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CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Papal letter was a disgraceful deceit (Independent)

The letter is clearly an effort to restore the credibility of the Church, says Colm O'Gorman, yet, disgracefully, it was used to attack secularisation, displaying more concern for preserving the Church than for the safety of children.

2. Pope Benedict XVI's challenge (Daily Telegraph)

Conversely, Telegraph View defends the letter, saying that the Pope must continue to take calm and decisive action that will prevent his visit to Britain being overshadowed by the paedophilia scandal.

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3. Post offices can kickstart Labour's radical agenda (Guardian)

Jackie Ashley says that a People's Bank, operating from post offices, would herald a new version of back to basics -- valuing the reality of people's lives and their institutions.

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4. Take a 13 per cent pay cut. You know it makes sense (Times)

Libby Purves looks at Ireland, where public-sector pay has been sharply cut. Unlike the whingeing public-service unions here, Middle Ireland knows that a secure job is a privilege.

5. Why are we paying to educate EU students in our universities? (Daily Telegraph)

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says the next PM should take a leaf out of Margaret Thatcher's book and demand a rebate. It is unfair that the stretched university system should subsidise EU students.

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6. Our defence policy is caught between pride and guilt (Guardian)

Fear of looking weak drives everything, says Julian Glover. Britain keeps buying the wrong equipment at the wrong price for the wrong wars. The army will be brilliantly equipped to fight in Helmand by the time we pull out.

7. Designs that ignore a wider terrain (Financial Times)

A consensus on US financial reform is emerging, says Clive Crook, but international co-operation is necessary to make regulation work.

8. The way to control the banks is through their accounts (Independent)

Looking at the financial system a little closer to home, Nicholas Jones says that although politicians have the power to stop the gambling at the heart of the way our banks work, they encourage it.

9. Berlusconi's bubble is almost at bursting point (Times)

Bill Emmott discusses the current state of Italian politics, which is anything but amusing. If Italian voters put the boot in, Silvio Berlusconi's coalition partners can seize the chance to bring him down.

10. MPs stuck in the lobbyist mire (Guardian)

It is 16 years since the big Tory MPs' cash-for-questions scandal, but standards in public life still fall short, says Peter Preston, discussing the Channel 4/Sunday Times lobbyist exercise.

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