Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The world is stuck in a vicious cycle (Financial Times)

Without a full course of treatment, the economic patient risks relapse, writes Lawrence Summers.

2. Andrew Mitchell should be gone by Wednesday (Guardian)

David Cameron can't sit this one out, says Jackie Ashley. The 'pleb' row has changed how voters see his party and is turning into a calamity.

3. BAE Systems, arms traders, and how the sordid greed of some of our rulers knows no bounds (Independent)

We will never be able to challenge the hold of British arms companies until their links with the establishment are severed, says Owen Jones.

4. Go for the common ground, not the centre (Times) (£)

You can be Eurosceptic and still love the NHS, writes Tim Montgomerie. The Tories can win if they say so.

5. Occupy was right – all the church could say was 'go home' (Guardian)

When the protest began exactly one year ago, the Church of England should also have been angry about the financial crisis, writes Giles Fraser.

6. Don’t honour a Brussels office block – give the Nobel to Maggie (Daily Telegraph)

Britain’s former prime minister has done far more than the EU to foster peace in Europe, argues Boris Johnson.

7.  George Osborne is still in denial over his failing strategy (Guardian)

The IMF's downgrade of its forecast for Britain shows how reckless it is for the chancellor to press on with austerity, says Ed Balls.

8. Too many wrongs made by a Wright over Hillsborough (Sun)

Four crucial witnesses may never have spoken publicly about the deceit peddled to them by South Yorkshire Police, writes Trevor Kavanagh.

9. Mexico is forgotten story of US election (Financial Times)

Americans only think of their neighbour as a law and order problem, says Edward Luce.

10. Will Murdoch move backfire on top Tory? (Daily Mail)

It defies belief that Maria Miller has not distanced herself from the Murdoch clan, writes Andrew Pierce.

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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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