CommentPlus: pick of the comment

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

1. Why did Brown make this blunder? (Independent)

Gordon Brown's poor understanding of television, and his capacity to get explosively angry even when he has no need to be, meant all the ingredients for yesterday's nightmare were in place, says Steve Richards.

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2. If Brown's gaffe locks Labour in third, all progressives lose (Guardian)

There is no chance of a progressive revival if Labour finishes third in the popular vote, warns Seumas Milne. Unless the party's vote improves in the hundred-odd Labour-Tory marginals that will decide the election, Cleggmania will hand David Cameron the keys to No 10.

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3. Two questions the leaders must answer tonight (Times)

The party leaders should be asked whether their deficit reduction plans will remain so reliant on public spending cuts, says Robert Chote of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. History suggests that the next government may need to rely more on tax increases and cuts in the welfare budget.

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4. The truth is out about Gordon Brown, but what about the other two? (Daily Telegraph)

We may have heard what Gordon Brown really thinks for once, says Benedict Brogan, but the Tories, champions of openness in politics, are concealing plenty of inconvenient truths of their own.

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5. Time to rein in the rating agencies (Financial Times)

If the financial crisis proves anything, it is that ratings agencies enjoy too much authority, says John Gapper. Any reform that would loosen their grip on the bond markets deserves a shot.

6. Our Clegg-backing letter is one for the grandchildren (Guardian)

Future generations will not forgive us if we do not support the Lib Dems and the potential birth of a new democracy, says Richard Reeves.

7. Some politicians are still more equal than others (Independent)

The near-complete invisibility of women in this year's election campaign suggests that we have gone backwards in the long struggle for equality, writes Andrew Grice.

8. Greece is the word (Times)

The crisis in the Greek economy threatens to spread financial contagion and return Britain to recession, says a leader in the Times. A bailout is now the only acceptable option.

9. Crisis-hit Greece may be the first domino (Guardian)

Warming to the same theme, Larry Elliott warns that though the pound may help, Britain is not immune to this crisis.

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10. Gordon Brown's "bigot" gaffe shows Alistair Darling's superiority (Daily Telegraph)

Darling's impressive performance throughout the campaign marks him out as a potential Labour leader, says Alan Cochrane.

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The New Statesman Cover | Wanted: An opposition

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March 31 - April 6 
Wanted: An opposition