Instant Opinion

‘Love Island should take pride in including the queer community’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Sharon Gaffka in Metro

It’s time Love Island features LGBTQ+ contestants

on representation

“June is huge for two reasons,” writes Sharon Gaffka in Metro. The first is it’s Pride month – “a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community’s love, acceptance, diversity and pride”. It’s also when series eight of Love Island kicks off, with the first episode airing last night. “Wouldn’t it be even better if we combined the two things and the show prominently featured LGBTQ+ contestants?” she asks. This former Love Island contestant would welcome the move “wholeheartedly”. The queer community “has been fighting for representation on TV for decades”, and it’s not necessarily “getting fair opportunities”. Gaffka first came out publicly as bisexual while on the show, “including to my parents”. Afterwards, her Instagram messages “were filled with young women” asking for advice. The show’s influence “extends far beyond the duration of its time on TV”, so “please can we remember that all love is love, and not just heterosexual love?”

2

Dominic Raab in The Sun

Conservative civil war would be a gift to Labour – giving them the best possible chance at next election

on ‘Westminster navel-gazing’

Dominic Raab says that Boris Johnson has “faced a series of unprecedented challenges” during the past three years. Writing in The Sun, the deputy prime minister says that “most leaders” would have found Brexit, Covid-19, war in Europe and the cost-of-living crisis “individually daunting, and collectively overwhelming”. But “not Boris Johnson. Time and time again he has got the big calls right – and proved the doubters wrong,” Raab continues. Given the global challenges at hand, “it is more important than ever that the Government has a laser-like focus on doing its job”. He says that “some would like to see a destructive, divisive and distracting Conservative civil war up at Westminster”, but that “would dominate the agenda for months” and “be a gift to Labour”. Instead, Raab says a page should be turned on “Westminster navel-gazing” and energy focused instead on “delivering for the British people the things that really matter”.

3

Simon Kelner at the i news site

Watching the Queen grow old has made me reflect on my own mortality

on doctors orders

Simon Kelner suspects that many people “will have been ruminating on the subject of age this past weekend of non-stop nostalgia”, he writes at the i news site. “Like all of us of relative vintage”, the Queen “has had to make the compromises that age forces on a person”. But the “revelation” that the monarch was “advised to give up her quotidian martini” struck Kelner as “particularly poignant”, and “largely because it is so relatable”. This writer likes “being alive, too” and finds “one of the things that makes the business of living so agreeable is to punctuate the end of my day with a martini, that most regal of cocktails”. During the Queen’s reign, “who knows how many family and national crises” she has “been able to deliberate on, to make sense of, to rationalise, finding succour while quietly sipping” her drink of choice. “The ageing process compels us to make sacrifices” and the jubilee will have given some “a rather melancholic pause for thought”.

4

Allysia Finley in The Wall Street Journal

Cannabis and the violent crime surge

on a possible pattern

“The stigma once attached to marijuana has vanished,” writes Allysia Finley in The Wall Street Journal. “But the public needs an honest discussion of its social and public-health risks, which include violence and mental illness.” There’s “a pattern”, she writes – the perpetrators of a number of mass shootings in the US in the past 11 years were reported to be marijuana users. “It could be coincidence, but increasing evidence suggests a connection.” The drug might be “supposed to make you mellow” but nowadays young people are “consuming marijuana more frequently and in higher doses”, leading to increased addiction and antisocial behaviour. “Countless studies” have linked “chronic cannabis use to schizophrenia” and “young people are especially vulnerable” to the drug’s effects as their brains develop. “Maybe it’s time that lawmakers and voters rethink their pot-legalization experiment before more young lives are damaged,” she concludes.

5

Sean O’Neill in The Times

Quaint relics of our rural heritage should be saved

on countryside crossings

“Stiles have graced the countryside for centuries,” writes Sean O’Neil in The Times. There are literary references to the wooden steps dating back to the 16th century, “but the stile police have decreed that it is no longer politically acceptable”. In February, Whitehall issued guidance “urging” landowners and farmers to “create gaps or put up accessible self-closing gates instead”. O’Neill says “the elimination of the stile is being carried out in the name of making the countryside more accessible”, something he has “no argument with”. “But must we replace every single stile?” This writer says installing gates “alongside” the crossing points would combine “access and charm”. “And if there must be a gate, could it at least be a locally made wooden one, more in keeping with the surroundings and preserving an element of craftsmanship?” Climbing over stiles is “part of the adventure” of a rural walk. “Let’s not obliterate it altogether.”

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