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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Inside a shaken city: "I just want to be anywhere that’s not Manchester”

The morning after the bombing of the Manchester Arena has left the city's residents jumpy.

On Tuesday morning, the streets in Manchester city centre were eerily silent.

The commuter hub of Victoria Station - which backs onto the arena - was closed as police combed the area for clues, and despite Mayor Andy Burnham’s line of "business as usual", it looked like people were staying away.

Manchester Arena is the second largest indoor concert venue in Europe. With a capacity crowd of 18,000, on Monday night the venue was packed with young people from around the country - at least 22 of whom will never come home. At around 10.33pm, a suicide bomber detonated his device near the exit. Among the dead was an eight-year-old girl. Many more victims remain in hospital. 

Those Mancunians who were not alerted by the sirens woke to the news of their city's worst terrorist attack. Still, as the day went on, the city’s hubbub soon returned and, by lunchtime, there were shoppers and workers milling around Exchange Square and the town hall.

Tourists snapped images of the Albert Square building in the sunshine, and some even asked police for photographs like any other day.

But throughout the morning there were rumours and speculation about further incidents - the Arndale Centre was closed for a period after 11.40am while swathes of police descended, shutting off the main city centre thoroughfare of Market Street.

Corporation Street - closed off at Exchange Square - was at the centre of the city’s IRA blast. A postbox which survived the 1996 bombing stood in the foreground while officers stood guard, police tape fluttering around cordoned-off spaces.

It’s true that the streets of Manchester have known horror before, but not like this.

I spoke to students Beth and Melissa who were in the bustling centre when they saw people running from two different directions.

They vanished and ducked into River Island, when an alert came over the tannoy, and a staff member herded them through the back door onto the street.

“There were so many police stood outside the Arndale, it was so frightening,” Melissa told me.

“We thought it will be fine, it’ll be safe after last night. There were police everywhere walking in, and we felt like it would be fine.”

Beth said that they had planned a day of shopping, and weren’t put off by the attack.

“We heard about the arena this morning but we decided to come into the city, we were watching it all these morning, but you can’t let this stop you.”

They remembered the 1996 Arndale bombing, but added: “we were too young to really understand”.

And even now they’re older, they still did not really understand what had happened to the city.

“Theres nowhere to go, where’s safe? I just want to go home,” Melissa said. “I just want to be anywhere that’s not Manchester.”

Manchester has seen this sort of thing before - but so long ago that the stunned city dwellers are at a loss. In a city which feels under siege, no one is quite sure how anyone can keep us safe from an unknown threat

“We saw armed police on the streets - there were loads just then," Melissa said. "I trust them to keep us safe.”

But other observers were less comforted by the sign of firearms.

Ben, who I encountered standing outside an office block on Corporation Street watching the police, was not too forthcoming, except to say “They don’t know what they’re looking for, do they?” as I passed.

The spirit of the city is often invoked, and ahead of a vigil tonight in Albert Square, there will be solidarity and strength from the capital of the North.

But the community values which Mancunians hold dear are shaken to the core by what has happened here.

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