Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. A Lib-Lab pact: deep down they know it makes sense (Guardian)

John Harris says that a Labour-Lib Dem agreement is the only way to prevent a Tory government that would "attempt the revival of just about everything that has been so discredited".

2. Don't waste your money on an early election (Times)

Daniel Finkelstein argues that with Labour still only on a poll average of 30 per cent, Gordon Brown would be foolish to call an early election in March.

3. It's the protesters who offer the best hope for our planet (Independent)

Johann Hari praises the Copenhagen protesters for ensuring that the corporate lobbyists attempting to block an agreement have been exposed.

4. Britain's dismal choice: how to share the losses (Financial Times)

Martin Wolf says that Alistair Darling has shied away from exploring the full implications of the UK's poorer position. The question now is how to share the losses without damaging the vulnerable.

5. Britain needs the Bomb? That was the last war (Times)

Roy Hattersley calls on the government to abandon the £20bn Trident renewal and use the money saved to finance Britain's new world role -- "peacekeeping, conflict resolution and fighting bushfires".

6. Obama is not saviour of the world. He's still an American president (Guardian)

Jonathan Freedland says that environmental campaigners must remember the "multiple ball-and-chains" around Barack Obama's ankle that weaken his negotiating position.

7. Livni has no right to claim immunity from prosecution (Independent)

Sir Geoffrey Bindman argues that the former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni has no claim to "diplomatic immunity" in an age of universal jurisdiction.

8. Innumerate bankers were ripe for a reckoning (Financial Times)

Martin Taylor, the former chief executive of Barclays, says that reckless bankers who based their calculations on "imaginary wealth" deserved to be punished.

9. Silvio Berlusconi: Politics alla puttanesca (Guardian)

A leader in the paper argues that Berlusconi's plan to crack down on critical websites is illegitimate and a "response reminiscent of a central Asian republic". World leaders should distance themselves from the Italian prime minister, it concludes.

10. Students can't afford to be cash cows (Daily Telegraph)

Lauren Cheshire says that the government's treatment of students as "consumers" risks turning bastions of learning into "corporate machines".

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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