June 26, 2024 - 6:20pm

→ Tony Blair: lockdowns in developing world did more harm than good

Several months after interviewing Dominic Cummings, podcast host Dwarkesh Patel has bagged another big-name guest from British politics. In a new interview, former prime minister Tony Blair told Patel that, having previously advocated a strict tiered system during the pandemic, he now believes that Covid lockdowns in the developing world “did more harm than good”.

The former Labour leader added that “part of the problem was that governments weren’t sure where to go for advice,” and that leaders had “to balance [scientific advice] with the needs of their economy and the anxiety a lot of people had”. Ultimately, Blair argued, “you can’t really leave [the decision to lock down] to [politicians] because that’s not their expertise.”

In the 52-minute chat, Blair also labelled the process of governing as “a conspiracy for inertia”, and stated that “we live in a multipolar world today. Personally I think that’s a good thing. In any event, it’s an inevitable thing.” No doubt we can expect such provocative soundbites from the present Labour leader in tonight’s debate

→ Gender-critical women split on voting Labour

Despite the Labour Party’s inconsistencies on women’s rights and the trans question, some gender-critical Labour-sceptics are voting for the party anyway. UnHerd columnist Kathleen Stock told Times Radio today that, despite not trusting Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who has “flip-flopped around like a fish”, she will “vote Labour, much to the horror of many of the gender critical women around me, because I can see that there’s bigger issues than this one”.

Fellow UnHerd writer Julie Bindel may reluctantly vote for Starmer: “If I don’t spoil my ballot, which I am sorely tempted to do, it will have to be Labour.” However, many women on the Left still feel politically homeless. Writing in UnHerd this week, Joan Smith outlined why she had resigned her membership: “The party has taken an inexplicable decision to treat women, who make up half the population, as less deserving of attention than the tiny proportion who are transgender.” Can Labour be trusted on women’s rights? They might need to give David Tennant the cold shoulder first

→ Confusion over Meta’s politics content ahead of US debate

It has been known for some time that Meta wants to avoid the political arena after the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal during the 2016 US presidential election, which tarnished Mark Zuckerberg’s reputation. But a recent change of policy shows the corporation has gone further than ever in its sanitisation of Instagram. Users have seemingly been automatically opted out of receiving political content from the algorithm ,and will need to opt in every time they open the app. This certainly looks odd on the day before the first Biden-Trump debate of the election.

A Meta spokesperson responded to the FWIW (For What It’s Worth) report by saying: “This was an error and should not have happened. We’re working on getting it fixed.” Best stay on the free-for-all app formerly known as Twitter for your political fix…