Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Now it’s David Cameron’s turn to display his one-nation credentials (Daily Telegraph)

It’s a simple choice for the Tories: face defeat or rekindle the high hopes of two years ago, says Peter Oborne.

2. Miliband and Blair have more in common than those stuck in the past can allow (Guardian)

Like Eric Hobsbawn, Miliband and Blair recognise the Labour party has to transcend old failed labourism to win and govern, says Martin Kettle.

3. Innovation drives America’s reinvention (Financial Times)

From looking lost in telecoms and energy, the US has recovered and raced ahead of competition, writes John Gapper.

4. Savile’s time was different. We’ve grown up (Times) (£)

Today, rumours of sex with under-age girls bring instant investigation, writes David Aaronovitch. Forty years ago people looked the other way.

5. Maria Miller, the abortion limit and a case of ideology masquerading as science (Independent)

The minister should hold back on her lifestyle advice, says Mary Ann Sieghart.

6. Tweaking it all for the telly is infantilising our party conferences (Guardian)

The accent is on clarity, repetition and brevity; delegates are reduced to meat, writes Zoe Williams. There hardly seems room for politics.

7. Whitehall's West Coast railway disaster (Daily Telegraph)

Ministers and mandarins must work together to avoid repeating the West Coast rail franchise fiasco, says Sue Cameron.

8. David Cameron has lost his chance to redefine the Tories (Guardian)

He has abandoned the vision of one-nation conservatism that so inspired me, and retoxified his party, says Philip Blond.

9. One nation? Hypocritical Red Ed is the most divisive Labour leader for decades (Daily Mail)

Miliband attempts to conceal his own privileged background, while stoking up the politics of envy, says Stephen Glover.

10. Demographics ignite China’s factory riots (Financial Times)

The country can no longer rely on an endless stream of pliant migrant workers, says David Pilling.

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The buck doesn't stop with Grant Shapps - and probably shouldn't stop with Lord Feldman, either

The question of "who knew what, and when?" shouldn't stop with the Conservative peer.

If Grant Shapps’ enforced resignation as a minister was intended to draw a line under the Mark Clarke affair, it has had the reverse effect. Attention is now shifting to Lord Feldman, who was joint chair during Shapps’  tenure at the top of CCHQ.  It is not just the allegations of sexual harrassment, bullying, and extortion against Mark Clarke, but the question of who knew what, and when.

Although Shapps’ resignation letter says that “the buck” stops with him, his allies are privately furious at his de facto sacking, and they are pointing the finger at Feldman. They point out that not only was Feldman the senior partner on paper, but when the rewards for the unexpected election victory were handed out, it was Feldman who was held up as the key man, while Shapps was given what they see as a relatively lowly position in the Department for International Development.  Yet Feldman is still in post while Shapps was effectively forced out by David Cameron. Once again, says one, “the PM’s mates are protected, the rest of us shafted”.

As Simon Walters reports in this morning’s Mail on Sunday, the focus is turning onto Feldman, while Paul Goodman, the editor of the influential grassroots website ConservativeHome has piled further pressure on the peer by calling for him to go.

But even Feldman’s resignation is unlikely to be the end of the matter. Although the scope of the allegations against Clarke were unknown to many, questions about his behaviour were widespread, and fears about the conduct of elections in the party’s youth wing are also longstanding. Shortly after the 2010 election, Conservative student activists told me they’d cheered when Sadiq Khan defeated Clarke in Tooting, while a group of Conservative staffers were said to be part of the “Six per cent club” – they wanted a swing big enough for a Tory majority, but too small for Clarke to win his seat. The viciousness of Conservative Future’s internal elections is sufficiently well-known, meanwhile, to be a repeated refrain among defenders of the notoriously opaque democratic process in Labour Students, with supporters of a one member one vote system asked if they would risk elections as vicious as those in their Tory equivalent.

Just as it seems unlikely that Feldman remained ignorant of allegations against Clarke if Shapps knew, it feels untenable to argue that Clarke’s defeat could be cheered by both student Conservatives and Tory staffers and the unpleasantness of the party’s internal election sufficiently well-known by its opponents, without coming across the desk of Conservative politicians above even the chair of CCHQ’s paygrade.

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