Back Opinion Monday, January 20, 2020
Search Sections 20 Jan
Close
Advertisement
After Tony Hall’s resignation, the BBC’s next boss will need nerves of steel | Emily Bell3h After Tony Hall’s resignation, the BBC’s next boss will need nerves of steel | Emily Bell
The broadcaster faces an existential crisis - with challenges from government, from its digital rivals, and from its own staff The
 Like Reply
The Guardian view on the BBC: getting ready for the fight of its life | Editorial4h The Guardian view on the BBC: getting ready for the fight of its life | Editorial
With fierce competition from streaming services and the licence fee under threat, Tony Hall’s successor must get the corporation on the front footTony Hall’s unexpected announcement that he is
 Like Reply
The Guardian view on Davos: capitalists know they must do better | Editorial4h The Guardian view on Davos: capitalists know they must do better | Editorial
The climate crisis and social unrest could finally force corporate leaders to think beyond the profit motiveWhen Klaus Schwab founded the World Economic Forum in an Alpine ski resort in 1971, he wasn’t to know that the 30-year postwar boom was on its last legs. The original idea of Davos was to promote the German economist’s big idea of “multi-stakeholding” – the notion that companies had broader social responsibilities than the mere pursuit of profit for shareholders. But the subsequent oil crisis, stagflation and recession put paid to any progressive thinking in the boardrooms of the west. As corporate revenues plunged, a different economist laid the theoretical foundations of a new era. By the 1980s,
 Like Reply
I’d never heard of Laurence Fox until he started lecturing us about racism | Suzanne Moore4h I’d never heard of Laurence Fox until he started lecturing us about racism | Suzanne Moore
The actor has joined the ranks of posh white guys who feel they have to champion the so-called common man. Why are these people so easily offended? I had never heard of Laurence Fox until I saw him on Question Time telling a BAME person that the criticism of Meghan wasn’t racist. When Fox finished speaking, the show’s presenter, Fiona Bruce, stepped in to remind us that the home secretary, Priti Patel, had also said the criticism wasn’t racist. Whatever the BBC is, some of its current affairs coverage is now so unwoke, it is in a coma. There are people in my life forever telling me I am not woke enough – people who I gave birth to – and the new vocabulary of triggering, microaggression and privilege-checking is a bore for sure. But, as the writer Roxane Gay has said, no one is asking people to apologise for their privilege. They are just asking them, in Gay’s words, to “acknowledge how these factors helped you move through life”. It’s manners, basically, isn’t it?
 Like Reply
Sajid Javid’s Brexit posturing shows he doesn’t know or care what his words mean | Polly Toynbee5h Sajid Javid’s Brexit posturing shows he doesn’t know or care what his words mean | Polly Toynbee
The chancellor has dashed any hope that the government might move beyond slogans Shockwaves ran through industry over the weekend following the chancellor’s alarming
 Like Reply
The government has offered no justification for pursuing a hard Brexit | Letters5h The government has offered no justification for pursuing a hard Brexit | Letters
Readers respond to Sajid Javid’s declaration that there will be ‘no alignment’ with EU regulations and standards after BrexitEstimates of the economic cost of a hard Brexit vary, but it is generally agreed that this form of Brexit will be much more economically damaging than one where the UK seeks close alignment with the EU, its biggest trading partner. How does Sajid Javid and the entire Johnson government justify the hard Brexit it so evidently embraces (
 Like Reply
Disruptive children need the opposite of isolation in school | Letters5h Disruptive children need the opposite of isolation in school | Letters
Isolating children should have no place in any establishment that professes to prepare them to take a meaningful place in society, says
 Like Reply
A good night’s sleep helps repair inflammation | Letter5h A good night’s sleep helps repair inflammation | Letter
This should become the number one priority in public health, writes
 Like Reply
Is the environmental movement ageist? | Letters5h Is the environmental movement ageist? | Letters
Retired colleagues and I have regularly shared ideas and actions with young people, writes XR member
 Like Reply
The female body and the origins of patriarchy | Letter5h The female body and the origins of patriarchy | Letter
Many prehistoric societies were egalitarian, writes
 Like Reply
Language lessons with a cherry on top | Brief letters5h Language lessons with a cherry on top | Brief letters
American English | School libraries | Chinese birth rate | Year of the rat | MarmaladeAlthough this happened decades ago, we haven’t forgotten the look of total incredulity on the face of an American fellow student whom our son brought home for the weekend (
 Like Reply
It’s not just British leavers – the rest of Europe is responsible for Brexit, too | Eric Jozsef9h It’s not just British leavers – the rest of Europe is responsible for Brexit, too | Eric Jozsef
The UK departure from the EU isn’t a solely British issue, yet Europeans have connived with Brexiters in pretending it is“Brexit will never happen. Too complicated, too damaging to the British economy, too anachronistic.” How many times in the last three years – from Rome to Berlin, Paris to Bucharest – did we hear this belief asserted so confidently as to admit no discussion? The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is now imminent. Yet much of Europe’s public and many of its politicians have not truly grasped the consequences of the historic break that is about to take place, nor have they tried to understand the reasons. On 31 January the first concrete step in Boris Johnson’s political game plan will be achieved. And, even if no new barriers will immediately be apparent at the borders, we will from this date start to drift apart. Johnson won his bet using a simple strategy: he sold the illusion that the politicians who lead Europe’s nation states still hold the reins of power in a globalised world. He won on the false promise that Brexit allow the British people to “take back control”.
