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Instant Opinion: ‘Why anti-Semitism could finally sink Labour’

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Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 12 July

Analysis
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 10:38am

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 Daily Telegraph

on Labour and anti-Semitism

This time it’s different – why anti-Semitism could finally sink Labour

“Growing number of Labour figures, including those who are strongly supportive of the leadership, believe that the perception that Labour has questions to answer is beginning to sink in among the country at large. That realisation erodes Labour’s longstanding brand. If the Conservatives are British politics’ equivalent of the Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man – all brain, and no heart – then Labour are the Scarecrow: all heart, no brain. Voters may not have acquired any particular concern for minority groups themselves but they expect Labour to do so. It could yet prove the party’s undoing if it comes to be seen as the party with no heart and no brain.”

2. Iain Martin in The Times

on a cross-Channel clash of political styles

Macron is ready for showdown with Johnson

“It is in this volatile new arena that, barring any upset, Johnson will be operating next month. He will have to ask Macron (‘Come on, old chap!’) to cut him a deal. Does the president — so imperialistically French in his demeanour that he makes Napoleon Bonaparte seem modest — look remotely likely to be charmed by a visit from Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson? In a word, non.”

3. Kevin Maxwell in The Independent

on police institutional racism

Sorry Cressida Dick, but as a black former detective I know just how racist the Met still is

“In my decade of service, I saw entrenched prejudice, open racism and discrimination, but also the police’s lackadaisical response to race equality. In my 11 years on the force, I saw no real intention to stamp out racism and change the culture for the better, but only to suppress it.”

4. David Leonhardt in The New York Times

on the pitfalls of protest

Patriotism Done Right

“When progressive protesters reject American symbols, I think they’re making a tactical mistake. For one thing, they take attention away from their specific causes and turn attention toward the question of their patriotism. For another thing, protesting the anthem or the flag needlessly alienates people who otherwise could be won over by substantive arguments.”

5. MP Chris Bryant in The Guardian

on the latest British Social Attitudes survey

I’ve seen British attitudes to gay people change. But the battle is not yet won

“Progress is never a one-way street. Some of us look at the increase in hate crimes, the homophobic demands to stop teachers referring to homosexuality in schools, the increasing violence in Russia and elsewhere as signs that the battle is not yet won. Gay youngsters still face abuse. Shame still forces many to self-harm or take their own lives. And as long as that continues we’ll still need to sing the tender ballads.”

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Labour Anti-Semitism Boris Johnson Met Police

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