Instant Opinion

‘Prince Harry cannot resist plunging the knife into the Royal Family’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Daily Mail Comment

How sad Prince Harry is now the Duke of Delusion

on a family fallout

“Is Prince Harry so vitriol-consumed, self-important and attention-seeking that he simply can’t resist plunging the knife into the Royal Family?” asks the Daily Mail. Despite the “sanctimonious talk of wanting to ‘make the world a better place’, no chance is missed to trash the House of Windsor”. After he and Meghan Markle did “the decent thing by flying in for clear-the-air talks with the Queen”, he went on a prime-time US TV show and “boasted” that he was checking his grandmother is protected by the “right” people. “It was a grotesque – and idiotic – insult to Prince Charles and Prince William,” says the newspaper, and “patronising” to the Queen. “But is anyone surprised by his toxicity?” It would be “loathsome hypocrisy” if this “narcissistic duo” attend the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. “The Duke of Sussex has become the Duke of Grievance and Delusion.”

2

Kamelia Ouaissa in The Guardian

If French people abstain, we hand over our vote to fascism. Macron is the lesser evil

on damage limitation

Writing in The Guardian, Kamelia Ouaissa says the choice in the French presidential election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen is “really hard to swallow”. “Should I vote for Macron to block the far right, or abstain, and potentially hand over my ballot paper to fascism?” the university student asks. This writer has concluded “there is no way, either through abstention or a blank vote, that I can allow the far right to gain power”, so instead, Ouaissa will “vote for a man who trampled on our rights during his first term”. The election “boils down to choosing the lesser of two evils, and damage limitation”, but a Le Pen victory would “lead to more discrimination, adding to the rising Islamophobia of the past five years”. As a Muslim woman of north African descent, living in a poor neighbourhood, Ouaissa says the next five years will “certainly be painful”. But a vote for Macron “will enable me to suffer less”.

3

Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times

Riding a bike in America should not be this dangerous

on infrastructure investment

In the US, many road accidents are “far from accidental”, says Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times. “They are instead the inevitable result of political and economic choices that society has made, and they might have been prevented had we made other, safer choices.” More than a trillion dollars of infrastructure funding “will soon be showered” over states and cities, and there’s a “huge opportunity to save our roads”. But road safety advocates say this means thinking about the issue “in a transformative way”. America “is in the midst of a traffic fatality crisis”, and while many authorities “have unveiled plans to mitigate the horror, progress has been elusive”. Manjoo thinks that “even when the dangers of our bad roads become glaring, officials have limited options for fixing them”. US roads “are deadly because officials will still call the inevitable consequences of this ill-design a tragedy rather than a choice”. States now have an opportunity. “This is no time for half-decade-long action plans.”

4

Ed Dorrell in The Independent

Tony Blair is wrong – again – on education, education, education

on a flawed target

A report published by the Tony Blair Institute today suggested that the number of young people going to university should rise to 70% by 2040. It “felt like an intervention from a bygone era”, says Ed Dorrell in The Independent. After all, Blair’s government was behind “the still controversial” target of 50% achieving degree-level education. “As ever”, says Dorrell, Blair is “sort of right and sort of wrong”. Yes, the country “should aspire to having a better educated workforce”, but “that is all rather motherhood and apple pie”. Where the institute has gone wrong “is focusing on a rather arbitrary target, not the substance of education for undergraduates” – and “those who do not choose to do a degree too”. More degrees “don’t inevitably mean a better-trained workforce and a growing GDP”. It’s “a shame” the institute didn’t focus on how and what students study, or use “its intellectual fire power” on vocational qualifications instead.

5

Kate Andrews in The Telegraph

The nine-to-five NHS is failing weekend patients

on access to treatment

“The definition of ‘universal access to healthcare’ appears to be becoming narrower by the day,” writes Kate Andrews in The Telegraph. An NHS trust asked locals to avoid injuries that could lead to “unnecessary trips to A&E” over the Easter weekend. Protecting the NHS has become “an easy excuse for a problem that existed long before Covid” – that the health service is “designed to deliver on a public sector timeframe”. Patients, as a result, are “denied access to treatment for hours, and sometimes days on end”. Andrews says “too many people will have a story about how applying a nine-to-five culture to healthcare has led to them or their loved ones suffering unnecessarily”, and some of those stories are “truly harrowing”. Waiting lists and staffing shortages won’t be fixed “by doubling down on the wishful thinking of NHS bureaucrats: that the public should only get sick during sociable hours”.

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