 Like Reply
Ignorance about menopause is destroying lives – and it’s not only women who suffer | Diane Danzebrink11h Ignorance about menopause is destroying lives – and it’s not only women who suffer | Diane Danzebrink
Like many women, I struggled to get basic information and help for debilitating symptoms. Now we are campaigning for change A few years ago I hadn’t given
 Like Reply
The Guardian view on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: goodbye and good luck | Editorial15h Updated The Guardian view on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: goodbye and good luck | Editorial
Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer be working royals. That should be in everyone’s interests A centuries-old institution survives not only through the accumulated weight of tradition, but through the ability to make sharp adjustments to its course when it finally realises it must. The British monarchy, by temperament a tortoise, has just put on a turn of speed again. Saturday’s statements from the Queen and the Sussexes will not halt the storm surrounding the couple, but are designed to let the worst of the tempest abate. Less than two weeks before, Prince Harry and Meghan had announced their untenable desire to partially step back, operating half-in and half-out of the institution. Instead, they will effectively
 Like Reply
Trump’s greatest ally in the coming election? Facebook | John Harris16h Trump’s greatest ally in the coming election? Facebook | John Harris
The internet giant has exempted politics from regulations on falsehood. Good news for a candidacy built on lies If you want to know why the worst president in US history currently stands a very good chance of winning again, consider a few facts. Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is already in full flow, brimming with cash,
 Like Reply
Shipping the House of Lords north is a great idea. Let’s send the MPs as well | Simon Jenkins16h Shipping the House of Lords north is a great idea. Let’s send the MPs as well | Simon Jenkins
Why not shift the entire national debate away from London while the Palace of Westminster is restored? Will we soon see ermine on the Ouse? The weekend’s
 Like Reply
Ben Jennings on press coverage of Harry and Meghan – cartoon26h Ben Jennings on press coverage of Harry and Meghan – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2020/jan/19/ben-jennings-on-press-coverage-of-harry-and-meghan-cartoon">Continue reading...
 Like Reply
As I sign off as readers’ editor, I leave some editorial standards for the AI age | Paul Chadwick27h As I sign off as readers’ editor, I leave some editorial standards for the AI age | Paul Chadwick
As human and artificial intelligence mingle, human traits must prevailInevitably, this column, my last, begins with the letter I. It is because, of all the capitals, an opening “I” takes least space in the current design of Journal, the title of the opinion pages of the printed Guardian where
 Like Reply
The Guardian view on Ireland’s election: a contest with consequences | Editorial28h The Guardian view on Ireland’s election: a contest with consequences | Editorial
The start of the American presidential race next month may seem more alluring. But the Irish general election is of more immediate importance for BritainBritain’s political class is insular. It rarely shows any interest in foreign elections. That general rule may get bent as the United States presidential election gets into gear in the coming weeks. But the evidence of this country’s default inwardness is that there is an election on this side of the Atlantic in less than three weeks with a far more immediate bearing on Britain than the one in America. This one will get only a fraction of the attention that will be expended on the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. But then this one is in Ireland. Why does
 Like Reply
Hustings are a bad way to decide who would make a good Labour leader | Jess Phillips28h Updated Hustings are a bad way to decide who would make a good Labour leader | Jess Phillips
Leadership isn’t a question of delivering the right 40-second soundbite – it should mean making a tangible difference
 Like Reply
Flawed thinking behind school isolation booths | Letters29h Flawed thinking behind school isolation booths | Letters
Readers respond to our report into the increased use of booths to discipline schoolchildrenThere would be an argument in favour of the use of isolation rooms or cubicles for troublesome young people in school if there was any evidence that they worked (
 Like Reply
If A&E targets shame the Tories, the solution is not to scrap them | Letters29h If A&E targets shame the Tories, the solution is not to scrap them | Letters
Readers respond to the news that the health secretary, Matt Hancock, wants to abolish NHS targets for A&E waiting timesIf the government decides to abolish targets for A&E waiting times, can the medical profession get together with patients’ associations and find a way to agree their own targets and then collate and publish the data themselves? (
 Like Reply
