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Friday, February 21, 2020
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21 Feb 1:09pm The Guardian view of Boris Johnson: neglecting the nation | Editorial
The Guardian
He ignores the floods while pursuing immigration plans and an attack on the BBC, which are destructive and divisive. The prime minister does not careTwo weeks after Storm Ciara rolled across Britain and Ireland and a week after Storm Dennis did the same, extensive parts of rural Britain remain under many feet of flood water. Heavy rains
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21 Feb 12:55pm The Guardian view on the blue whale’s comeback: an ocean’s glory restored | Editorial
The Guardian
News that the biggest mammal is returning in numbers to Antarctica signals a conservation triumph“Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” Captain Ahab’s
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21 Feb 12:25pm Perma-smirking Priti Patel brings the hostile environment in-house | Marina Hyde
The Guardian
It’s the home secretary’s trickiest week since her ‘holiday’ in Israel, but at least she’s visible. Where’s the prime minister? According to officials from one of her former departments, Priti Patel was given to coming out of her office and inquiring: “Why is everyone so fucking useless?” Very bold. This is a bit like Donald Trump coming out of his office and asking why everyone has spectacularly stupid hair. The perma-smirking Patel has now moved on to the Home Office, where this week she was accused of bullying staff, trying to oust her most senior official, and creating an “atmosphere of fear” within the department. As opposed to outside of it, which is the norm. If nothing else, it’s a failure of management. To get the best out of people who you want to do their worst, you need to create the right working environment. It’s why the offices of S.P.E.C.T.R.E have a great creche, a smoothie bar, and two “I don’t feel like killing” days per annum for every employee. As for the Home Office, a complex department already regarded as malevolent, it is now in the hands of someone who recently gave an interview in which she repeatedly confused “counter-terrorism” with “terrorism”. This whole “Priti Patel is home secretary” scenario has the flavour of one of those US news stories where some open-carry idiot’s toddler has leant forward in their car seat and pulled a gun out of the backseat pocket. If you’re one of those people who get off on saying “I told you so”, then fine. But really, there are no good outcomes here. One of the more eye-catching Home Office briefings against her this week declared that Patel was “not committed to the rule of law”. Given she’s home secretary, that feels akin to a doctor not being committed to the idea of medicine. Should it not be vaguely disqualifying?
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21 Feb 12:21pm What I learned from doorstepping Dominic Cummings
The Guardian
What are the rules for waiting outside the PM’s adviser’s house? And does it serve any purpose? Things came to a head on Dominic Cummings’s doorstep on 11 February. “The night-time is the right time to fight crime,” he told waiting reporters, before going on to recommend PJ Masks for jobs in the cabinet. PJ Masks are children’s TV characters. The question had been about HS2. Pressed for more detail, the “maverick” replied: “I can’t think of a rhyme.” It was no more or less sophisticated than the two fingers it represented; meaningless and silly, it was intended, one assumes, to put the journalists in their place. “I have not authorised this conversation, therefore this conversation is null, void, a string of noises disguised as words.”
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21 Feb 11:08am Dominic Cummings’ support for ‘designer babies’ is telling | Letters
The Guardian
Readers point out the many flaws in the prime minister’s aide’s thinking on high IQs
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21 Feb 11:08am Backing the trillion tree campaign to combat climate crisis | Letter
The Guardian
Politicians and influencers are signing up to the campaign, but to get things right we must keep in mind the science behind it, says
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21 Feb 11:07am Attorney general must not use her powers to politicise role | Letters
The Guardian
Suella Braverman’s views on the rule of law concern
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21 Feb 11:05am When is killing a deer the right thing to do? | Brief letters
The Guardian
Deer culling | Strike action | Royal funding | Fruity advice | Newton’s apple treeGeorge Monbiot says on killing a deer: “If, I reasoned, we believe something is right, we should be prepared to do it ourselves” (
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21 Feb 8:59am The BBC normalised racism last night, pure and simple | Owen Jones
The Guardian
Hate crimes have doubled in just five years. Why did our national broadcaster uncritically tweet the vile views of a Question Time audience member?This is how racism and rightwing extremism is normalised. Thursday night’s Question Time featured a
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21 Feb 7:10am I know what housing insecurity is like. Rising prices are not good news | Suzanne Moore
The Guardian
Entire generations will struggle to be able to afford their own property – the market has failed themLeaflets pile up on my doormat from estate agents. “For sale” signs are erected outside houses on my street. Tarpaulins covering exposed loft conversions blow in the wind. The signs are clear: people are looking for property in my area. I didn’t need a
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21 Feb 7:01am We can’t leave it to billionaires like Bezos and Bloomberg to solve the world’s problems | Simon Jenkins
The Guardian
It’s up to government to tax and spend for the good of all, and not the mega-rich seeking a warm glowSo who do you want for president, this
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21 Feb 2:00am When the storms hit, will Johnson and co help you? It’s the new postcode lottery | Jonathan Watts
The Guardian
This government’s response to the climate crisis appears to be: some of you will have to fend for yourselves As British high streets and farm fields
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21 Feb 1:30am The Tories have evolved as the left plays the same old tune | Owen Jones
The Guardian
Johnson and Cummings are able students of the new right that blends culture war with a raid on leftwing economics In the age of David Cameron and George Osborne, the left’s arguments seemed straightforward. Here was a slash-and-burn assault on the public realm, and an ideologically driven one at that. Despite initial claims that an attempt to drive government spending back to 1930s levels was simply an unavoidable necessity to save Britain from the fate of Greece, Cameron would
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21 Feb 1:00am Caroline Flack’s death shows how social media has democratised cruelty | Richard Seymour
The Guardian
Tabloids always hounded celebrities but online, anyone can be a public figure – and everyone can join a mob The days after the
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