Instant Opinion: Internal Market Bill ‘isn’t radical enough’

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Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 17 September

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Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 17 September


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Thursday, September 17, 2020 – 11:01am

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

1. Stephen Daisley in The Spectator

on winding up Scottish nationalists

The Internal Market Bill isn’t radical enough

“The more the SNP decries the Internal Market Bill, the more I warm to it. Initially, I considered it sensible enough but wholly insufficient given the constitutional threat facing the United Kingdom. (Less keen on the law-breaking bit, mind.) But now Mike Russell, SNP constitution minister and professional hysteric, says the Bill will ‘undercut the existing settlement’ by allowing devolved administrations to be ‘overridden by the whim of the UK Secretary of State’ and by permitting ministers to spend ‘in opposition to the Scottish government’ in what he calls ‘an enormous assault on the devolved powers’. Now, that’s more like it.”

2. Calvin Robinson in The Telegraph

on the zero-sum game of protesters

As a black man, it is now almost impossible to stand up to the Black Lives Matter agenda

“I am not the first person from an ethnic-minority background to have faced abuse for the sin of holding conservative opinions. But since the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the issue seems to have become even more serious and stark, since some of the abuse comes from self-styled anti-racism campaigners. In large part, this is a consequence of the rise of a new and divisive ideology. So-called critical race theory (CRT) arose out of universities in the United States, but has since become influential here in the UK. Purporting to be anti-racist, it holds that white people are naturally privileged and black people are naturally oppressed. It’s a theory that encourages a victimhood mentality and assigns blame for many complex societal issues solely on the basis of race.”

3. Anoosh Chakelian in the New Statesman

on cuts to the public sector

David Cameron claims austerity prepared Britain for Covid-19 – it did the opposite

“These cuts fell heavily on Britain’s crucial three frontiers against the spread of Covid-19: health and social care, education and community services. They were combined with a public-sector pay freeze that reduced the real-terms wages of the key workers the country is relying on more than ever, and cuts to the welfare benefits required to help the public through a period of rising unemployment. Yet even without the statistics on which budgets were cut over the past decade, one simply needs to speak to a teacher, carer, bus driver, doctor, housing officer or anyone else struggling to deliver public services to know austerity stripped back their resources just before they needed them most.”

4. Scott Simon in NPR

on wildfires

The California Dream, A Catastrophic Wake-Up Call

“The dreamscape of California has looked like a hellscape this week. California, America’s Golden State — ‘Warm, palmy air — air you can kiss …’ wrote Jack Kerouac — has had choking air, scalding heat and surreal orange skies. California has been the dreamland of so many who hope to strike it rich or start over, a state of mind, as well as a state: a place for fresh starts, freeways and free love. This season has brought a cascade of calamities to California and the West, atop the pandemic. And Californians may wonder whether these are catastrophes to be endured just once a century or a generation, or are they a new way of life?”

5. Majdi Khaldi in the EU Observer

on ignoring Palestine

Why is EU rewarding Israel for annexation?

“The message is simple: de-facto annexation and other ongoing Israeli violations are not an obstacle to upgrade relations. The internationally-agreed parameters for the Middle East peace process, endorsed by the European Union and its member states, are simple and are not up for interpretations: it is a two-state solution that fully ends the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 with East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine and a solution to all final status issues based on international law and relevant UN resolutions. Focusing on ending the occupation is key for any prospects of peace.”

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