Back Opinion Wednesday, January 10, 2018
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More Libel Law Bluster 10 Jan 7:16pm More Libel Law Bluster
Trump rages again about laws he can’t change.
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The U.N. Agency That Keeps Palestinians From Prospering 10 Jan 6:47pm The U.N. Agency That Keeps Palestinians From Prospering
The administration’s freeze on funds for Unrwa is a first step in breaking the Mideast stalemate.
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Drilling in Alaska Is Good for the Earth 10 Jan 6:44pm Drilling in Alaska Is Good for the Earth
It’s greener than fracking and less risky than deep-water rigs.
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Psychiatrists With Press Passes 10 Jan 6:40pm Psychiatrists With Press Passes
A dubious new book starts a long national dialogue on whether Trump is crazy.
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Steve Bell on the crisis in NHS hospitals – cartoon 10 Jan 5:49pm Steve Bell on the crisis in NHS hospitals – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/jan/10/steve-bell-on-the-crisis-in-nhs-hospitals-cartoon">Continue reading...
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The Guardian view on Brexit and the reshuffle: beware the dog that didn’t bark | Editorial 10 Jan 2:55pm The Guardian view on Brexit and the reshuffle: beware the dog that didn’t bark | Editorial
On the face of it, Theresa May’s ministerial shake-up had little to do with Brexit. In reality, the issue underlies everything about the government’s prospects in 2018Brexit was the dog that didn’t bark in Theresa May’s
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The Guardian view on North Korea and Trump: the crisis isn’t over | Editorial 10 Jan 2:54pm The Guardian view on North Korea and Trump: the crisis isn’t over | Editorial
Inter-Korean talks are an encouraging sign of de-escalation on the peninsula. But the underlying threat of Pyongyang’s weapons programme and a reckless US administration will not go awayLike so many dictatorships, North Korea loves a good show. Sending its figure skaters and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in the South is symbolically useful at home and abroad: promoting an image of national vigour; of a country that is recognised as part of the international system, not a pariah; of a country ready to do business again. As with the images of officials from North and South greeting each other in the demilitarised zone on Tuesday – their first meetings for two years – it is a welcome sign of de-escalation. Is the worst over? Almost certainly not. The pattern is familiar from previous crises: tensions rise, inter-Korean ties are cut, and bellicose rhetoric raises fear of a conflict – until approaches are made, talks resume, and the North looks forward to aid or some other benefit. But the risks were much greater this time, and at the next stand-off they will be greater still. The first factor is North Korea’s rapid progress in its weapons programme. Few analysts believe denuclearisation is still a possibility; now the sensible goal of any negotiations would be a freeze. The second factor sits in the White House. This crisis was not just of North Korea’s making;
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Brexit buyer’s remorse? We still don’t know what we’ve been sold | Letters 10 Jan 2:53pm Brexit buyer’s remorse? We still don’t know what we’ve been sold | Letters
Readers respond to a piece by the Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott and a letter from Oxford University professor Robert GildeaOnce again Larry Elliott hits the nail on the head with his plea for remainers to move on (
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Aims of Ethics and Empire project weren’t sexed-up | Letters 10 Jan 2:53pm Aims of Ethics and Empire project weren’t sexed-up | Letters
There is no end to the conspiracy theories, writes
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Toby Young’s indiscretions | Letters 10 Jan 2:52pm Toby Young’s indiscretions | Letters
Naomi Standen on the downfall of the free schools champion, who stepped down from the Office for Students a week after being appointed to its boardSo now we have Toby Young as martyr, penalised for past indiscretions and not allowed to turn over a new leaf with his work in education (
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We’re hoping for an Eyewitness picture in the new tabloid Guardian | Letters 10 Jan 2:52pm We’re hoping for an Eyewitness picture in the new tabloid Guardian | Letters
Lily Cole and the Brontë Society | Guardian tabloid | Freemasons | Spiritual abuse | Cryptic crossword | Salubrious Passage | A theatre for CarlisleApparently Nick Holland thinks Lily Cole should not be creative partner at the Brontë Society because she is not a writer (
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The film they ought to make: when Churchill and Hitler nearly had tea | Peter Bradshaw 10 Jan 12:14pm The film they ought to make: when Churchill and Hitler nearly had tea | Peter Bradshaw
Amid the glorious mythology about Winston, truths get overlooked. The Nazi leader once stood him up. If that’s not box office gold, what is?I have been enjoying Gary Oldman’s very clever, entertaining and now award-winning impersonation of Winston Churchill in the movie
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John Clare archive under threat from library cuts | Letters 10 Jan 10:25am John Clare archive under threat from library cuts | Letters
Writers and academics including
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The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride | James Ball 10 Jan 10:14am The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride | James Ball
The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an iconAccording to Debrett’s, the arbiters of etiquette since 1769: “Visitors, like fish, stink in three days.” Given this, it’s difficult to imagine what Ecuador’s London embassy smells like, more than five-and-a-half years after Julian Assange moved himself into the confines of the small flat in Knightsbridge, just across the road from Harrods.
