Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Lords reform: we'll defeat the rebels (Guardian)

Progressives have waited a century for Lords reform, writes Charles Kennedy. Will Labour vote tonight to restore faith in politics?

2. True Conservatives reject the Lords reform Bill (Daily Telegraph)

The Tory MPs opposing the coalition’s vandalism of the Lords cannot be described as "rebels", argues Iain Martin.

3. Vickers is not enough to stop another Libor scandal (Financial Times)

The report fails to identify the root causes of the financial crisis – opacity and leverage, writes Laurence Kotlikoff.

4. The Arab Spring’s spirit still burns in Libya (Daily Telegraph)

Against expectations, elections were free and peaceful, says Shashank Joshi.

5. Only the state can provide the care we need in old age (Guardian)

It's an inconvenient truth for George Osborne but the numbers don't lie: privately we can't afford to look after ourselves, says Polly Toynbee.

6. Civil society has slipped into a state of decay (Times) (£)

True citizens do more than vote and pay taxes, writes Niall Ferguson. They, not the state, prevent an uncivil society.

7. Defections and revolts expose the Assads (Financial Times)

While there have been no cases of units switching sides, the trickle is now a steady stream, writes David Gardner.

8. Our paranoia is a victory for terror (Independent)

Authorities have a vested interest in inflating national anxiety, says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

9. The military must invade our schools (Daily Telegraph)

We should enhance the Forces’ involvement in education, say Stephen Twigg and Jim Murphy.

10. It takes more than a stroke of genius to become a true champion (Independent)

Perhaps the idea of the effortless genius is born to reassure ourselves in our relative laziness, writes Dominic Lawson.

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Michael Gove definitely didn't betray anyone, says Michael Gove

What's a disagreement among friends?

Michael Gove is certainly not a traitor and he thinks Theresa May is absolutely the best leader of the Conservative party.

That's according to the cast out Brexiteer, who told the BBC's World At One life on the back benches has given him the opportunity to reflect on his mistakes. 

He described Boris Johnson, his one-time Leave ally before he decided to run against him for leader, as "phenomenally talented". 

Asked whether he had betrayed Johnson with his surprise leadership bid, Gove protested: "I wouldn't say I stabbed him in the back."

Instead, "while I intially thought Boris was the right person to be Prime Minister", he later came to the conclusion "he wasn't the right person to be Prime Minister at that point".

As for campaigning against the then-PM David Cameron, he declared: "I absolutely reject the idea of betrayal." Instead, it was a "disagreement" among friends: "Disagreement among friends is always painful."

Gove, who up to July had been a government minister since 2010, also found time to praise the person in charge of hiring government ministers, Theresa May. 

He said: "With the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to spend some time on the backbenches reflecting on some of the mistakes I've made and some of the judgements I've made, I actually think that Theresa is the right leader at the right time. 

"I think that someone who took the position she did during the referendum is very well placed both to unite the party and lead these negotiations effectively."

Gove, who told The Times he was shocked when Cameron resigned after the Brexit vote, had backed Johnson for leader.

However, at the last minute he announced his candidacy, and caused an infuriated Johnson to pull his own campaign. Gove received just 14 per cent of the vote in the final contest, compared to 60.5 per cent for May. 


Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.