‘The Tory party could literally fall apart’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

Boris Johnson leaves No. 10 Downing Street
(Image credit: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

1. Tories may never recover if they lose in 2024

James Forsyth in The Times

On electoral D-day

Some Tories are beginning to suggest that it might “be better to lose the next election”, says James Forsyth in The Times. Economic forecasts are “grim” and after so long in office the party needs time in opposition “to refresh themselves”. The alternative could be “struggling on with a reduced majority”, which could lead to “five years of paralysis”. But “if the Tories lose the next election, changes to the voting system (always demanded by the Lib Dems) may see them locked out of office for a generation”. The Tories might discover, in opposition, “that its new coalition of voters doesn’t have much in common post-Brexit” and “the party could, literally, fall apart”, he adds. “The biggest worry for the Tories is how defeat could see the political playing field tilt against them for good.”

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2. Nigeria’s Christians are under attack, but does the West care?

Hardeep Singh in The Spectator

On patchy support

A woman was “stoned, beaten and set on fire by a mob shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’” in Nigeria last week, but Hardeep Singh asks in The Spectator what the West is doing about it. “In the last year, more Christians have been killed for their faith in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world combined,” he says. Yet Joe Biden has recently removed Nigeria from a list of “countries of particular concern” regarding religious freedom. The UK government also has a “patchy” record of support for internally displaced people in Nigeria. “While the focus of the Western world rightly remains on the suffering of Ukrainians,” Singh argues, “we can ill-afford to forget the nightmarish plight of Nigeria’s persecuted Christians.”

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3. Why Boris Johnson can’t escape responsibility for 126 fines

Martin Fletcher in The New Statesman

On public opinion

“There will be huge relief in Downing Street that Boris Johnson is to receive no more fines for partygate,” says Martin Fletcher for The New Statesman, “and at first sight it does appear that the ‘greased piglet’ may have wriggled out of yet another impossibly tight corner.” But Sue Gray’s final report is “expected to be published imminently and is likely to be damning”, while the “Privileges Committee will launch its investigation into whether Johnson deliberately lied to the House of Commons”. Aside from these direct threats, most dangerous for the PM could be “the court of public opinion”, he adds. “However the Met chooses to interpret the law, most ordinary people know perfectly well that he partied and lied about it while they were barred from deathbeds, funerals, weddings, births and christenings.”

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4. I loved poking fun at Jordan Peterson’s Twitter tantrum, but we have no reason to feel smug

Kuba Shand-Baptiste on the i news site

On ridiculing radicals

“It’s always satisfying when someone you disagree with gets a taste of their own medicine,” says Kuba Shand-Baptiste on the i news site. And she admits she “laughed along” when Jordan Peterson was taken to task over a sexist tweet, leading him to quit the social network. But we need more than giggles. “Regardless of his absence on Twitter, his army of followers and the ideas they subscribe to are still spreading like wildfire – and not enough is being done to stop it,” she warns. “If we’re to rid ourselves of this escalating problem, solely ridiculing it and its biggest promoters is not the way to go” because “if something’s going to change, if we have any hope of preventing people from being indoctrinated, we need to intervene in more meaningful ways”.

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5. RIP Wags: The Vardy-Rooney clash marks the end of an era, and not before time

Judith Woods in The Telegraph

On Wagatha Christie

“As the final whistle blew at the High Court this week on Rebekah Vardy versus Coleen Rooney there was no jubilation,” writes Judith Woods in The Telegraph. All that was left was “a sense of finality as this unedifying she-said-she-said bitchfest” brought “a cataclysmic end to the Age of the Wags”. “We can all agree” that “while perhaps technically accurate”, the term Wag is a “dated, reductive way to refer to these women, who are conspicuously successful in their own right”. Harry Kane’s wife, Katie Goodland, is a sports science graduate and Raheem Sterling’s girlfriend, Paige Milian, has a property empire and an accountancy qualification. In other words, the “high-octane, high-maintenance reign” of Wags is over.

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