US Press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1. Natural Born Drillers (New York Times)

Republicans say gas would be cheap and jobs plentiful if we stopped protecting the environment and gave energy companies free rein. Krugman says: they're wrong.

2. Obama's oil flimflam (Washington Post)

Petroleum is passe; algae is in! Charles Krauthammer attacks the President's energy policy.

3. Bombing Syria risks making things worse (USA Today)

This leading article argues that the proper course is to methodically align the forces that will remove Assad while limiting the risks.

4. In defense of homeless hotspots (New York Daily News)

George McDonald argues that the new trend of "human wifi" is bringing invisible people into the light of society.

5. The death star of finance? (Boston Globe) ($)

Despite its easy-to-ridicule anguish at the "toxic and destructive'' culture at Goldman Sachs, a recent widely read New York Times piece makes a valid point, says this editorial.

6. Time for some sunlight on pensions (Houston Chronicle)

It's Sunshine week and Texans should be asking the tough questions about their retirement pot, says this editorial.

7. America's Real War on Women (Wall Street Journal) ($)

Some men think they can get away with vulgarity because they're on the "correct" side on social issues, writes Peggy Noonan; others tire of being bullied by the language police.

8. Romney feels Bill Clinton's pain (Chicago Tribune)

But will the struggling candidate have his luck? asks Eric Zorn.

9. How Not to Attract Tourists (International Herald Tribune)

Mark Vanhoenacker advises the government to take a tip from the American people and learn how to welcome foreign visitors in an open-hearted and practical way.

10. The GOP delegate math (Denver Post)

Eugene Robinson explains: If Rick Santorum wants to keep Mitt Romney from wrapping up the Republican nomination before the convention, he should encourage Newt Gingrich to stay in the race, not drop out.

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Commons Confidential: When Corbyn met Obama

The Labour leader chatted socialism with the leader of the free world.

Child labour isn’t often a subject for small talk, and yet it proved an ice-breaker when Jeremy Corbyn met Barack Obama. The Labour leader presented the US president with a copy of What Would Keir Hardie Say? edited by Pauline Bryan and including a chapter penned by Comrade Corbyn himself.

The pair, I’m informed by a reliable snout, began their encounter by discussing exploitation and how Hardie started work at the tender age of seven, only to be toiling in a coal mine three years later.

The book explores Hardie’s relevance today. Boris Johnson will no doubt sniff a socialist conspiracy when he learns that the president knew, or at least appeared to know, far more about Hardie and the British left than many MPs, Labour as well as Tory.

***

Make what you will of the following comment by a very senior Tory. During a private conversation with a Labour MP on the same select committee, this prominent Conservative, upon spotting Chuka Umunna, observed: “We were very relieved when he pulled out of your leadership race. Very capable. We feared him.” He then, in
a reference to Sajid Javid, went on: “We’ve got one of them.” What could he mean? I hope it’s that both are young, bald and ambitious . . .

***

To Wales, where talk is emerging of who will succeed Carwyn Jones as First Minister and Welsh Labour leader. Jones hasn’t announced plans to quit the posts he has occupied since 2009, but that isn’t dampening speculation. The expectation is that he won’t serve a full term, should Labour remain in power after 5 May, either as a minority administration or in coalition in the Senedd.

Names being kicked about include two potential newcomers: the former MEP Eluned Morgan, now a baroness in the House of Cronies, and the Kevin Whately lookalike Huw Irranca-Davies, swapping his Westminster seat, Ogmore, for a place in the Welsh Assembly. Neither, muttered my informant, is standing to make up the numbers.

***

No 10’s spinner-in-chief Craig “Crazy Olive” Oliver’s decision to place Barack Obama’s call for Britain to remain in Europe in the Daily Telegraph reflected, whispered my source, Downing Street’s hope that the Torygraph’s big-business advertisers and readers will keep away from the rest of the Tory press.

The PM has given up on the Europhobic Sun and Daily Mail. Both papers enjoy chucking their weight about, yet fear the implications for their editorial clout should they wind up on the losing side if the country votes to remain on 23 June.

***

Asked if that Eurofan, Tony Blair, will play a prominent role in the referendum campaign, a senior Remainer replied: “No, he’s toxic. But with all that money, he could easily afford to bankroll it.”

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 28 April 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The new fascism