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Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. The Liberal Democrats are not for sale (Times)

The Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, joins in the pre-election cacophony, hitting back at speculation to say that if there is a hung parliament there will be no under-the-counter deal with either big party.

2. And the first-round winner is . . . Clegg (Independent)

Meanwhile, at the Independent, Steve Richards says that, as the election fight opens, Clegg is finally being taken seriously by David Cameron and Gordon Brown.

3. Come off it, Dr Cameron (Guardian)

Productivity matters more than cutting bureaucracy, says John Appleby, discussing the Conservatives' NHS plans. And there's a problem with the changes the Tories have pledged: they've happened already.

4. America is losing the free world (Financial Times)

Gideon Rachman argues that developing democracies such as India and Brazil may be alienated by US foreign policy, and be more likely to line up with authoritarian powers such as China and Iran.

5. For Caesar and Cicero, read Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson (Times)

Rachel Sylvester discusses the power struggle between Ed Balls and Peter Mandelson on how best to approach Labour's election campaign, and the resulting incoherence.

6. David Cameron's lone-star strategy gives Gordon Brown a glimmer of hope (Daily Telegraph)

Yesterday's poster of David Cameron confirms the Tories' emphasis on a lone political hero, says Mary Riddell. But political times could be changing -- is this a risky strategy?

7. Help Yemen, not its government (Guardian)

Al-Qaeda is the least of Yemen's problems, says Brian Whitaker. The country needs aid, but propping up its ailing regime will only perpetuate the situation.

8. Profiling air passengers could make terrorist attacks easier (Independent)

Talal Rajab explains that Islam is not ethnically or geographically centred, and nor is terrorism. This, and the fact that many converts have been involved in terrorist plots, makes it impossible to profile people by religion accurately.

9. Refocus the regulatory debate on essentials (Financial Times)

Regulations and laws to stabilise the financial system must deal with the root causes of today's critical difficulties, says Nicholas Brady.

10. After this 60-year feeding frenzy, Earth itself has become disposable (Guardian)

George Monbiot discusses consumerism, saying that it has, as Huxley feared, changed all of us -- we'd rather hop to a brave new world than rein in our spending.

 

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