Put the needs of the planet before Flybe | Letters29h Put the needs of the planet before Flybe | Letters
Both bailing out the failing airline and pushing on with HS2 will be disastrous for the environment, writes
 Like Reply
Rape jury system unfair to victims | Letter29h Rape jury system unfair to victims | Letter
Decisions of guilt and innocence are made largely by laypeople with no experience of the way abusers work, writes
 Like Reply
A Cheech & Chong style Big Ben bong | Brief letters29h A Cheech & Chong style Big Ben bong | Brief letters
Kim-Joy bakes | Supermarket refills | Bongs | MarmaladeI am as in touch with my inner six-year-old as the next person, but I nevertheless rejoiced when I thought you had moved on from
 Like Reply
Letter: Tony Garnett was a great producer and a great man29h Letter: Tony Garnett was a great producer and a great man
When, in the late 1960s, I joined the BBC as an assistant floor manager in the Plays Department I had the joy of working with many great directors and producers – including
 Like Reply
The left can’t sit out the ‘culture wars’. It must learn to fight them better | Nesrine Malik30h The left can’t sit out the ‘culture wars’. It must learn to fight them better | Nesrine Malik
There is pressure on progressives to rise above it all. But that’s a losing strategy, as Brexit showedIn an essay entitled Historically Correct, the American academic Prof Ruth Perry explained how the concept of
 Like Reply
From depression to dementia, inflammation is medicine’s new frontier | Edward Bullmore31h From depression to dementia, inflammation is medicine’s new frontier | Edward Bullmore
The barrier between mind and body appears to be crumbling. Clinical practice and public perception need to catch upUnlikely as it may seem, #inflammation has become a hashtag. It seems to be everywhere suddenly, up to all sorts of tricks. Rather than simply being on our side, fighting infections and healing wounds, it turns out to have a dark side as well: the role it plays in causing us harm. It’s now clear that inflammation is part of the problem in many, if not all, diseases of the body. And targeting immune or inflammatory causes of disease has led to a series of breakthroughs, from new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases in the 1990s, through to the advent of immunotherapy for some cancers in the 2010s. Even more pervasively, low-grade inflammation, detectable only by blood tests, is increasingly considered to be part of the reason why common life experiences such as poverty, stress, obesity or ageing are bad for public health.
 Like Reply
With Brexit imminent, what are the chances of a UK trade deal with China? | Rana Mitter32h With Brexit imminent, what are the chances of a UK trade deal with China? | Rana Mitter
Trump has shown compromise with Beijing is possible but Britain has to dance between US, EU and Chinese demandsLast week, Donald Trump and Liu He, the Chinese vice-premier,
 Like Reply
The EU has a duty to recognise the state of Palestine | Saeb Erekat34h The EU has a duty to recognise the state of Palestine | Saeb Erekat
European intervention now can preserve the peace process, despite the efforts of Israel and TrumpAfter nearly two years, on Monday 20 January, the foreign ministers of the European Union will meet, with the issue of Palestine officially on the agenda. They’ll discuss the letter signed by the foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, calling for
 Like Reply
It won’t be easy for Boris Johnson to keep his pledges to his new friends in the north | Andrew Rawnsley37h It won’t be easy for Boris Johnson to keep his pledges to his new friends in the north | Andrew Rawnsley
The Tories now represent areas of the country with needs and concerns that have been alien to the party for decadesUntil
 Like Reply
London’s new Centre for Music? Don’t hold your breath…37h London’s new Centre for Music? Don’t hold your breath…
The delay to the London Symphony Orchestra’s planned new home is growing. And unrest in Iran could trouble a V&A show
 Like Reply
There’s a reason why the royals are demonised. But you won’t read all about it | Alan Rusbridger38h There’s a reason why the royals are demonised. But you won’t read all about it | Alan Rusbridger
Who really knows what is going on with Harry and Meghan? But we can be sure the storytellers, the press, are hardly disinterested observersTo understand the “real” story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it helps to think in three dimensions. On one level, we have a story about a couple who, for perfectly understandable reasons, want a different kind of life: a new start, a fresh role, less scrutiny, more peace of mind. All eminently reasonable and not very remarkable. But there is, of course, the second level: they’re inescapably royal. This is hardly the abdication: the constitutional ramifications of the sixth in line bailing out to a new life in Canada are not earth-shattering. But, whether you are a pope or a prince, there are undoubtedly complications in trying to assert a private identity that is decoupled from your apparent destiny or birthright.