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You can say what you like on Twitter – as long as you’re US president | Christian Christensen 10 Jan 9:46am You can say what you like on Twitter – as long as you’re US president | Christian Christensen
Is the social media company so relaxed about Trump’s tweets – even when he threatens nuclear war – because it gains so much from them?
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Emma Watson’s willingness to face the truth about race is refreshing | Lola Okolosie 10 Jan 8:26am Emma Watson’s willingness to face the truth about race is refreshing | Lola Okolosie
I hope that the actor’s acknowledgement that she has benefited from being white will lead others to ask themselves hard questions too
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Virgin is not censoring the Daily Mail – hate just doesn’t match its brand identity | Jane Fae 10 Jan 8:05am Virgin is not censoring the Daily Mail – hate just doesn’t match its brand identity | Jane Fae
The newspaper’s hounding of minorities such as trans people simply didn’t sell to the rail company’s target passengersDo conservatives understand the workings of the marketplace they are so keen to extol? Take the latest kerfuffle over so-called “censorship”, involving
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David Davis’s petulant leaked letter is the latest slice of Brexit cakeism | Jonathan Lis 10 Jan 7:37am David Davis’s petulant leaked letter is the latest slice of Brexit cakeism | Jonathan Lis
In the tone of an amateur being shown up by professionals, the Brexit secretary seems to deplore the fact that the EU is taking British threats of no deal seriouslyDavid Davis’s complaints about the EU are well-known, but on Tuesday we learnt of a surprising addition: its irritating habit of preparing for the consequences of Brexit. In a
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Don’t pity white, middle-aged men. It’s ludicrous to cast them as victims | Jonathan Freedland 10 Jan 6:54am Don’t pity white, middle-aged men. It’s ludicrous to cast them as victims | Jonathan Freedland
French female campaigners are defending men’s rights to ‘hit on’ women, while May’s ‘massacre’ of the pale, male and stale leaves them remarkably well intactProgressives need to update their settings: there’s a new beleaguered minority in town, one that needs our support. This group have been “punished summarily, forced out of their jobs”, according to campaigners in France, while in Britain it’s even more serious. Here, according to a leading national newspaper, this same oppressed group has just been subjected to a “massacre”. Who is the target of this new onslaught of persecution, exclusion and violence? Is it Muslims, people of colour or women? Might it be refugees, gay people or the disabled whose plight demands our solidarity?
