Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. A health service for all citizens really would be patriotic (Daily Telegraph)

Patriotism may prove to be the legacy of these Olympics, and politicians are vying to claim its spirit as their own, writes Mary Riddell.

2. Mohamed Morsi is changing the balance of power in Egypt (Guardian)

In ousting Mubarak-era military chiefs the president has, some fear, accrued too many powers, writes David Hearst. But he is no Vladimir Putin.

3. PM can't count on any gains from the feel-good factor (Independent)

There are millions of Britons thoroughly cheesed off by their inability to get tickets, writes Dominic Lawson.

4. Britain can avoid a post-Olympic crash (Financial Times)

The success of the Olympics has reminded the British that they live in a country that can still succeed on and off the track, writes Gideon Rachman.

5. The risk of allowing shops to open all hours (Daily Telegraph)

Total deregulation may sound tempting, but Sunday trading law stirs strong emotions, writes Philip Johnston.

6. Must the poor go hungry just so the rich can drive? (Guardian)

Sports stars like Mo Farah at No 10 will not change a simple fact: people are starving because of the west's thirst for biofuels, says George Monbiot.

7. London’s East End shows limits of the state (Financial Times)

Just as the UK is learning to invest in itself, it is losing its strengths of openness and flexibility, argues Janan Ganesh.

8. If only a real democrat was behind this sacking (Times) (£)

The removal of Egypt’s army chief restrains the military, writes Maajid Nawaz. Now we need to rein in Islamism.

9. Only big ideas will revive the economy (Daily Mail)

What is needed is nothing less than a fundamental rebalancing of the state-driven economy in favour of the wealth-creating private sector, argues a Daily Mail leader.

10. Paul Ryan's faith in Ayn Rand is a political problem for Romney (Guardian)

Romney's running mate may be Catholic but his admiration for an author hostile to Jesus's teachings risks losing him votes, writes Giles Fraser.

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It's Gary Lineker 1, the Sun 0

The football hero has found himself at the heart of a Twitter storm over the refugee children debate.

The Mole wonders what sort of topsy-turvy universe we now live in where Gary Lineker is suddenly being called a “political activist” by a Conservative MP? Our favourite big-eared football pundit has found himself in a war of words with the Sun newspaper after wading into the controversy over the age of the refugee children granted entry into Britain from Calais.

Pictures published earlier this week in the right-wing press prompted speculation over the migrants' “true age”, and a Tory MP even went as far as suggesting that these children should have their age verified by dental X-rays. All of which leaves your poor Mole with a deeply furrowed brow. But luckily the British Dental Association was on hand to condemn the idea as unethical, inaccurate and inappropriate. Phew. Thank God for dentists.

Back to old Big Ears, sorry, Saint Gary, who on Wednesday tweeted his outrage over the Murdoch-owned newspaper’s scaremongering coverage of the story. He smacked down the ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson, in a single tweet, calling him a “racist idiot”, and went on to defend his right to express his opinions freely on his feed.

The Sun hit back in traditional form, calling for Lineker to be ousted from his job as host of the BBC’s Match of the Day. The headline they chose? “Out on his ears”, of course, referring to the sporting hero’s most notable assets. In the article, the tabloid lays into Lineker, branding him a “leftie luvvie” and “jug-eared”. The article attacked him for describing those querying the age of the young migrants as “hideously racist” and suggested he had breached BBC guidelines on impartiality.

All of which has prompted calls for a boycott of the Sun and an outpouring of support for Lineker on Twitter. His fellow football hero Stan Collymore waded in, tweeting that he was on “Team Lineker”. Leading the charge against the Murdoch-owned title was the close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Channel 4 News economics editor, Paul Mason, who tweeted:

Lineker, who is not accustomed to finding himself at the centre of such highly politicised arguments on social media, responded with typical good humour, saying he had received a bit of a “spanking”.

All of which leaves the Mole with renewed respect for Lineker and an uncharacteristic desire to watch this weekend’s Match of the Day to see if any trace of his new activist persona might surface.


I'm a mole, innit.