 Like Reply
Notebook: a judge, Lord Byron and a grave injustice | Tim Adams38h Notebook: a judge, Lord Byron and a grave injustice | Tim Adams
In the first of a new series, our writer reflects on the cruelty of refusing a husband permission to have a personal message engraved on his wife’s headstone One of the many things I miss about my wife’s late father, Ray, was his habit of phoning me up on a Sunday morning to say he’d enjoyed what I’d written in the
 Like Reply
The horrible truth is that some female victims are seen as less important than others | Jennifer Williams38h The horrible truth is that some female victims are seen as less important than others | Jennifer Williams
Where was the outrage over Manchester’s many abused and betrayed children? There was a period, not so long ago, when the
 Like Reply
This ‘plain-speaking’ culture war has the potential to turn poisonous | Barbara Ellen39h This ‘plain-speaking’ culture war has the potential to turn poisonous | Barbara Ellen
Laurence Fox’s anti-PC stance on Question Time has tapped into a disturbing trendMemo to those who’ve been raucously applauding actor Laurence Fox’s “anti-PC” outburst on
 Like Reply
Liverpool beating Man Utd at Anfield – sporting bliss | Kenan Malik39h Liverpool beating Man Utd at Anfield – sporting bliss | Kenan Malik
Sport is at its best when it generates real drama. But there are always exceptions to the rule… Expectation and dread. That’s what I’ll be feeling this afternoon as Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield. On paper, the result is a foregone conclusion. Liverpool are runaway leaders of the Premier League and possibly the best team in the world. United these days play dreadful, soul-sapping football and languish 27 points behind their rivals. But football isn’t played on paper. And there is nothing certain about sport. United are the one team that have taken points off Liverpool this season and may do so again.
 Like Reply
No bad hair. No takeaway boxes. No blonds between 16 and 40. No bums | Catherine Bennett39h No bad hair. No takeaway boxes. No blonds between 16 and 40. No bums | Catherine Bennett
In which our heroine lays down ground rules for the Downing Street photographer and Stanley bangs on about his gong again Super! Bozzie requisitioned a dedicated photographer, so it’s goodbye selfies on my trusty iPhone, hello Andrew “Mr Candid” Parsons and – I hope – some sustainable No 10 glam! Love Andy’s work but we set some guidelines: no historical photographs if my roots need doing and we must have another go if it does not look natural, like on election night when he completely missed the moment when Bozzie noticed I was there. No takeaway boxes. No blonds between the ages of 16 and 40. Maybe 43. And we’ll want some with Nimco, Dom too, so that people in the future don’t think we lived on fast food in a messy service flat with no friends except Stanley and Dilyn.
 Like Reply
The Observer view on why Labour leadership candidates must stop ducking the truth | Observer editorial40h The Observer view on why Labour leadership candidates must stop ducking the truth | Observer editorial
If the party is going to prepare for power it must recognise its weaknesses before preparing to build a broad electoral coalitionLabour members and supporters face an awesome responsibility after the party’s worst defeat since 1935. In the coming weeks, the choice of its next leader lies in their hands. Their decision will shape the difficulty and length of Labour’s path to government and determine how effective an opposition it is in the coming years, when the government appears hellbent on delivering a damaging hard Brexit. Britain is in desperate need of a Labour leader who will hold this government to account and who will learn the right lessons from the party’s failures. A six-week spell of hustings events kicked off in Liverpool, with the five leadership candidates setting out their pitches. What they say will reveal the extent to which they can speak hard truths to the left-leaning membership in a way that wins round their support rather than alienates them. One notable difference between this contest and those that have preceded it is the extent to which women dominate the field: a positive step for a party that has never elected a female leader.
 Like Reply
Cambridge, where inequality rules | Letters40h Cambridge, where inequality rules | Letters
University colleges should do more to ensure that all their workers, from cleaners to academics, receive a fair wageIn an article about inequality in Cambridge, a spokesman for Cambridge University claimed that a survey in November found 21 colleges to be paying at least £9 an hour (“
 Like Reply
The Observer view on the EU’s weakness on the world stage | Observer editorial40h The Observer view on the EU’s weakness on the world stage | Observer editorial
Its new commission is failing to enact its grand ambitions, as destructive global power games are played out by others It has been a difficult start to 2020 for the EU and the new European commission, which took office last month.
 Like Reply
We’re right to trust our public servants. Up to a point | Torsten Bell40h We’re right to trust our public servants. Up to a point | Torsten Bell
Though dishonest students are less likely to apply for jobs in the Danish civil service, that would change if wages were higher Jim Hacker, the minister of
 Like Reply
On the top

Date settings

Today is Monday, January 20, 2020

+ 1 -
+ 1 -
+ 2016 -

Close

By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookie policy.

Accept