Instant Opinion

‘Not all Britons are gearing up for the jubilee’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for The i

The cost-of-living crisis makes the Queen’s grossly excessive Platinum Jubilee look crass

On gross excess

“Forgive me for being a party pooper, a spoilsport,” writes Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for The i , “but not all Britons are gearing up for nationwide revelries to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign”. With 1,458 public events planned, as well as street parties and private bashes, she asks: “Do they not know there is a war on? And that inflation is leading to unbearable food poverty?” She calls for “more anti-monarchists” to “speak up about the grossly excessive Platinum Jubilee festivities”. Noting that human rights activist Peter Tatchell has declined an invitation to participate in a Jubilee pageant, the columnist imagines an alternative Jubilee parade with “Tatchell in front, joined by food bank workers, Shelter and Crisis representatives, street artists, brazen comedians, relatives of Covid victims, eco-radicals, equality rights activists, families of Windrush deportees, steel bands and radical young poets”.

2

Daniel Finkelstein for The Times

Playing politics is no business of the police

on tit-for-tat shame

“How seriously do the police now take the injunction not to pander to public opinion?” asks Daniel Finkelstein. “Not seriously enough, is my judgment.” He points to the Covid fines saga, describing it as “a miserable story of confusion, inconsistency and collapse” that saw police in the “preposterous position” of “holding the future of the Labour Party in their hands, having previously entirely and unnecessarily disrupted the politics of the Conservative Party”. People who “believe in liberal democracy” forgot “the principle of equality under the law and the importance of operational independence of the police when Johnson was their prey,” he writes, adding that “the danger of forgetting this has been shown with the equally dispiriting investigation of Starmer”. He argues that “for an advanced liberal democracy to be engaged in tit-for-tat politically inspired police investigations is shameful”.

3

Michael Goodwin for the New York Post

The heinous Buffalo supermarket massacre screams for the death penalty

on a case for capital punishment

Despite the “anger and wall-to-wall media coverage” of the Buffalo shooting, “largely unsaid is what the punishment should be”, writes Michael Goodwin, “at least partially because New York doesn’t allow the obvious answer – the death penalty”. However, he adds, federal law does “and if President Biden considers the massacre to be as heinous as he claimed” he will “direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to have federal prosecutors take over the case and, if they win a conviction, seek the death penalty”, says the columnist. “If ever a case called out for capital punishment, this is it,” he argues.

4

Amal Fashanu for The Guardian

As Jake Daniels comes out as gay I feel proud of my uncle, Justin Fashanu, who paved the way

on changing times

Amal Fashanu’s uncle, Justin, was the first openly gay British footballer, whose career was “marred by homophobia and racism both on and off the pitch” before “he died by suicide in 1998”. She writes that her uncle was “desperate to pave the way for others in the game to live authentically”. The bravery of Blackpool player Jake Daniels, who came out this week, “will inspire others who are still in the closet” because “they will be carefully taking in today’s reactions, analysing attitudes, watching fans and judging the atmosphere”. In The Guardian, she warns that “we could be missing out on the next Cristiano Ronaldo because he’s gay and doesn’t want to come out”. This year has “shown we are ready to stamp homophobia out of football – maybe not completely, but we are as ready as we’ve ever been”, she declares.

5

Harriet Williamson in The Independent

Madonna is the sex symbol we all need – she’s proving age doesn’t have to define you

on confounded expectations

When Harriet Williamson was growing up, she remembers hearing women described as “mutton dressed as lamb” or just “a bit mutton”. She points out there is not an equivalent phrase for men. “Someone who has been coming under fire for being ‘a bit mutton’ for at least the past ten years is Madonna,” she writes. During recent years, the pop idol has “confounded expectations of what a woman in her 50s and 60s should be wearing and presenting to the world,” writes The Independent columnist, but this has led to her being accused of “making a fool of herself”. Williamson begs to differ, arguing that “if there’s something you love doing – be it skateboarding, mountain climbing, getting tattoos or performing in a corset and fishnets – you should be able to enjoy doing it for as long as you are able.”

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