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Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. The worst thing about Ashcroft is that his behaviour is legal (Independent)

Johann Hari asks whether we are missing the bigger picture when it comes to Michael Ashcroft. His behaviour may be "revolting", but under Labour and Conservative governments alike his actions are perfectly legal.

2. The root of the Tories' dire Ashcroft gaffe is our medieval party funding (Guardian)

Warming to the same theme, Simon Jenkins notes that the Tory leadership was warned 1,000 times not to embrace the "Belize-based slot-machine millionaire" too close.

3. The special relationship is now starting to seem very one-sided (Telegraph)

Tony Blair may have promised to fight "shoulder to shoulder" with America post-9/11, writes Con Coughlin, but when it comes to the Falklands, Hillary Clinton's intervention shows the US will side with Argentina.

4. What would Foot have made of it now? (Independent)

Michael Foot, writes Matthew Norman, was the last great bridgehead to an age of political belief and principle. The politics of today -- as described by Andrew Rawnsley's latest book -- would have left him astounded by the "monumental tininess of the characters and their arguments".

5. The painful truth is that taxes must rise (Telegraph)

Andrew Haldenby, director of the think tank Reform, plays spoilsport; he shatters the dreams of Telegraph readers hoping for lower taxes and bigger monthly pay packets under Chancellor Osborne.

6. The base rate has never been so low for so long . . . (Daily Mail)

Alex Brummer asks why, despite another decision to hold the base rate at 0.5 per cent, the banks are allowed to charge borrowers such exorbitant rates.

7. Bob Geldof's a pain: but Live Aid changed everything (Times)

He may be a "smug, hairy git", writes Hugo Rifkind, but everybody must concede that what Bob Geldof did at Live Aid was "a good thing".

8. More than porn and housewives need debating (Guardian)

While it is well worth having an angry debate about the pornification of contemporary culture, it is notable that the male contribution is either limited or unrepresentative, writes Libby Brooks.

9. Unseen technology is shaping the UK poll (Financial Times)

Forget Twitter, urges James Crabtree. The coming election will be swung by far less glamorous technology: search engines, databases, email and, yes, the telephone.

10. Persecute me -- I'm after the Brownie points (Times)

Christians have always worked best as an unpopular minority. The comedian Frank Skinner, Roman Catholic and regular churchgoer, votes against the motion "England should be a Catholic country again".

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