The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Revealed: the great scandal no one's noticed (Times)

Daniel Finkelstein criticises Gordon Brown's refusal to announce a spending review in bad times -- a cynical move, given the political potency.

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2. Chancellors can't do that much (Independent)

Hamish McRae maintains that Budgets matter for what they do to public finances, not what they do to the economy. In the short and medium term, all governments have to work with the economy as it is.

3. Today the tooth fairy turns cuts into efficiency savings (Guardian)

Efficiency savings have become the ultimate political get-out-of-jail-free card to liberate us from a £175bn deficit, writes Simon Jenkins, but if things were that easy, they would have happened.

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4. Israel must sack the head of Mossad for this grave insult to Britain (Daily Telegraph)

Con Coughlin says that the Foreign Office decision to expel an important Israeli diplomat is bad for Anglo-Israeli relations, but the blame lies squarely with Israel for the cavalier way in which it abused the passports of a friendly country.

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5. There's a charming symmetry to the latest New Labour scandal (Independent)

Matthew Norman recalls that Labour's arrival in power was marked by the party trousering a million from Bernie Ecclestone in return for changing policy. As such, there is symmetry in the way the lobbying scandal today may help hasten its departure.

6. Let us hear about political women, not politicians' wives (Guardian)

Most voters know more than they want to about Samantha Cameron or Sarah Brown, writes Anne Perkins -- but the belief still lingers that, for women at least, family and a political career are mutually exclusive.

7. Running the country shouldn't be child's play (Times)

Taking a different tack is Alice Thomson, who asks whether we really want sleep-deprived parents -- male or female -- taking decisions that affect 60 million of us.

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8. Google row reveals China's dictatorial attitude (Daily Telegraph)

China's centrally dictated, totalitarian approach to capitalism is fundamentally at odds with the liberal, democratic free-market tradition that exists in America, says Jeremy Warner.

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9. As Biko knew, powerlessness in actual lives is the hurdle justice must clear (Guardian)

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen argues that the state must ensure not only that individual freedoms exist, but that everyone has the ability to experience them.

10. Ethiopia: an aid success story or a tyranny? (Times)

Our money is eradicating poverty, says Camilla Cavendish, discussing the BBC's allegations about Ethiopian aid. But this money may also be used to prop up a repressive regime.

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