Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. UK has political capital to lift investment (Financial Times)

There is significant room for the government to raise capital spending, says Tory MP Jesse Norman.

2. No exaggeration: Ukip is now a force to reckon with (Guardian)

If the cards fall its way, Nigel Farage's party will shape both the 2015 election and the politics of Britain and Europe for a generation, says Martin Kettle.

3. Why fuss over exams at 16? No one else does (Times) (£)

O levels, GCSEs or the EBC – they all look obsolete as the school-leaving age rises to 18, writes David Miliband.

4. What exactly makes the Lib Dems different? (Independent)

The party has two problems: lack of policy impact and ambivalence over the true meaning of localism, says Steve Richards.

5. This shameful BAE Systems deal would rip the heart out of Britain plc (Daily Mail)

Companies with the word ‘British’ in their name have become easy prey for predators, writes Alex Brummer.

6. Do we really want to arm our police? (Daily Telegraph)

Despite the murder of two unarmed WPcs in Manchester, few officers want an armed force, writes Philip Johnston.

7. The justice and security bill is on the right track (Guardian)

As an instinctive liberal, I believe this bill will shine a light into the state's darkest corners, writes Ken Clarke.

8. Pinstripes, plain views – and a real problem for Cameron (Daily Telegraph)

Ukip hopes to split the Tory leadership from its base, writes Paul Goodman. The PM would be a fool to ignore the threat.

9. A plague we must stop before it is endemic (Independent)

If Britain was ever an uncorrupt society, those days are long passed, writes Andreas Whittam Smith. MPs and police officers work in small, closed societies where bad practices easily flourish.

10. The real lesson from Japan’s lost decade (Financial Times)

The Treasury should set the Bank of England a nominal GDP target, argues Chris Giles.

Getty
Show Hide image

Commons Confidential: Dave's picnic with Dacre

Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

Sulking David Cameron can’t forgive the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, for his role in his downfall. The unrelenting hostility of the self-appointed voice of Middle England to the Remain cause felt pivotal to the defeat. So, what a glorious coincidence it was that they found themselves picnicking a couple of motors apart before England beat Scotland at Twickenham. My snout recalled Cameron studiously peering in the opposite direction. On Dacre’s face was the smile of an assassin. Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

The good news is that since Jeremy Corbyn let Theresa May off the Budget hook at Prime Minister’s Questions, most of his MPs no longer hate him. The bad news is that many now openly express their pity. It is whispered that Corbyn’s office made it clear that he didn’t wish to sit next to Tony Blair at the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial in London. His desire for distance was probably reciprocated, as Comrade Corbyn wanted Brigadier Blair to be charged with war crimes. Fighting old battles is easier than beating the Tories.

Brexit is a ticket to travel. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is lifting its three-trip cap on funded journeys to Europe for MPs. The idea of paying for as many cross-Channel visits as a politician can enjoy reminds me of Denis MacShane. Under the old limits, he ended up in the clink for fiddling accounts to fund his Continental missionary work. If the new rule was applied retrospectively, perhaps the former Labour minister should be entitled to get his seat back and compensation?

The word in Ukip is that Paul Nuttall, OBE VC KG – the ridiculed former Premier League professional footballer and England 1966 World Cup winner – has cold feet after his Stoke mauling about standing in a by-election in Leigh (assuming that Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May). The electorate already knows his Walter Mitty act too well.

A senior Labour MP, who demanded anonymity, revealed that she had received a letter after Leicester’s Keith Vaz paid men to entertain him. Vaz had posed as Jim the washing machine man. Why, asked the complainant, wasn’t this second job listed in the register of members’ interests? She’s avoiding writing a reply.

Years ago, this column unearthed and ridiculed the early journalism of George Osborne, who must be the least qualified newspaper editor in history. The cabinet lackey Ben “Selwyn” Gummer’s feeble intervention in the Osborne debate has put him on our radar. We are now watching him and will be reporting back. My snouts are already unearthing interesting information.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 23 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's permanent revolution