Instant Opinion: Civil servants ‘depressed’ over Brexit

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 27 November

UK and EU flags at Westminster

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

1. An unnamed civil servant in The Guardian

on bureaucrats feeling the burden of Brexit

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Many civil servants are depressed – including me. Brexit will do that to you

“All in all, it’s been a bruising few months for us. Hell, it’s been a hellish three years. I used to worry that the contradictory demands of Brexit might kill off the civil service. Then, when the full horrific impact of any sort of Brexit first became known, I started hoping that Brexit would kill us off. Better that than actively facilitating – and then being blamed for – the most significant act of national self-harm in living memory.”

2. Con Coughlin in The Telegraph

on the absence of defence discourse

Political platitudes won't keep Britain safe

“Russian aggression, Chinese infiltration of our telecoms system, Iran’s financing of global jihadi groups, and the ability of our Armed Forces to respond: these are all subjects that are worthy of detailed discussion. And yet, from the television debates to public meetings, defence and foreign policy issues have barely featured.”

3. Hannah Lucinda Smith in The Times

on the Turkish leader’s transition to commander-in-chief

Erdogan’s power grab should worry Nato

“With the second biggest army in the alliance and its vital geostrategic location, Turkey will continue to be a vital bulwark for the West against Russian expansionism and the blowback of Middle Eastern crises. The Turkish army has long been respected within Nato for its discipline. That has not changed; what has is that Erdogan alone, now, is issuing the orders. Increasingly, he is doing so in service of his own interests rather than those of his country or its allies.”

4. Molly Roberts in The Washington Post

on the politicisation of good boys

How the White House ruined the hero dog

“It was probably dumb, and it was definitely a distraction, but it was also difficult not to smile at the proud pooch no matter how you felt about policy in the Middle East, or at the declassification of its identity no matter how you felt about the White House’s refusal to be so forthcoming with witnesses or documents or anything else that would require a modicum of transparency.”

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5. The Editorial Board in The New York Times

on Russian sport’s state-sponsored scheming

Russia’s doping violations are cheating its own athletes

“How can [Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov - to use him as the face of a complicit cabal in the Kremlin and in the Russian sports bureaucracy - stand there and claim, again and again, that Russia is always the victim of foreign machinations in sports and ‘pretty much everything in every sphere of international life’ when the young athletes of his country are being so grievously betrayed by the pervasive, elaborate and pathetically inept cheating of their own leadership?”

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