Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Freedland’

The Uncuts: 2023 political awards (Part I)

01/01/2024, 10:45:40 AM

Worst and Best Takes on the Israel-Gaza Crisis

It has been a decade since the last major flare-up between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza. In that time, millions of Britons have come of age and many more millions, lacking the excuse of youth, seem not to have paid any attention to the facts of a complicated conflict and prefer easy, soundbite answers.

In 2023, there was not a mere escalation in tensions but a horrific upsurge of violence, triggered by a single day of massacre of civilians on the 7th of October. We struggle for comparisons, but a simple way think of it is as the Israeli 9/11; a day when a terrorist organisation opted to cut the lives short of innocents, in this case many tortured and raped before their eventual slaughter. How anyone could expect Israel not to retaliate against an organisation not only carrying this out, but which had restarted a daily barrage of rocket attacks into the bargain, defies understanding.

It is unfortunate to have to note that our national media has not exactly covered itself in glory on the subject. The Guardian we have, in the main, long expected to show ugly partisanship with any country which opposes Israel, no matter how awful the regime. But we might have expected better of BBC News and even Sky News, which seemed to demand ridiculous levels of proof of the rape and torture aspects of the attacks which most of us realised were real on Day Two, as well as adopting unabridged casualty figures from a terrorist organisation well known for its shameless misinformation.

For balance, there were some poor journalistic takes on the pro-Israeli side too, however; in the Telegraph, Jake Wallis Simons decided that the two-state solution was part of the problem and not the solution. And there were the usual braying voices on the Israeli right.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Labour will need both Darling and Johnson at the next election

02/04/2013, 08:18:51 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Unity should run through Labour like a stick of rock. Following David Miliband’s departure, we should reflect on what this might mean for figures like Alistair Darling and Alan Johnson in the general election campaign.

It seems that Ed Miliband left the door open for his brother to serve on his frontbench but David preferred to run the International Rescue Committee. It also seems to me that Jonathan Freedland has called this correctly by saying this was the best decision for David but may not be for Labour.

Things are not quite so desperate that all Ed can offer the British people is blood, toil, tears and sweat. But it might not be so far off. We are in the slowest economic recovery on record and the fiscal position becomes ever more horrific.

The only quick and easy road for Ed will be to the kind of unhappy position of Francois Hollande, which he created for himself by having “rather pretended to the French that he and they wouldn’t have to make any difficult choices”, as Andrew Rawnsley put it.

We should level with people that life under PM Ed will be a hard slog. But less so than under this government because of the one nation approach that Ed would bring to his task. Yet Gaby Hinsliff has observed of this thematic frame:

“For all I know it may embrace raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, and feel warmly towards brown paper packages tied up with string: it’s not that these ideas are impossibly contradictory, just that cramming too many of them beneath one umbrella term renders it faintly meaningless.”


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon