Instant Opinion

‘Fans’ terror is a stain on Europe’s football chiefs and French policing’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Voice of The Mirror

Liverpool FC and its fans are entitled to the formal investigation they demand

on tear gas and ‘terror’

“Mercifully, nobody was killed” during the chaos that ensued before Saturday’s Champions League final at the Stade de France in Paris, says the Daily Mirror. “Scarred Liverpool fans” have likened their treatment to the Hillsborough tragedy. “The terror of those tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed, including children, is a stain on Europe’s football chiefs and French policing,” the paper continues. We need “apologies” and “lessons to be learned”. There have been “excuses” from Uefa and France’s interior minister “inaccurately shifting responsibility on to the innocent”. This “only adds insult to injury”. Merseyside Police who were in Paris “know the truth”, and “so too do many witnesses and journalists, including our own”, says the Mirror.

2

Trevor Phillips in The Times

This Elizabethan age is forgetting toleration

on a bygone era

“No one would have been oblivious to the pomp and splendour” of the Queen’s coronation back in 1953, writes Trevor Phillips in The Times. Even for immigrants “fresh off boats from the Caribbean, the glittering ceremony promised the new start” for which many had travelled to the UK. Phillips says there’s a “compelling” link between this “Elizabethan age and the first”. There are two “defining ideas of our time” that this boils down to: colonialism, he says, and religious and political toleration. While this era has “managed the retreat from colonialism deftly”, toleration “increasingly looks like a catastrophic failure”. As the Queen’s reign “reaches its final chapter”, the government “is fulfilling its promise to take back control in a fashion that mimics the worst of the earlier era” to “stamp out unacceptable views”. “Who ever thought we’d see the Star Chamber back in action?” asks Phillips.

3

Harry Readhead in The Independent

Could this ‘authentic’ photo app be the death of Instagram?

on the growth of BeReal

BeReal “wants to banish the smoke and smash the mirrors that come with” other social media platforms, writes Harry Readhead in the Independent. “It sees itself as the ‘anti-Instagram’, making a virtue of bland normalcy.” Its aim is “authenticity”, an idea that today “obsesses us”. And that may be for “good reason”, says Readhead: “the online world tends towards the superficial” and authentic people “are usually more trustworthy, have closer relationships and are happier and healthier”. But overuse of the term means authenticity’s true meaning is being “rapidly watered down”. Usually authenticity “really means something else: transparency or consistency or vulnerability”. Soon BeReal “will not be promoting authenticity at all, but something more like authenticity-as-performance”. There’s a “small irony” in the fact that BeReal “paid students to download and review it”, in part fuelling its “extraordinary growth” this year. “That doesn’t sound very authentic to me,” says Readhead.

4

Martin Kettle in The Guardian

Andy Burnham is a prime Labour leader candidate, but also a mayor. That’s a problem

on career complications

The “Andy Burnham problem” is “structural, cultural, very British, and it needs addressing”, says Martin Kettle in The Guardian. The issue is the “mismatch between the realities of British politics and governance” and “the assumed supremacy of the unreformed Westminster parliament on the other”. Burnham’s situation “is particularly topical, because there may shortly be a vacancy for leader of the Labour party” and Manchester’s mayor is the “clear favourite as successor”. But he’s not a member of parliament, which would make him ineligible for the role. Arranging for him to stand in a by-election “would need a lot of fast fixing from the top” if he were to “pull off” becoming an MP in time for a contest. “The present mess” is the result of a “failing system” and it “needs a rethink”. The “answer” would be to recognise devolution’s “real strength but also its real failings… Do that, and we might be on the way to solving the Burnham problem.”

5

Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun

The time for talk is over – the West must pull together to defeat Putin

on war and peace

“Diplomats, they say, are sent abroad to lie for their country,” writes Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun. The “smirking Russian envoy Andrei Kelin surpassed himself yesterday” when he “lied and lied and lied” during a BBC interview in which he was shown CCTV footage of two Ukrainians being shot by Russian soldiers. “This, scoffed Kelin, was a ‘computer game or a joke’, a hoax cooked up in Kyiv.” There was “another whopper” – as drone images showed “once-beautiful Mariupol flattened” by Russian forces, “the Kremlin mouthpiece insisted, this showed Ukrainians were bombing their own citizens for propaganda purposes”. Kavanagh says “nobody with a brain would believe a word from Mad Vlad Putin’s marionette”, but “the harsh fact” is that “brave Ukraine” is “no longer quite winning”. “French surrender monkey Emmanuel Macron has jumped at the idea of peace talks,” as has Germany’s Olaf Scholz. It is not time to talk, says Kavanagh. “It is time to fight and keep on fighting.”

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