must answer for his actions

on potential fines

“It might not be long now before Boris Johnson seals his place in the history books – again, for all the wrong reasons,” writes Sean O’Grady at The Independent. “He could become the first prime minister to get a criminal record.” If Johnson does receive a fine for breaching Covid regulations, “he’ll be stung for between £25 and a couple of hundred quid. Mean with money as he legendarily is, in this event he’d be wise not to try and get a Tory donor or the taxpayer to pay it for him.” If Johnson is “foolish, he may try and laugh it off as trivial, like a parking fine” – but “of course”, violating Covid rules would be “a more serious matter”. O’Grady says “everyone knows that he attended parties – we’ve seen the pictures”. The “hypocrisy and cynicism still stinks”. But despite this “it would be ‘tone deaf’ to want him out right now”, O’Grady says. “There’s a lot going on right now” and the UK could do without “a protracted Tory leadership election during a war”. But “the moment will come for Johnson to answer for his actions”.

3

Paul Krugman at The New York Times

Putin and the myths of Western decadence

on the ‘decline’ of democratic values

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was “a crime” but also “a blunder”, says Paul Krugman at The New York Times. As well as his “strongman syndrome” contributing to this “catastrophic mistake”, “there’s also reason to think Putin, like many of his admirers in the West, thought modern democracies were too decadent to offer effective resistance”. Krugman himself worries that the West is “being made weaker by decadence”, though “not the kind that obsesses Putin and those who think like him”. He sees the “vulnerability” as coming from “the decline of traditional democratic values, such as the belief in the rule of law and a willingness to accept the results of elections that don’t go your way”. He says: “It’s incredible how quickly we’ve normalised the fact that the last president tried to retain power despite losing the election and that a mob he incited stormed the Capitol”. The relevance to Ukraine is that “the next time something like this happens, America might not lead an effective alliance of democracies, because we ourselves will have given up on democratic values”.

4

Peniel E. Joseph at CNN Opinion

Will Smith’s wrongs don’t make Chris Rock right

on a violent ‘eruption’

Peniel E. Joseph first assumed Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars “was some kind of planned stunt”, he says at CNN Opinion. “The slap heard around the world turned out not to be a skit, but an unplanned eruption whose cultural significance is now being refracted through the distorted lens of our disunited nation”. Rock’s reference to “GI Jane” in respect to Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having a shaved head “flew over the heads of most millennials and any younger viewers. But not Smith’s.” Joseph doesn’t believe “in resorting to violence in the face of insults”. But “Smith’s actions do not negate all the good he has contributed as an actor, artist and humanitarian. Nor does the wrongness of Smith’s behaviour make Rock’s joke the right thing to have said at the Oscars.” The slap has been “interpreted multiple ways” and “it was truly an extraordinarily surreal set of moments to watch”. It seems celebrities, says Joseph, “face the same pitfalls as the rest of us”.

5

Craig Brown at The Daily Mail

As Genesis, total age 214, say farewell… How the rock of ages keeps on rolling

on lucrative careers

Genesis played their farewell concert on Saturday night, and lead singer Phil Collins, aged 71, told the audience that “after tonight, we’ll all have to get real jobs”. The band has “had a good run”, says Craig Brown at the Daily Mail, the current line-up having played together “for well over 50 years, on and off”. But “a quick look down the list of forthcoming concert tours suggests that, compared to many, they are spring chickens”. Sir Rod Stewart, who’ll tour this winter, is 77, and Diana Ross, 78, will perform at Glastonbury – as will headliner Paul McCartney, who’ll be 80 by the time the festival comes around. “Time and again,” says Brown, “pop has given men and women a lifetime of gainful employment, while the sensible office and factory jobs their parents and teachers had planned for them have fallen by the wayside.” Is there “any other career that offers such constant and remunerative employment?”

Recommended

What are the phosphorus bombs ‘pummelling’ Ukraine?
White phosphorus being dropped by the Assad regime in Douma, Syria
Fact file

What are the phosphorus bombs ‘pummelling’ Ukraine?

‘Was a new statue of Thatcher really a wise idea?’
Margaret Thatcher statue in Grantham
Instant Opinion

‘Was a new statue of Thatcher really a wise idea?’

How much has the UK spent on Ukraine?
Boris Johnson and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Today’s big question

How much has the UK spent on Ukraine?

The arguments for and against a windfall tax
A North Sea oil rig
Pros and cons

The arguments for and against a windfall tax

Popular articles

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?
Nato troops
In Depth

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?

The Week Footer Banner