Instant Opinion: Dominic Cummings ‘failed on his own terms’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 13 November

Dominic Cummings in a London black cab wearing a face mask.
Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 13 November
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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 Bush in the New Statesman

on the maverick’s departure

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Why Dominic Cummings failed on his own terms

“The truth – whatever Cummings may say now, and whatever overlong blogs may be coming our way in the next few days, weeks and months – is that his combative style damaged any prospect he had of being part of a radical government. A parliament majority of 86 has been eroded by a culture of pointless and destructive rudeness towards MPs, which made the prospect of any serious legislation passing much smaller. A reset in terms of tone and approach towards Tory MPs means that the government may become more radical, and more Conservative, than it could have been, even as it talks in a warmer tone and makes advances on climate change.”

2. James Forsyth in The Times

on the impending Brexit deadline

No-deal Brexit would be bad for the West

“Perhaps the biggest problem in the negotiations is that the two sides risk misreading each other. There is a view in several EU member states that the US election result means that Boris Johnson will have to make concessions and do a deal. After all, they think, he can’t afford to clash with Joe Biden on the issue of the Irish border as soon as the new president is sworn in. This is emphatically not the view in Downing Street. The US election hasn’t changed their calculations on the European question. On the British side, there is, perhaps, too much of a sense that the EU is under greater pressure because their ratification process takes much longer than ours so they need a deal sooner. The danger is that both sides think the other will have to move first, with the result that neither does, and the talks run out of time.”

3. Jon Talton on CNN

on Trump’s late-nemesis

McCain's revenge? Biden's win in Arizona is more than that

“When McCain lost to Obama in 2008, he gave a graceful concession speech. By contrast, Trump had no words of rebuke for his supporters - some armed - massing and chanting outside the elections department in Phoenix as vote counters worked inside last week. And to make matters worse, as election numbers started to turn against him, Trump made incendiary remarks from the White House last Thursday falsely claiming there has been an electoral fraud. It was a stunning and virtually unprecedented act by a president. Was his defeat McCain’s revenge? Maybe in some cosmic sense, if not in a way that can be directly attributed in our world.”

4. Aman Abhishek on Al Jazeera

on social media failings

For Facebook, South and Southeast Asia is only a market

“This social media platform ends up playing a decisive role in a genocide, where hundreds of thousands of US citizens are driven out of the country. Or, an alternative scenario: there are deadly riots where minorities in the US are targeted, dozens die and fear ripples through the country. Or you see a series of lynchings targeting minorities. You feel the subsequent investigations are a sham because you do not see a single employee of the company being held sufficiently responsible. Moreover, top officials of the government and the company seem to be working together and protecting one another from being held accountable. This is the reality of Facebook in South and Southeast Asia. Facebook views the region as a market – not as a society, community, and home.”

5. Tae Kim in The Japan Times

on a battle in the gaming world

PlayStation dominates Xbox and will for years to come

“As incredible it may seem that Microsoft had no new games ready for its first console launch in seven years, it now looks like the disparity for 2021 will be just as bad. On Monday, Sony revealed more details about the timing of its lineup for next year; there’s only one way to describe it and that’s stacked. In a marketing video, the Japanese company said the eagerly-anticipated racing game ‘Gran Turismo 7’ is now slated for the first half of next year as is ‘Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’, with ‘Horizon: Forbidden West’ coming in the second half. Microsoft, by comparison, only has ‘Halo Infinite’ scheduled for 2021 in the big exclusive title category.”

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