Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. The Tories are trying to buy the election (Independent)

Jack Straw says that David Cameron's plan to fight the most expensive election campaign in British political history is at odds with his "age of austerity", and accuses the Tory leader of attempting to buy his way to power.

2. A dying refrain (Times)

A leader attacks China's execution of Akmal Shaikh and says that it has illuminated "the state-blessed barbarism" of that country's penal code.

3. What this execution doesn't say about China and Britain (Independent)

But a leader in the Independent says it is hypocritical to criticise China for using the death penalty while we appear to turn a blind eye to its use elsewhere.

4. David Cameron's campaign suggests a belief in nothing except money (Daily Telegraph)

Like Jack Straw, Simon Heffer argues that an £18m Tory election campaign is likely to trouble a country "in the grip of austerity".

5. Broken Bosnia needs western attention (Financial Times)

William Hague and Paddy Ashdown warn that Bosnia's "cold peace" is under threat and say that Europe must act to prevent the breakdown of the state.

6. A decade of global crimes, but also crucial advances (Guardian)

Seumas Milne argues that the death of the Washington consensus and the emergence of a multipolar world give reason to be cheerful.

7. Amid dark times, meet the most inspiring people of 2009 (Independent)

Johann Hari names the most inspiring figures of 2009, including Peter Tatchell, Amy Goodman and Evo Morales, and says they have followed the advice of the newsman Wes Nisker to "make your own news".

8. The trouble with Twitter (Guardian)

James Harkin says Twitter has done little more than allow us "to stare at our own narcissistic reflection".

9. The challenges of managing our post-crisis world (Financial Times)

Martin Wolf warns of a "perilous complacency" that ignores the continuing fragility of our global economy and civilisation.

10. Inheritance tax penalises aspiration (Daily Telegraph)

A leader praises the Tories for defending their plan to cut inheritance tax and calls on the party to take a similarly robust line on the new 50p income-tax rate.

 

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Police shoot man in parliament

A man carrying what appeared to be a knife was shot by armed police after entering the parliamentary estate. 

From the window of the parliamentary Press Gallery, I have just seen police shoot a man who charged at officers while carrying what appeared to be a knife. A large crowd was seen fleeing from the man before he entered the parliamentary estate.

After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.

Ministers have been evacuated and journalists ordered to remain at their desks. 

More follows. Read Julia Rampen's news story here.

Armed police at the cordon outside Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Getty

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.