Great Britain

Instant Opinion: 1997-style landslide ‘within Boris Johnson's grasp’

The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Sharelle Jacobs in The Daily Telegraph

on the Conservatives

A shock, 1997-style landslide is suddenly within Boris Johnson's grasp

“The Tories can’t hide their confused fascination with the lack of opposition. They have the flat, adrenaline-pumped feeling of rugby players who have psyched themselves up for the most brutal game of their lives, only for the opposition not to show. In this sense, the parallels with New Labour are glaring. Just as the Conservatives were mired by sleaze then, Labour is soiled by anti-Semitism today. Just as the ’97 Tories couldn’t decide whether to go after Tony Blair for being a diet Marxist or a diet Tory, the Corbynistas have no line of attack. With wages rising again, and the job market defying gravity, the public has no desire to bite on Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity carrot. Aware that class hatred no longer resonates in betrayed blue-collar towns, Labour has been reduced to calling a vegetable a mineral – accusing soggy, herbivorous neo-Cameroonians of being iron-hearted Thatcherites.”

2. David Aaronovitch in The Times

on Labour

The left’s self-righteousness is repellent

“The characteristic flaw of the political right tends to be callous smugness. That of the left is a repellent self-righteousness. The right tends to think everyone is as venal as they are and the left tends to think no one is as virtuous as them. We are on the side of the poor and the downtrodden and we are innately anti-racist and unless you are exactly like us then you must be on the side of the billionaires, the arms manufacturers and the apartheid Israeli state, whoops where did that come from? Under Corbyn, that self-righteousness has intoxicated the troops. From what I can see from their publications and demeanour they genuinely believe that anyone with a contrary view is irredeemably morally deficient.”

3. Stephen Bush in the New Statesman

on the Lib Dems

Jo Swinson began the campaign boasting she would be the next PM, so why did it all go wrong for her?

“The worry that a vote for the Lib Dems is perceived as wasted haunts the party, but it is particularly damaging when voters believe that the outcome of the election as a whole is uncertain. While there are plenty of voters – particularly in the affluent, largely Conservative and pro-Remain constituencies where the party hopes to gain seats – who dislike both Brexit and Corbyn, there are very few who dislike both equally. Most voters are willing either to put aside their doubts about Brexit to prevent a Corbyn-led government, or to sacrifice their concerns about Corbyn to stop Brexit. Swinson’s attempt to cast herself as a potential prime minister was a way to square the circle, and her support for a maximal Remain position was intended to facilitate the realignment to make that possible. But it hasn’t worked. Instead, it has emphasised that the choice in the election is Johnson or Corbyn.”

4. Peter Franklin in Unherd

on the European Union

Should we have just waited for the EU to die?

“If the EU is doomed, we shouldn’t assume that its demise will be gradual and therefore manageable. In the modern world, multi-national political entities have a habit of going out with a bang not a whimper — Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, various European colonial empires, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire. Of course, the EU is neither an empire nor riven by war; but arguably it’s more easily collapsable, because national governments are already in place to (re)absorb the EU’s functions.”

5. Piers Morgan in the Daily Mail

on giving thanks

Reasons to be thankful: To ten well-known whiners - from Teigen to Trump – on why they really should count their blessings this Thanksgiving

“The rise of social media has made ingratitude almost a badge of honor, something to be aggressively pursued and celebrated. It’s no longer acceptable to be thankful for small mercies. Now, we must stamp our manicured feet like whiny little brats until we get exactly what we want, when we want it – and destroy, cancel and shame anyone who dares to challenge us. This shockingly selfish philosophy is fueled by ego-mad celebrities from all walks of life, whose sense of entitlement knows no bounds and whose tolerance of the word ‘no’ knows no start. These self-aggrandizing malcontents are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they lead some of the most privileged lives in the history of Planet Earth.”

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