Instant Opinion: Corbyn, not Johnson is ‘Britain’s Donald Trump’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 14 November


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 McTague in The Atlantic

on unlikely parallels in transatlantic politics

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Boris Johnson is not Britain’s Donald Trump. Jeremy Corbyn is.

“Take away Brexit, and Johnson is a run-of-the-mill conservative whose policy agenda, instincts, and world view, as opposed to his personality, verge on the dull; a member and defender of the establishment whose wish is to climb atop it, not rip it down. Corbyn is the opposite: a populist who believes in the inherent corruption of the established order, at home and abroad; a man who sees conspiracy and injustice everywhere. Only one of these descriptions comes close to the US president.”

2. Carla Bleiker in Deutsche Welle

on an arid day on Capitol Hill

The never-ending impeachment hearing

“Six hours — more than twice the length of the last superhero film from the Avengers series — but with far less action. Even political enthusiasts in the US capital almost nodded off. And anyone who was not already well informed about what Trump was discussing over the phone with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland are, and which quid pro quo was or wasn't made, had scant chance to even be able to follow the two opening witnesses’ testimony.”

3. Zoe Strimpel in The Daily Telegraph

on a female icon barking up the wrong tree

Hillary Clinton’s regressive vision of womanly courage is no model for feminism

“What is feminism? The term seems to have become a fuzzy catch-all, so I like to pin it to concrete issues. The menace and violence women face at the hands of men, for instance. Last year saw domestic violence killings in the UK reach a five-year high, with women by far the more numerous victims, with around three-quarters murdered by a male partner, ex-partner or family member. This is a feminist issue. What is not a feminist issue is Hillary Clinton’s decision to stick with hubby Bill after his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.”

4. Shmuel Rosner in The New York Times

on fighting fire with fire

Does Israel need a crisis to end its crisis?

“Most observers would probably agree that Israel’s current political situation is worthy of the word ‘crisis’. And yet, politicians stubbornly refuse to acknowledge its severity and change course. One hopes we would not deteriorate as far as longing for more dire circumstances so that this country’s leaders see the light. Of course, if we do take that perverse route, possibilities are many: It could be an attack from Iran (a threat considered serious and about which the military keeps warning); it could be the alarming deficit turning into an economic calamity. Or it could be the recent-days collapse of a fragile cease-fire in Gaza.”

5. David Aaronovitch in The Times

on Kremlin hand-wringing

Russia is fuelling our craze for conspiracies

“Upon seeing the actual pictures that day from the Cenotaph one of these conspirators realises that the images do their Tory hero no favours. What to do? Perhaps they can be switched the next day with previous pictures? Careful inquiries are made. The 2016 sequence is located. But how to feed it into the edit? Tricky. If the picture editor and the producer for that day’s show happen to be in on the plot, no problem. But there are dozens of them and what are the chances? Pitching up at the late-night edit our conspirator somehow manages to persuade the producer to take a hike and then doctors the report him/herself. Job done! The sanitised Johnson is beamed to that bit of the nation that is watching. But rats! Someone DOES notice. The plot begins to unravel.”

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