Back Opinion Saturday, July 21, 2018
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Top 10: Album title puns2h Top 10: Album title puns
The Independent
The very best wordplay in the pop and rock canon, from 'Aladdin Sane' to 'Blizzard of Ozz'
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3h An image of Putin and Trump kissing isn’t funny. It’s homophobic | Lee Hurley
The Guardian
This ‘joke’ sends the message that being gay is something to be ashamed of, with horrible effects for actual queer people With both eyes closed and one hand gently caressing the face of Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump leans in for a passionate kiss with the object of his obsessive affections. It’s a hilarious image, right? Two men who imperil the lives of queer people on a daily basis would hate to be seen as gay. It’s their biggest fear, so it’s funny to pretend they are gay to annoy them. Genius. It can’t be homophobic to imply that Putin and Trump are “gay for each other”, we’re told, because the people making the “joke” are woke lefties who simply adore us queers. Heck, they even have some of us round for tapas in the summer. This is an ally action – we’ve got your back, Jack. Can I just say: if this is how you’re going to go about it, it’s better that you didn’t.
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How can we expect 'borderline personality disorder' patients to trust mental health services when the staff don't trust them?3h How can we expect 'borderline personality disorder' patients to trust mental health services when the staff don't trust them?
The Independent
Gaslighting patients' attempts to communicate the double bind survivors are placed in only adds to the structural epistemic violence already being done to this patient group. This is not care
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3h Admit it, older people – you are addicted to your phones, too | Sophia Ankel
The Guardian
Over-reliance on mobiles isn’t just the scourge of the young, and it has a damaging effect on families My mother likes to sit with her legs crossed on the sofa, glasses balanced on her nose, while she scrolls through her iPhone. I don’t know whether she is commenting on a friend’s family photo album, crushing candy or liking a meme with the caption: “Tonight’s forecast: 99% chance of wine”, but I do know that this is not the first time I catch her like this. My father opts for the “I’ll be with you shortly” line, which he delivers with a very serious look on his face as he aggressively taps away on his phone. I have learned by now that this is my cue to leave him alone for the next 10 minutes. As much as they don’t like admitting it, both of my parents are just as addicted to their phones as I am.
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4h Two thirds of Africa's population still don't have access to electricity – and it's threatening the security of the continent
The Independent
Development aid, military infrastructure and assistance with pushing through crucial reforms will be in vain unless the West helps its African partners eradicate energy poverty
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5h Marching with my mother: why the anti-Trump march was the perfect day out
The Guardian
We started with political chat, visited Zara to see how it compared to with M&S, then carried on protesting We arranged to meet outside John Lewis. As I waited for my mother in the midday sun, I thought about the other times we’d come here, just the two of us: shopping for school jumpers and, later, bedding for university, which included an enormously angst-ridden search for the perfect conversation-starter duvet cover that would convey my fun-loving ways, artistic soul and effortlessly cool attitude in one striking image. That image, I can exclusively reveal without the slightest retrospective regret, was
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Britain’s railway timetable disaster has been over 150 years in the making | Ian Jack8h Britain’s railway timetable disaster has been over 150 years in the making | Ian Jack
The Guardian
Dickens was nearly killed by a train time mix-up. The Northern-Govia Thameslink chaos shows the system remains unreliable A poorly considered or mistakenly implemented railway timetable can have serious consequences, worse even than the recent sights of platforms crowded with disconsolate commuters who wait for trains that run late or
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8h We live in interesting times. Why can’t Hollywood make films about them? | Catherine Shoard
The Guardian
Cinema should challenge the way we live now, rather than re-live liberal success stories of the past A while back, lots of horror movies were suddenly set in the 1980s and 90s: near enough to the present day for TV aerials not to have to be taken down, but sufficiently far to solve the Mobile Phone Problem. Audiences had seen enough of conveniently patchy coverage in this remote forest or that ill-lit hotel. Film-makers had a choice: get creative with the plot, or get the production designer to stockpile scrunchies. Today, things are different. Horror directors are pioneers when it comes to integrating tech into their screenplays.
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It's no longer safe to leave Trump alone in the negotiating room with Putin, but there's little we can do to stop it20h It's no longer safe to leave Trump alone in the negotiating room with Putin, but there's little we can do to stop it
The Independent
Smart, self-effacing, unprepossessing, the Russian leader has shown himself able to manipulate Trump in an alarming fashion
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20h A plague on Hatchimals, and all the other collectables from hell | Emma Brockes
The Guardian
I refuse to believe today’s coveted toys are just the same as the Top Trumps et al of my youth. It’s all in the marketingIf you are lucky, you live in a world in which the words Shopkins and Hatchimals don’t mean anything. When you go to the supermarket, you don’t pilot a course based on the rigid avoidance of stacks of small, coloured pods, inside which nestle a variety of plastic figures, the opening of which sends small children into a frenzy. The price point of these items – a few quid at most – is expertly pitched to wear down a parent’s resistance. If you have to bribe your child to pipe down, better plastic rubbish than sweets. At least, that’s what I used to think. But this week, after having a mega-clearout of my apartment, I piled up a year’s worth of disposable “collectible” toys, and it was so depressing, so environmentally horrific, that Shopkins and their ilk went instantly to the top of my list of non-Trump-related things to be furious about.
