Instant Opinion

‘Turning love into a casino game was never a very romantic idea’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press from the past seven days

1

Nancy Jo Sales in The Guardian

Dating apps have made our love lives hell. Why do we keep using them?

Nancy Jo Sales has “been a critic of the dating app industry almost since its beginning”. The Vanity Fair writer says in The Guardian that the “culture of dating apps that has evolved in the decade” since Tinder’s creation “can be very rough”. The “most outrageous and offensive sort of behaviour has been normalised”, so “why do people continue to use these apps, if they’ve made dating such hell?” She thinks they have “overwhelmed the landscape of dating”, so people “feel there is no other way” to make a romantic connection. Users “bear the same hopes as millions of gamblers who enter casinos every day, knowing full well that the odds are stacked against them”. Yet the “swiping, scrolling, swiping” continues. “Turning love into a casino game was never a very romantic idea, but it has proved very lucrative for dating app companies – though perhaps at our expense.”

2

Edward Lucas in The Times

The West should turn away all Russian tourists

“Carefree, cosmopolitan and cash-splurging” in Italian resorts on Lake Como, Russian tourists “throng the bars and beaches”, writes Edward Lucas in The Times. He asks: “How much longer should Russians be able to frolic on European holidays?” Estonia’s prime minister, Kaja Kallas, has said that visiting the continent is a “‘privilege, not a human right’”, and has cancelled visas issued to Russians to visit the northern European country. Other countries want bans on Russian tourists too, but “the legalities are tricky”. “Blocking ordinary Russians’ travel freedom could entrench the Putin regime’s narrative that Russia is besieged by hatred”, and a ban would be “economic self-harm”. Lucas says his preference would be to “stoke internal pressure and protect our security” – as he puts it: “Past open-handedness has not, to put it mildly, worked brilliantly.” The UK has “belatedly woken up to the danger of treating nations bordering Russia as a geopolitical buffer”. Countries like Estonia “know this better than we do”. “We should listen to them now”.

3

Ollie Cooper at The Independent

100 days to go – and we’re no closer to justifying the Qatar World Cup

With just 100 days until the start of the 2022 World Cup, it’s usually “a time of nervous anticipation”, but this year nothing can shift the “rumblings of corruption and rumours of bribery” surrounding the host nation Qatar, writes Ollie Cooper in The Independent. Every continent should have the opportunity to host and to right any wrongs in “preparation for this incredible event”. Unfortunately, Qatar still has a “tattered human rights record”. Capital punishment still exists, “evidence of women’s rights” is rare and same-sex relationships are “potentially punishable by death”. One Qatari official has even warned “that fans carrying Pride flags could expect to be met with violence outside stadiums”. The country continues to ignore the “world’s cries” for the safety of fans “travelling from across the globe”. That is why “nobody can justify the World Cup in Qatar”.

4

Dal Babu in The Guardian

I was a senior officer – and even I struggle to get the police to investigate crimes

The police watchdog’s newly published findings that forces are failing victims of burglary and theft are a “tragic validation” of “what many of us knew to be true”, says Dal Babu, a former chief superintendent in the Met. “How have we reached this sorry pass?” he asks in The Guardian. “Well, in the first instance at least, follow the money.” As 20,000 police officers and 18,500 police staff were being cut in England and Wales, “the Police Federation pointed out that reducing police numbers would lead to crime increases”, Babu continues. “They were right.” The current crisis “will take money and time to deal with”, as effective policing “cannot be taught overnight”. But politicians and police leaders must return immediately to the “core concerns” of “properly funded forces fulfilling their remits as visible public servants, responding to public concerns and making communities feel noticed and safe”.

5

Tim Stanley in The Daily Telegraph

Panto season has come early, but Rishi and Liz lack Boris’s star power

“The 85th Tory hustings came from a theatre in Darlington,” writes columnist Tim Stanley in The Daily Telegraph. It was hosted by the “deliciously acerbic” Tom Newton Dunn of Talk TV, who was quick in “comparing the event to panto” before “drawing attention to the fact that the Conservative Party could only afford one microphone, which had to be passed like a baton between the candidates”. Staging aside, “what will local critics make of the performances of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss at the halfway point in their national tour”? Stanley wonders. “Well, if Sunak wins this thing, it’ll be because he has recently decided to wear a tie, maturing and transforming before our eyes from overachieving sixth-former to overenthusiastic headmaster,” he says. But if Sunak is “akin to Buttons” then Truss is “something more of the Lady Bracknell”, says the columnist, noting the frontrunner appeared “increasingly cynical about silly questions and lazy language”. Overall, the two leadership candidates “still feel like understudies”, says Stanley. It is the outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson, who “remains the star”. 

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