Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Clegg might be a pantomime act, but Cameron gave him the role (Daily Telegraph)

The Prime Minister is reaping the fallout from his generosity to Lib Dems after the election, says Iain Martin.

2. Stakes are unbearably high for Salmond and Cameron (Independent)

Were Scotland's First Minister to win the referendum on independence, it would be a devastating blow to the PM's authority, says Steve Richards.

3. Yes, but can we really imagine what it’s like? (Times) (£)

Being disabled is not heroic, as images from the Paralympics suggest, writes David Aaronovitch. We need empathy with the ordinary grind.

4. Republicans can end 15 years of US stupidity (Financial Times)

For the first time a VP selection has changed the campaign, writes Conrad Black.

5. Marikana is a turning point (Guardian)

The brutal exposure of South Africa's inequality may at last shock the governing elite out of its complacency, says William Gumede.

6. Lift-off from Heathrow is a flight of fancy (Daily Telegraph)

Tim Yeo's outburst has strengthened Justine Greening's position, says Sue Cameron.

7. Don’t make wealth tax a habit (Financial Times)

The Treasury can only pull off limited tricks of this kind, writes Howard Davies.

8. Lib Dems are ruthless – and the figures show Nick Clegg is a loser (Guardian)

With Vince Cable having said he is available, it seems the only question is when, not if, the party decides to oust its leader, writes Martin Kettle.

9. Clegg's risible display of student politics (Daily Mail)

The Deputy PM is hoping that a pathetic appeal to the politics of envy will please his activists and put distance between himself and the Tories, says a Daily Mail editorial.

10. It's not rhetoric to draw parallels with Nazism (Independent)

Actual fascists in actual black shirts are waving swastikas and murdering ethnic minorities in Athens, writes Laurie Penny.

David Cameron shows Labour how to do it

Leftwing rhetoric masked rightwing reality in Cameron's conference speech.

“The tanks are in the kitchen,” was the gloomy verdict of one Labour staffer to a speech in which the Prime Minister roamed freely into traditional left-wing territory.

But don’t be fooled: David Cameron is still the leader of an incredibly right-wing government for all the liberal-left applause lines.

He gave a very moving account of the difficulties faced by careleavers: but it is his government that is denying careleavers the right to claim housing benefit after they turn 22.

He made a powerful case for expanding home ownership: but his proposed solution is a bung for buy-to-let boomers and dual-earner childless couples, the only working-age demographic to do better under Cameron than under Labour.

On policy, he made just one real concession to the left: he stuck to his guns on equal rights and continued his government’s assault on the ridiculous abuse of stop-and-search. Neither of these are small issues, and they are a world away from the Conservative party before Cameron – but they also don’t cost anything.

In exchange for a few warm words, Cameron will get the breathing space to implement a true-blue Conservative agenda, with an ever-shrinking state for most of Britain, accompanied by largesse for well-heeled pensioners, yuppie couples, and small traders.

But in doing so, he gave Labour a lesson in what they must do to win again. Policy-wise,it is Labour – with their plans to put rocketboosters under the number of new housing units built – who have the better plan to spread home ownership than Cameron’s marginal solutions. But last week, John McDonnelll focussed on the 100,000 children in temporary accomodation. They are undoubtedly the biggest and most deserving victims of Britain’s increasingly dysfunctional housing market. But Labour can’t get a Commons majority – or even win enough seats to form a minority government – if they only talk about why their policies are right for the poor. They can’t even get a majority of votes from the poor that way.

What’s the answer to Britain’s housing crisis? It’s more housebuilding, including more social housing. Labour can do what Cameron did today in Manchester – and deliver radical policy with moderate rhetoric, or they can lose.

But perhaps, if Cameron feels like the wrong role model, they could learn from a poster at the People’s History Museum, taken not from Labour’s Blairite triumphs or even the 1960s, but from 1945: “Everyone – yes, everyone – will be better off under a Labour government”.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.