Instant Opinion

‘The racist takes on Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who casting don’t make sense’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Lola Christina Alao in The Independent

Spare me the white feminism, Ncuti Gatwa deserves to be Doctor Who star

on regeneration

Lola Christina Alao says there were “disappointed comments” when Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa was cast as the new Doctor Who because the role will no longer be played by a white woman. “Can I be honest? I’m tired of the representation Olympics that follow every announcement of either the next James Bond, Doctor Who or some other well-known TV character,” Alao writes in The Independent. There is not much room for debate when it comes to Gatwa’s talent. “The racist takes aren’t just insulting and sad, they also don’t make any sense,” as Doctor Who takes on new identities as the character regenerates. The doctor “could be a woman, a man, a non-binary person or a five-year-old if that’s what the Doctor Who writers wanted for the character”, she continues. “Different identities being pitted against each other doesn’t help anyone.” 

2

Libby Purves in The Times

Mocking millennials has history on its side

on clocking in

“Being exasperated with younger people is one of humanity’s oldest preoccupations,” Libby Purves writes in The Times. She thinks “the longer you live, the more fascinating it is to watch the layered disapprovals between the groups just below you”. Today, “the fashionable target is the millennial group, but boomers also tend to look askance at Generation X: the prime-of-life politicians and bosses”, also known as “the Boris Johnson lot”. At least one psychologist is offering training to employers of this generation “on how to handle” younger workers. “Apparently these young rascals misunderstand timekeeping and deadlines”, but a millennial, this expert says, “simply doesn’t have the same concept of a deadline”. Purves thinks humans “like to be on a proud, useful team” and some frustration among bosses is perhaps down to “young employees’ sense that they really aren’t”.

3

Ally Ross in The Sun

Dennis Waterman embodied a golden age for TV and Britain – he will be sorely missed

on the death of a star

News of Dennis Waterman’s death “will have hit a generation of viewers like a right hook from Terry McCann”, writes Ally Ross in The Sun. For audiences of a certain age, the actor “and his two greatest creations embodied a golden and better age not just for TV but the country itself”. One was his performance as DS George Carter in The Sweeney – “If you mention the show to a 50-plus viewer, a wistful glow of satisfaction, tinged with regret, will spread over their faces as they mutter: ‘Get ya trousers on, you’re nicked.’” The other role was “even better”, playing McCann in Minder. It lays “serious claim to be the greatest ever British television show”. Ross says: “True TV fans will mourn the passing of a fine actor, his unforgettable shows and a time when a cop, like Carter, could tell a villain: ‘You bruise him and you’ll need an embalmer, not a brief.’”

4

Katy Balls in The Spectator

How much trouble is Keir Starmer in?

on fresh allegations

Before last week’s local elections, there was talk that the vote was going to serve “as a referendum on partygate” and call Boris Johnson’s leadership into question, says Katy Balls in The Spectator. “Instead, it’s Keir Starmer who is facing questions about Covid breaches and how long he will stay in post.” A police investigation into a “so-called Beergate event” has been announced, but the Labour leader “has so far received a mixed bag of support” over the issue. “Tory MPs are certainly revelling in the fact that for once it is Labour on the back foot on parties,” but views are split on “what counts as a good outcome”. There’s concern “that Starmer could actually resign if fined”, as he said Johnson should have over partygate. Replacing Starmer with a “fresh new leader who could prove more popular with the public is a scenario many Tories could currently do without”.

5

Jane Hill in The Guardian

How worried should we really be about ‘insectageddon’?

on biodiversity losses

So-called “insectageddon” is causing “huge concern”, says Jane Hill in The Guardian. The term refers to the apparent falling levels of insects in the natural environment. But “how worried should we be?” the ecology professor asks. The “splatometer” – which measures the number of insects splatting on to car windshields – has entered Britain’s “long history of monitoring nature”. Yes, “researchers are concerned about insect declines, but most will also caution against the increasingly common hyperbole of impending doom”, says Hill. Efforts should focus on taking action to combat the climate crisis while “benefiting biodiversity”. “Our appreciation of green spaces together with government commitments for nature recovery are cause for optimism,” she says. But ensuring the flourishing of species, “of course, may mean more insects splattered on car windscreens”.

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