Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. Where is the vitality and vision to win? (Guardian)

James Purnell sets out an alternative programme for Labour including 1 per cent of the bailout going to recapitalise local areas, a living wage and a cap on interest rates. He insists that Labour can win with a manifesto that offers "hope and radicalism", but warns that the party's vision and values are on "life support".

2. The Robinson scandal is just the beginning (Times)

Paul Bew says that the Robinson scandal is likely to derail the devolution of policing and justice powers to Northern Ireland. He warns that Sinn Fein may retaliate by bringing about a crisis of the power-sharing institutions that could prove fatal to the peace process.

3. What Obama must learn from the bomb plot (Financial Times)

Clive Crook says that Barack Obama's response to the jet bomb plot may have been mostly "pragmatic and defensible", but it looked "improvised and hesitant". The president should now demand that Congress pass an anti-terror law allowing pre-charge detention.

4. Labour beware . . . Brown's men will now be bent on revenge (Independent)

Paul Richards warns that Gordon Brown's allies, "skilled in bare-knuckle Labour politics", are likely to attempt to destroy the reputations and characters of his Labour opponents.

5. Who would want to replace Brown now? (Times)

William Rees-Mogg says that one of the main reasons Brown has survived is that any new leader could expect to serve for four months before losing the election. He predicts that Harriet Harman, who appeals to trade unionists, women and backbenchers, will lead Labour after its defeat.

6. Susan Greenfield should have been sacked (Daily Telegraph)

Melanie McDonagh argues that Greenfield deserved to be removed as head of the Royal Institution after presiding over a £22m redevelopment that left the society with debts of £3m.

7. Licentiousness breeds extremism (Independent)

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown warns that a decade of "economic greed and libertine excess" attracted youngsters to the self-discipline and certainties of Wahhabi Islam.

8. A job-rich US recovery is still plausible (Financial Times)

Robert Barbera and Charles Weise say that the US can expect jobs growth in the 300,000-per-month range this year and that the Obama administration should resist a new large-scale stimulus programme.

9. Military matters (Times)

A leader criticises the dysfunction at the top of the UK's armed forces and argues that if Britain is to succeed in Afghanistan then Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff, must go.

10. The roadworks scam that costs Londoners £1bn every year (Daily Telegraph)

Boris Johnson says that companies should receive a time-limited permit to dig up the roads and face tough fines if they overrun.

 

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

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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