Instant Opinion: Boris has ‘fallen at the first hurdle’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 4 September

Boris Johnson

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

1. Tom Kibasi in The Guardian

on our risk-taking prime minister

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Boris Johnson's blustering strategy has fallen at the first hurdle

“Johnson risks getting the election he wants but the result he fears. The biggest mistake most political leaders make is to believe that the strategy that got them to where they are will take them to where they want to be. The same is true for Johnson. His rise to power has been propelled by a toxic combination of ruthless ambition, the absence of integrity, and a wholly detached relationship with the truth. The immediate political crisis that he has manufactured is the product of those qualities.”

2. The Editorial Board of the New York Times

on Beijing’s ideological blinkers

What’s at stake in the Hong Kong protests

“Focused ideologically on ‘One China’, mainland China seems incapable of understanding what the Hong Kong protesters really want. Though as a police state China no doubt has reams of information from officials, spies and informers, the rulers probably hear what they want to hear, that most Hong Kongers are content with their relative prosperity and freedom and will eventually reject rabble-rousers. So the protests must be the work of outside agitators seeking a ‘color revolution’ like those that swept through Ukraine and Georgia.”

3. Marwan Bishara in Al Jazeera

on the perpetual threat of war in the Middle East

Netanyahu's calculus: Bombs speak louder than words

“Israeli and Iranian leaders and their allies are turning the Middle East into an open theatre of war, acting like pyromaniacs, who, as I wrote last week, unless stopped, may end up burning down the whole region. Together, Israel and Iran constitute the gravest menace to the future of the region. Supporting one or the other will not bring victory or avert war - it would only accelerate the march towards an all-out conflict, and implicate other regional and global powers. Israel and Iran may have succeeded over the past four decades in maintaining distance, fighting only by proxy, but deepening tensions amid the spree of Israeli attacks and biting sanctions against Tehran may pave the way towards a whole new regional confrontation with unforeseen consequences.”

4. Eric Douglas in CNN

on the extreme dangers of Scuba diving

The diving world tries to come to grips with devastating fire

“Scuba diving comes with some level of risk. You are entering the water completely dependent on your equipment to live. You must monitor your air supply and your depth and time to avoid running out of air or what is commonly referred to as ‘the bends’. Divers plan for those risks and train to minimize them. For them, the risk of being under the water is worth it. It is impossible to fully explain what diving feels like to the non-diver. For over a decade, in my column and elsewhere, I have reviewed and written about more than 100 dive accidents. None of them involved anything like this.”

5. Dana Milbank in the Washington Post

on how Trump deals with disaster

Trump’s Dorian response: Par for the course

“Essentially, Trump was on the fairways doing exactly what we’d want our president to be do during a natural disaster — with a few minor revisions: The president canceled a trip to Poland for the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, allowing him to give his undivided attention to Hurricane Dorian play rounds of golf both Saturday and Monday at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. In his place, he sent the vice president to Europe to renew the enduring transatlantic bond stay at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland. The president also delivered a somber message chipper greeting to Poles on the anniversary of the Nazi invasion, recalling the death and suffering of millions of Poles saying: ‘I just want to congratulate Poland.’”

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