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Instant Opinion: Trump is a ‘sensitive soul’

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Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 5 December

Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 10:33am

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

1. Michael Deacon in The Telegraph

on the playground politics of Nato

Donald Trump is a sensitive soul. We should take care not to hurt his feelings

“This morning a video circulated online, showing a small group of Mr Trump’s fellow Nato leaders appearing to make gentle fun of him behind his back... No doubt some men – tougher, hardier, more self-confident men – would have felt able to laugh the footage off. To dismiss it as no more than a joke between friends. Playful banter. Locker-room talk. But not Mr Trump, it seems. Having always taken great care not to cause offence or trample on people’s feelings, he is naturally hurt when others fail to extend the same courtesy to him.”

2. Dr Aseem Malhotra for i News

on death without dignity

Political failures and corporate greed have brought the NHS to its knees, and led to my mother’s death

“Although remarkably strong in spirit she was extremely frail and weak by the time she was admitted to hospital for the final time. But rather than allow her to die with dignity, an overstretched system meant a missed heart attack was only noted by her medical team eleven days after it was reported. By then it was too late to save her. Excess intravenous fluids led to heart failure. It took several days of diuretics to make her comfortable and allow her to be taken off oxygen. But by then she’d slipped into a deep coma, never to wake up again.”

3. Jess Garland in The Huffington Post

on electoral reform

14 million voters are in seats that haven’t changed hands since WW2. Here’s why:

“No party should have a monopoly on local representation. The next government must commit to introducing a more diverse, democratic system, away from ‘shoe-in seats’ of Westminster’s rotten system, and towards ensuring every vote counts. It’s no wonder trust in politics is at rock bottom. Being trapped with the same representation for decades is not the hallmark of a responsive and functioning democracy. This election should be the last ever conducted under the rotten First Past the Post system, that has shut so many voices out.”

4. Rachael McDonnell in Al Jazeera

on the politics of H2O

Forget about water at your peril

“Though water is fundamental to everything and everyone, it is increasingly hostage to our deeply fragmented political climate. Water seldom respects borders, which makes interstate and intercommunal cooperation, and information sharing all the more necessary. With less and less of that going around, water and its roughly 7.7 billion dependents are becoming mired in paralysis that benefits no one. Given that most people either have or soon will first experience climate change through water, that is a tragedy.”

5. Ariana Melamed in Haaretz

on the celebritisation of history’s greatest monster

Don't keep Hitler’s stuff. Burn it

“We all know already that quite ordinary people perpetrated the murder of Jews and Romans, homosexuals and Catholic priests, people with disabilities and prisoners of war, opponents of the regime or those who dared to hide human beings deemed undesirable according to the criteria of Hitler’s final solutions. These people owned hats and wallets, nice silverware and top hats for special occasions, flowerpots and armchairs, monogrammed handkerchiefs, impressive libraries. The banality of evil is not just a reference to the soul of a person; it also includes the objects he owned. Each item of ‘Hitler memorabilia’ that the United Israel Appeal wants to be kept and treated ‘with great respect’ is banal, generic, historically unimportant, charged only with celeb value: ‘This cigar case? Hitler’s hand once touched it.’ Maybe. Wow.”

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