The commentators 16-01-15
...on world politics
Forget Europe. Britain can always play Greece to America’s Rome. The notion that a special relationship with Washington is a more agreeable alternative to engagement on its own continent has long been a conceit of Britain’s eurosceptics. If it was ever true — and it looked dubious more than half a century ago when then prime minister Harold Macmillan toyed with the idea — the moment has long passed. If David Cameron imagines otherwise he will be disabused during this week’s visit to the White House.
- Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Meeting other world leaders is, presumably, part of most people’s idea of what a British Prime Minister should do, so it seems fair to guess that the Washington trip will, at the very least, reinforce Mr Cameron’s leadership credentials with voters. That’s not quite the same thing as reaching out to new voters or persuading them that a general election with at least six major parties in play really is a binary choice between two men.
- James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
We should congratulate the Prime Minister of Israel and ambassador for Saudi Arabia, for honouring satire in its time of need, by turning up to a march for free speech and against violence and murder. Across Gaza, people must have sat in the rubble that used to be their living room or local hospital and said: “Fair play to Netanyahu, at least he knows how to have a laugh.” And Raif Badawi will appreciate the Saudi government’s presence on a day for free speech, because he’s been sentenced to one thousand lashes by the Saudi government for setting up a liberal website.
- Mark Steel, The Independent
We are becoming fragile and fractious. Despite all the “unity” the response to Charlie Hebdo appears to have generated, we are turning on one another. This is what the killers want. The more we close our ears to unwelcome voices, the more we approach the sick mindsets of the jihadists – or, if you prefer, the bloated fantasies of the super-rich. To be able to survive we must be brave enough to not clutch our beliefs like comfort blankets, but examine them always for their own flaws
- Tim Lott, The Guardian
The franc’s appreciation will cause profound damage to the Swiss economy. In the short term, monetary conditions have become much tighter. Despite deflation, in relative terms Switzerland will become an ever more expensive place to do business. Manufacturers will have to compete against much cheaper German exports. Tourism and finance may take a hit. Ever more of its citizens will slip over the border for their shopping.
- Financial Times
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