‘It’s Nigel Farage setting the agenda’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage: making menacing demands
(Image credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Nigel Farage has the PM cornered over migration

Iain Martin in The Times

on a test for Boris

“Love, like or loathe him, once again it’s Nigel Farage setting the agenda,” writes Iain Martin, as the Rwanda policy brings migration to the centre of political debate again. Far from suiting the PM, the Rwanda issue is actually “nightmarishly tricky for a divided Tory party”, Martin feels. “Most ominously for Tory HQ, they now have Farage on their case making menacing demands,” says The Times columnist. “Once he starts, it is not long before one of the mega-donors who admire him picks up the phone to suggest a national campaign, or forming a new party, to intimidate the Tory leadership and make it act more Brexity.” In the meantime, Farage has “set the PM a test: Brexit is incomplete, you haven’t got it done until you leave the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights]. It is a test all but impossible to pass.”

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2. Poverty leaves scars for life – I’m still scared of strangers at the door and bills through the letterbox

Jack Monroe in The Guardian

on the price of poverty

The majority of those struggling in the cost-of-living crisis have been “sliding into this cesspit of deprivation and destitution for nigh on a decade now”, writes Jack Monroe in The Guardian. Having experienced poverty, Monroe writes: “I often could not open my own front door nor my mail as a result of living in poverty, when the only people who knocked on the door were bailiffs or debt collectors.” To this day, “an unexpected visitor leaves me having a full-blown panic attack”. The 14.5 million people living in poverty in the UK today are “ticking timebombs” of physical and mental conditions, says Monroe, and therefore “choosing to deny people the most basic of human needs for the sake of scraping a few quid off the bottom line today will end up costing us – as a society, as a country and as an economy – far more in the months and years to come”.

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3. Starmer certainly put more welly into it at PMQs

Lloyd Evans in The Spectator

on flung footwear

“Last week, Sir Keir was monstered by his critics after a feeble performance at PMQs saw him fail to trouble a wounded Boris,” writes Lloyd Evans for The Spectator. This week, however, “we saw Sir Keir transformed and unleashed”, and “he was flinging wellies in all directions”. The Labour leader tried a “Love Island analogy”, saying “contestants that give the public the ick” get booted out. “Did that hit home? Boris isn’t at risk of being ‘booted out’ by the public so the analogy rang false. As did the implication that the high-minded Sir Keir – whose mother was a nurse, remember – likes to watch a speed-dating show full of bronzed hunks and oiled bimbos.” Evans said Starmer droned “like a philology professor reading the Shipping Forecast in Esperanto” and “even the Speaker got fed up”.

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4. Glastonbury crowds are mostly white – but is that really a problem?

Michael Deacon in The Telegraph

on diversity

This week, Lenny Henry remarked on the lack of ethnic diversity among the Glastonbury festival crowds. Michael Deacon of The Telegraph believes that what Henry says is “undeniably true” but this “isn’t necessarily a surprise” because Glastonbury celebrates British rock music – “a genre that has always been largely performed by (and listened to by) white men”. He writes that “a lack of ethnic diversity is a problem if non-white people are somehow being excluded, or made to feel unwelcome”, but Glastonbunry organisers “aren’t stopping non-white people from attending” and “no one is being denied a ticket on the basis of their ethnicity”. Where there’s racism, “we must tackle it”, he writes, but “that doesn’t mean that the crowd at every public event must be forced to reflect the precise ethnic make-up of the national population”.

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5. Amber Heard has shown astonishing fortitude and she won’t be silenced

Katie Edwards for the i news site

on moving on

As critics call on Amber Heard to “move on” from the Johnny Depp trial, Katie Edwards asks: “How is she supposed to move on if the poison just keeps flowing?” Hateful hashtags are still trending on Twitter. “What exactly is the aim of this onslaught of abuse? Is she supposed to pipe down and take the punishment from millions of strangers who, just because they watched the trial (or not), think it gives them a right to continue to revile her over a week after the verdict?” asks Edwards, writing for the i news site. Most of the “anti-Amber community” on social media seem to think they’re genuinely furthering an important and overlooked cause, says Edwards, adding that she finds this “moral crusader stance puzzling” as it does nothing to help male victims of abuse. “Where will this end? Whatever you think of Heard, she’s shown astonishing fortitude to withstand the weeks of hatred. When will the public gallery be happy?”

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