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Blue Peter’s genius is that it offers a view of a world worth growing up in | Janet Ellis 10 Jan 5:43am Blue Peter’s genius is that it offers a view of a world worth growing up in | Janet Ellis
The show I once presented deservedly topped a poll of the best children’s TV shows of all time. It’s still going strong – as it has stayed loyal to its young fans Ask any adult to name a favourite children’s television programme from their childhood and their features will soften. The years fall away as they return to that special, unrepeatable moment in time, suspended forever between the demands of school and the torture of homework, a place without desks or rules or tests, where everything seemed safe. In front of the television, watching children’s programmes, it didn’t matter what gang you were in or whether you understood trigonometry. It was of no concern that there were later, more challenging programmes you weren’t allowed to see. For those few, brief hours, the television was yours. More often than not, when you look back to that time, you’ll probably remember vague sensations rather than actual programmes, triggered by hearing a familiar theme tune, a catchphrase or recalling the way Uncle Dimitri in
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Catherine Deneuve, let me explain why #metoo is nothing like a witch-hunt | Van Badham 10 Jan 4:53am Catherine Deneuve, let me explain why #metoo is nothing like a witch-hunt | Van Badham
There is nothing puritanical about the belief that sexual liberty is the right to determine your sexual behaviour without coercion This weeks has brought yet another reminder – O, America – that while film stars and pop icons have matchless gifts to bestow on our collective entertainment, responsible policymaking for our nation-states demands more specialised qualifications. Catherine Deneuve is a legendary French actor, an enchanting performer, a great artist and a famous beauty. She’s also in the
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Celebrity politicians are a sign of our political decline | Cas Mudde 10 Jan 3:00am Celebrity politicians are a sign of our political decline | Cas Mudde
Oprah Winfrey isn’t the first celebrity to be floated as a presidential candidate. And she won’t be the last When Oprah Winfrey gave a
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Why am I single? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Nichi Hodgson 10 Jan 3:00am Why am I single? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Nichi Hodgson
Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queriesIt’s easy to blame yourself. But I recommend blaming Plato. After all, he was the one who alerted humans to a “lack” of an “
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Paul Krugman got the working-class wrong. That blunder had consequences | Thomas Frank 10 Jan 3:00am Paul Krugman got the working-class wrong. That blunder had consequences | Thomas Frank
One of the most influential commentators in the US now recognises that white working-class voters have shifted en masse to the Republicans On New Year’s Day, the economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman issued a series of
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Face facts. The west that won the cold war no longer exists | Rafael Behr 10 Jan 1:00am Face facts. The west that won the cold war no longer exists | Rafael Behr
Capitalism conquered the eastern bloc. That’s why liberal politics alone won’t defeat today’s populism Finnish TV and toilet paper did as much to undermine the USSR as the nuclear deterrent, an Estonian friend once explained to me. He grew up in Tallinn, under Kremlin rule but within antenna range of American soaps broadcast from Helsinki. What Dallas did for eyes that craved glamour, a smuggled supply of soft tissue did for bums rubbed raw by Soviet-issue bog roll. The Balts had too much exposure to what they were missing to be reconciled to the privations of communism.
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Don’t be fooled – these free-speech obsessives approve of no-platforming | George Monbiot 10 Jan 1:00am Don’t be fooled – these free-speech obsessives approve of no-platforming | George Monbiot
The establishment voices who vilify student ‘snowflakes’ are routinely excluding political ideas they don’t like. Socialism or environmentalism, for instanceWhen people obsess over a trivial issue, it usually means they are avoiding a more important one. The intense focus on student politics, and in particular no-platforming, by middle-aged journalists – columnists and leader writers at the Telegraph, Spectator, Times, Mail and Sun – suggests to me that there is something they would rather not see. As it happens, I agree with them: the no-platforming of people whom students find offensive is often wrong (though not in the case of direct hate speech towards minorities, or the incitement of violence). But I also believe that, on the scale of global importance, this issue ranks about 12,000th. This is student politics, for God’s sake. Daft ideas and failed experiments are its raison d’etre.
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I spray-painted a London bus stop. Here’s why | Kay Holmes 10 Jan 1:00am I spray-painted a London bus stop. Here’s why | Kay Holmes
When the authorities failed to react quickly, I removed antisemitic graffiti. But I still wonder why it was left to me Twice a week I visit a therapist in north London. It’s a couple of bus journeys from where I live, and these trips are normally uneventful. But one day, in early November, I noticed graffiti on my stop: “IUDE RAUS!!!” with a Star of David underneath, a red line through it.
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