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20h Brexiteers like Boris Johnson must realise that past British successes were based on creating alliances, not breaking them up
The Independent
The British only stood alone during the centuries when they had miscalculated the political wind direction, or had been left with absolutely no alternative
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20h For a 21st-century Proms, we must let the people clap when they want | Chi-chi Nwanoku
The Guardian
Fusty, dusty old rules about when to applaud need to be ditched if we’re ever to bring new audiences into classical musicIt’s the World Cup final. The ball has just smashed into the back of the net. But as some in the crowd rise to cheer, the referee orders them to be silent. The correct time to cheer is at the end of the match, he says. The rest of the crowd tut-tut at the transgressors, who clearly haven’t learned the correct way to behave. Sound ridiculous? Well, welcome to the world of classical music.
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The will of the people? These Brexit ideologues are destroying democracy | Jonathan Freedland20h The will of the people? These Brexit ideologues are destroying democracy | Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian
Vote Leave’s fraud and last week’s sharp practice in parliament show that the Brexit process is undermining vital institutions First, a confession. One that relates to the current threat facing our democratic way of life and which involves a decision I made nearly 15 years ago. It turns on the unlikely name of Brian. In January 2004, I covered for this newspaper the publication of the
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21h The Guardian view on cybersecurity: trust – but verify | Editorial
The Guardian
The use of Chinese-made equipment in Britain’s broadband infrastructure demands, and gets, careful scrutinyHow far can we trust Chinese companies to supply our critical national infrastructure? The question was raised by the Hinkley Point power station, but is even more pressing in the telecoms business. Broadband internet is now as critical a part of the infrastructure as the road or rail network. So the question seems to answer itself. Many countries are extremely reluctant to allow two Chinese telecoms companies in particular, Huawei and ZTE, to do business with them. They view both of them as arms of the Chinese state, even though Huawei is legally a private company. In fact the US government nearly shut down ZTE altogether this year by forbidding its American component suppliers to deal with it, although it was later allowed to resume operations on payment of
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Burberry burning £28m of stock is awful, yes, but fashion has never been ethical21h Burberry burning £28m of stock is awful, yes, but fashion has never been ethical
The Independent
The entire fashion industry is built on a single premise – creating a false need so that we purchase more
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May's Brexit proposals have been two years in the making. They were killed off in Brussels within eight minutes21h May's Brexit proposals have been two years in the making. They were killed off in Brussels within eight minutes
The Independent
Does it, maybe, kind of feel like the risk that was taken with our children and our children's children's futures might not be paying off?
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People like Cliff Richard deserve anonymity if they haven't been charged with a crime – but MPs being investigated for misconduct certainly do not 21h People like Cliff Richard deserve anonymity if they haven't been charged with a crime – but MPs being investigated for misconduct certainly do not
The Independent
For decades, the police failed to expose Jimmy Saville, Cyril Smith and Stuart Hall – these monsters flourished in plain sight, right at the heart of the establishment
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The Syrian war is a 'shame to mankind' says Serbia's top weapons-maker – but I found his instruction books in eastern Aleppo22h The Syrian war is a 'shame to mankind' says Serbia's top weapons-maker – but I found his instruction books in eastern Aleppo
The Independent
Exclusive: I pushed the two machine-gun manuals across the boardroom table to Brzakovic. He glanced at them, nodded politely, and pushed them courteously back to me.
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There is no honour in ‘honour killings’, only male shame | Naz Shah23h There is no honour in ‘honour killings’, only male shame | Naz Shah
The Guardian
The global scale of gendered violence, FGM or forced marriage is staggering. The Honour Her campaign deserves your support Saturday 14 July marked the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Honour Based Violence, a day established to commemorate the birthday of Bradford-born
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23h Brits are so bad at languages, we couldn't even translate the Brexit white paper properly – it's an embarrassment
The Independent
An EU survey found that only 11.5 per cent of British working-age adults saw themselves as proficient in the foreign language they were best at
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23h This summer, it's time to do your part and join the dreaded school WhatsApp group
The Independent
Tit for tat childminding is one way of parents helping each other out. Mums especially understand the need for this communal attitude
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To break the Irish backstop deadlock, May needs her biggest fudge yet | Marley Morris24h To break the Irish backstop deadlock, May needs her biggest fudge yet | Marley Morris
The Guardian
It would heap huge pressure on her Chequers plan. But the alternative is crashing out of the EU with no deal at allTheresa May’s speech in Belfast today has put the thorny issue of the Irish “backstop” back at the heart of the Brexit negotiations. Despite all the focus on ministerial resignations and parliamentary turmoil this week, it is the backstop – more than any other issue – that threatens a complete breakdown in the Brexit talks. The
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Labour’s code of conduct isn’t antisemitic – it’s a constructive initiative | Brian Klug24h Labour’s code of conduct isn’t antisemitic – it’s a constructive initiative | Brian Klug
The Guardian
Critics are preoccupied with the minutiae of the language, but it should be an adaptable living document When two emotive issues collide, the seas of language are liable to run high. This is what happened when Labour announced its new
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25h The row over the Tories' breaking their pairing arrangements is not just a Westminster bubble story
The Independent
The government chief whip is lucky the government did not win by just one vote instead of six. But in normal times, he may have fallen on his sword, or been sacked
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26h Mobs are killing Muslims in India. Why is no one stopping them? | Rana Ayyub
The Guardian
A spiritual leader was lucky to escape with his life this week. Yet Narendra Modi’s ruling BJP keeps fanning the flamesOn 17 July the supreme court of India condemned the
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Wellbeing is a nice buzzword. But when employers use it, ask why | Emily Reynolds26h Wellbeing is a nice buzzword. But when employers use it, ask why | Emily Reynolds
The Guardian
Poor employee mental health is not treated with the humanity it requires – instead, it’s seen as a risk, or a barrier to profit
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Let’s take back control from this authoritarian Tory government | Owen Jones26h Let’s take back control from this authoritarian Tory government | Owen Jones
The Guardian
The morally repugnant treatment of Jo Swinson is yet another example of Conservative disdain for democracySo now we know what “take back control” means: a cynical, shameless power grab by the Conservative party. Remember all that dewy-eyed rhetoric about restoring the sovereignty of Britain’s parliament? Let me shock you: I’m starting to think it might have been a con.
