Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. The all-powerful press baron is just a myth (Times) (£)

If the Machiavellian figure being hunted at the Leveson Inquiry ever existed he belongs to a long-gone era, says Philip Collins.

2. Leveson inquiry: after Murdoch, the trail leads to Downing Street (Guardian)

This week Leveson moved into its final and most dramatic act. Ian Katz says that the focus will soon be on No 10.

3. Just another businessman playing the power game (Financial Times)

Politicians come and go, but Murdoch represents long-lived, market-tested institutional power, says Philip Delves Broughton.

4. Murdoch and the Cameron entourage: a shameful tale laid out for all to see (Guardian)

If you think this is a navel-gazing media story, here's a reminder of what the Tories were about to unleash on the country, says Polly Toynbee.

5. Stand up, Tories, and embrace your poshness (Times) (£)

Being ‘privileged’ always seems to mean ‘out of touch’. Far from it, says Hugo Rifkind: it often means you have wider experience.

6. Rise of Europe's far right cannot be explained by recession alone (Independent)

Adrian Hamilton argues that Le Pen's success in France is based on the language of the outsider.

7. Now Charles Taylor has gone, Sierra Leone is on the rise (Guardian)

The nation has been booming since the civil war ended. Now his conviction offers the hope of political maturity too, says Aminatta Forna.

8. Welcome to tricolour Britain, a country divided along party lines (Daily Telegraph)

Fraser Nelson says that a political landscape is emerging in which no one can lay claim to nationwide appeal.

9. The great middle class power grab (Financial Times)

Even the most conservative assumptions point to an irrevocable redistribution of economic power, says Philip Stephens.

10. The Children of Fallujah - the hospital of horrors (Independent)

Robert Fisk asks what lies behind the stillbirths, disabilities, and deformities too distressing to describe that he sees at Fallujah hospital, Baghdad.

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Katy Perry just saved the Brits with a parody of Donald Trump and Theresa May

Our sincerest thanks to the pop star for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to a very boring awards show.

Now, your mole cannot claim to be an expert on the cutting edge of culture, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2017, it’s that the Brit Awards are more old hat than my press cap. 

Repeatedly excluding the genres and artists that make British music genuinely innovative, the Brits instead likes to spend its time rewarding such dangerous up-and-coming acts as Robbie Williams. And it’s hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Which is why the regular audience must have been genuinely baffled to see a hint of political edge entering the ceremony this year. Following an extremely #makeuthink music video released earlier this week, Katy Perry took to the stage to perform her single “Chained to the Rhythm” amongst a sea of suburban houses. Your mole, for one, doesn’t think there are enough model villages at popular award ceremonies these days.

But while Katy sang of “stumbling around like a wasted zombie”, and her house-clad dancers fell off the edge of the stage, two enormous skeleton puppets entered the performance in... familiar outfits.

As our Prime Minister likes to ask, remind you of anyone?

How about now?

Wow. Satire.

The mole would like to extend its sincerest lukewarm thanks to Katy Perry for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to one of the most vanilla, status-quo-preserving awards ceremonies in existence. 

I'm a mole, innit.