03/10/2020
3 Oct 2020

American meltdown

3 Oct 2020

American meltdown

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Features
Matt Purple
American meltdown: a democratic disaster

Tuesday night’s debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden was a hopeless mess — a national embarrassment. For 90 minutes, two cantankerous and incoherent old men ignored the rules, shouted over each other and ruined the event. Trump insulted Biden’s intelligence and his children. Biden told Trump to ‘shut up’ and called him ‘a clown’. The debate may prove useful in one sense, however — as a foretaste of the democratic meltdown that is coming America’s way after the election on 3 November.

American meltdown: a democratic disaster
Simon Wood
How much does it cost to save lives from Covid?

How much should we pay to save life? The question is often viewed as distasteful: you can’t put a price on human life. But resources are finite. Even if the only purpose of life was to prolong it for as long as possible, there would be limits to healthcare affordability. So if resources are limited, how can their application be made fairly? And how can this logic be applied in a pandemic? One element when establishing a fair method is to consider life years saved rather than lives saved.

How much does it cost to save lives from Covid?
Douglas Murray
At last, the Conservatives are showing some fight in the culture war

A beautiful noise rang out last week in the wake of the news that the government is considering Charles Moore to become the new chairman of the BBC and Paul Dacre to be the head of the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom. The noise was the sound of the British left wailing that toys they thought were theirs alone might now (under a Conservative government) finally go to identifiable conservatives. The former editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger shrieked that ‘this is what an oligarchy looks like’.

At last, the Conservatives are showing some fight in the culture war
Laura Freeman
Let men have their boys’ clubs

Taken to the Garrick Club one evening, I was surprised when a mouse ran across the carpet. I squeaked and pulled my legs up. Not a murmur from the other armchairs. My host leaned over. ‘No one minds the mice,’ he explained. ‘It’s the women they don’t want.’ It made me laugh then and it makes me laugh now. I thought fondly of this story when I read in the paper that Emily Bendell, founder of the lingerie brand Bluebella, had instructed lawyers to seek an injunction preventing the Garrick from ‘continuing to operate its discriminatory policy’ of excluding women would-be members.

Let men have their boys’ clubs
Kit Wilson
BBC sports coverage is becoming unwatchable

Back when I was a kid, just before the internet flattened the world, I spent my Saturday afternoons listening to live football on the radio. The signal came and went, voices bobbed up above the waves of static and sank back down into their crackly depths, but the experience was always magical. I clung to the commentators’ every word and watched the ball dance from player to player in my mind. Probably the most memorable voice was the Northern Irish snarl of Alan Green.

BBC sports coverage is becoming unwatchable
Yiannis Baboulias
The fall of Golden Dawn

Next week, the biggest Nazi-related trial since Nuremberg will come to a close. Following the murder of Greek musician Pavlos Fyssas by a member of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn seven years ago, the entire leadership and dozens of members were charged under counter-terrorism legislation with running an organised crime syndicate. The case file, which runs at more than 3,000 pages, includes charges of murder, arson, possession of guns and explosives, and even trafficking.

The fall of Golden Dawn
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