Instant Opinion

‘Johnson needs to move – and fast’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

David Frost in The Telegraph

The three steps Boris must take to save himself

On a serious plan

“The tumult and the shouting in the Conservative Party has died,” writes Lord Frost in The Telegraph, but the threat to Boris Johnson remains. The Tory peer urges the PM not to “ignore” the scale of discontent among his own MPs. Offering his advice to his former boss, he calls for tax rises to be reversed, VAT on energy bills to be slashed and the formulation of a “10-year Conservative plan” for changing Britain. “The ministerial team needs a refresh, but once that is done, ministers should be allowed to get on with their jobs,” he says. Frost acknowledges that Johnson “doesn’t like upsetting people” but insists that “any serious plan means making choices”. He says Johnson “needs to move, and fast”.

2

Ayesha Hazarika for The i

If you want truffles, you have to get down with the pigs – it’s time for Keir Starmer to get nasty

On dirty hands

“With the Prime Minister on the ropes,” PMQs this week “should have been a chance for Starmer to be centre stage, landing blows and showing that he was ready and up for the fight,” writes Ayesha Hazarika on the i news site. “Starmer and his team do need to do better,” says the former political adviser to Labour. “He needs fresh content which the public actually care about – not all internal party politics and factional rows with the hard left.” She also says the Labour leader needs to get his hands dirtier. “He must have big ideas but he needs to be able to get into the often unseemly guts of the raw politics of the day – especially against Boris Johnson,” she writes. “If you want truffles, you have to get down with the pigs.”

3

Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian

Sheryl Sandberg isn’t the first woman to realise that work in your 50s is no walk in the park

On a difficult decade

“Sheryl Sandberg is leaning out,” writes Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian. “The queen of ‘can do’ American feminism is quitting Meta (formerly Facebook) after 14 years at the top of one of the world’s most powerful companies, for a future that sounds suspiciously vague.” However, says Hinsliff, Sandberg “isn’t the first 52-year-old woman to take stock of her life and decide it’s not too late to change, or even to discover that this is a messier and more unforgiving decade than it looks”. Midlife can “be a time of drama and surprises, as women who have hauled themselves over all the early hurdles fall at a second set of fences they simply hadn’t been expecting,” she says. “An older, wiser Sandberg has the financial and cultural clout to become an interesting advocate for older women if she chooses.”

4

Sam Ashworth-Hayes in The Spectator

Ben & Jerry’s is wrong about Britain’s ‘racist’ Rwanda plan

On startling sentiments

“Why is an ice cream brand lecturing Britain on the morality of its immigration policy?” asks Sam Ashworth-Hayes in The Spectator. “Ben and Jerry’s, otherwise known for flogging overpriced junk food, has weighed in on the government’s new policy of sending mostly single men dodging Britain’s border control to Rwanda,” he continues. “It is not ‘racist’ for the people who currently live in Britain – no matter their ethnicity – to demand a say over who their new countrymen are,” he argues. The Rwanda policy is “clearly a massively controversial and highly political topic”, which “makes it all the more startling that Ben and Jerry’s – which, again, exists to sell ice cream – has made strong views on British immigration policy a major part of its online presence”.

5

Jawad Iqbal in The Times

Ministers must defend the right to criticise religion

On sleepwalking society

“Britain prides itself on being free of blasphemy laws,” writes Jawad Iqbal in The Times, “rightly judging that this would be an infringement on freedom of religion and free expression, in particular the right to challenge religious ideas and beliefs.” However, he continues, “cinemas across the country are busy cancelling screenings of a film about Islam at the behest of an angry religious mob”. Indeed the UK is “sleepwalking into blasphemy protections for certain religious beliefs – all because politicians are too scared to fight for democratic and secular values in case they offend religious sensitivities”. He adds that “of course it is important to be considerate of our fellow citizens’ religious beliefs” but “those who shout loudest about their sensitivities must never be allowed the final word”.

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