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27h The leasehold system is a money-making racket. Reform is long overdue | Sebastian O’Kelly
The Guardian
The grisly leasehold sector has enriched itself at the expense of ordinary families’ wealth and security This week, the Law Commission fired the opening shot at the murkiest and most lucrative corner of the residential property market:
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28h What post-Brexit UK can learn from the blockade of Qatar
The Independent
Qatar has lifted visa restrictions, offered permanent residency to parts of its large foreign workforce, and strengthened its commitment to human rights and freedom of speech
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Priced out of parenthood: no wonder the birthrate is plummeting | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett28h Priced out of parenthood: no wonder the birthrate is plummeting | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
The Guardian
Deciding to have a child should fill you with joy, not crippling anxiety. The UK is making things so hard for its young peopleSkint people have been having babies for thousands of years. Were the continuation of the human race reliant on parents being in a position of economic security before deciding to have children, we would have died out by now.
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Amazon must be forced to change, for the sake of its workers | Fiona Onasanya28h Amazon must be forced to change, for the sake of its workers | Fiona Onasanya
The Guardian
With 89% of its employees feeling exploited, we see the result of disempowered unions and unenforced regulationsWhile the technological advancements that have brought us tailor-made online shopping at the click of a button is worth celebrating, the delirium that surrounded Amazon’s Prime Day this week has left a bad taste in my mouth. Technological progress brings its own challenges, and the concerns of my constituents who have worked at our local
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The ‘strong black woman’ stereotype is harming our mental health | Marverine Cole29h The ‘strong black woman’ stereotype is harming our mental health | Marverine Cole
The Guardian
The trope of the steely, resolute black woman is ingrained in society, and helps fuel a growing problem with depression and self-harmDepression crept in on me 17 years ago. It was shaping up to be a fabulous summer until my boyfriend split up with me and I was made redundant, in the space of a month. My summer of partying lurched from being fun to being frenzied. I drank and danced the nights away to mask what was really going on. Not telling a soul.
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29h 100 and not out: now that’s what I call a cheesy compilation triumph | Fiona Sturges
The Guardian
The Now That’s What I Call Music! collections aren’t cool and they don’t care. Which is why they’re still going strongIs there a more potent way to track the passing of time than through pop music? To cast your mind back to your first ever gig, to that first single purchased, or the tracks that prompted a rush to the dance floor at primary school discos, is much like looking in the mirror and inspecting your latest crop of grey hairs. And so it is when checking out the pop anthologies of one’s youth. Today brings
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Mamma Mia! Here they go again – tourists off to wreck an island idyll | Srećko Horvat30h Mamma Mia! Here they go again – tourists off to wreck an island idyll | Srećko Horvat
The Guardian
The stunning Croatian island of Vis is the setting for the latest Abba-inspired film. Now invasion is inevitable Writing about “film-inspired holidays”, the Observer recently posed the question,
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32h It’s never their fault: why the Brexiteers love to cry betrayal | Gary Younge
The Guardian
In Britain and America, the new right is cultivating a dangerous sense of victimhood and shifting blame for its failures elsewhereThe notion of personal responsibility was once such a linchpin of conservative thinking that almost every riposte to liberal ideology ran through it. Whether the right was making the case for longer prison sentences or against the welfare state, the argument generally rested on the principle that we must stand by the consequences of our actions. To cite the context that shaped how a decision was made, insist on the parallel importance of collective responsibility, or expect the state to cushion the blow, were all signs of whiny weakness. To think otherwise revealed not just a flawed political philosophy but a lack of moral fortitude. The world of national sovereignty, racial purity and ethnic homogeneity is not coming back because it never existed
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