Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. Brown may have survived. But the coup was a success (Guardian)

Seumas Milne argues that although the Hoon/Hewitt coup failed to oust Gordon Brown it succeeded in changing Labour's political direction. Thanks to the Blairites, the government's "crablike shift" towards a more social-democratic stance has come to a halt.

2. Bankers are just bonus-snaffling Marxists (Times)

Anatole Kaletsky says that, as with Yugoslav workers' co-operatives, the problem with the banks was that managers paid out all the revenues in wages and allowed their capital to disappear.

3. Crunch time for reforming banks (Daily Telegraph)

The launch of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in the US is the last chance to shame a banking industry into change, says Adrian Michaels.

4. Iris Robinson is not a sinner. She's a heroine (Times)

Robinson may be "fairly ghastly" but she deserves to be celebrated for breaking free from decades of suffocating Presbyterianism, argues Melanie Reid.

5. Ranting against Iran won't help reform (Independent)

Declaring Iran a pariah state and imposing new sanctions will not help the country's dissidents, warns Adrian Hamilton. Western protesters must remember that change will come only from within the country, not without.

6. The biggest loser from this election will be positive politics (Independent)

John Rentoul says that, with the Tories nowhere near as popular as New Labour was in 1997, we can expect a dismal anti-politics election, with no party able to offer a clean break.

7. Will Google stand up to France and Italy, too? (Guardian)

Rebecca MacKinnon praises Google's stand against Chinese censorship, but questions whether the internet giant will be willing to challenge France's and Italy's efforts to restrict web privacy and freedom.

8. The crusade against faith schools is an attack on our freedom (Daily Telegraph)

Ed Balls's attempt to control the admissions policies of faith schools is illiberal and unjust, argues Benedict Brogan.

9. Haiti's earthquake (Times)

A leader says that the US has allowed Haiti, a country on its doorstep, to become a failed state. The Obama administration must lead the way in mounting an effective aid operation.

10. Media-savvy designer Islamists must not distract us from the real danger (Guardian)

Timothy Garton Ash warns that steps to ban Islam4UK and other extremist groups once again risk reducing liberty without increasing security.

 

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter

Getty
Show Hide image

Keir Starmer's Brexit diary: Why doesn't David Davis want to answer my questions?

The shadow Brexit secretary on the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers, the Prime Minister's speech and tracking down his opposite in government. 

My Brexit diary starts with a week of frustration and anticipation. 

Following the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers, I asked that David Davis come to Parliament on the first day back after recess to make a statement. My concern was not so much the fact of Ivan’s resignation, but the basis – his concern that the government still had not agreed negotiating terms and so the UKRep team in Brussels was under-prepared for the challenge ahead. Davis refused to account, and I was deprived of the opportunity to question him. 

However, concerns about the state of affairs described by Rogers did prompt the Prime Minister to promise a speech setting out more detail of her approach to Brexit. Good, we’ve had precious little so far! The speech is now scheduled for Tuesday. Whether she will deliver clarity and reassurance remains to be seen. 

The theme of the week was certainly the single market; the question being what the PM intends to give up on membership, as she hinted in her otherwise uninformative Sophy Ridge interview. If she does so in her speech on Tuesday, she needs to set out in detail what she sees the alternative being, that safeguards jobs and the economy. 

For my part, I’ve had the usual week of busy meetings in and out of Parliament, including an insightful roundtable with a large number of well-informed experts organised by my friend and neighbour Charles Grant, who directs the Centre for European Reform. I also travelled to Derby and Wakefield to speak to businesses, trade unions, and local representatives, as I have been doing across the country in the last 3 months. 

Meanwhile, no word yet on when the Supreme Court will give its judgement in the Article 50 case. What we do know is that when it happens things will begin to move very fast! 

More next week. 

Keir