CommentPlus: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from the Sunday papers.

1. Modern capitalism is at a moral dead end. And the bosses are to blame (Observer)

Will Hutton argues that capitalism will continue to be demonised while our CEOs -- so well paid that they occupy a different world from the rest of us -- refuse to put their own corrupt house in order.

2. Can religion rescue Dave's Big Society? (Independent on Sunday)

David Cameron wants a return to volunteering, but a weakened church, the welfare state and Thatcherism make that a tall order, writes Cole Moreton.

3. The Big Society is irresistible, but do we have the time? (Sunday Telegraph)

One reason that we evolved representative democracy is the difficulty of making the attractive ideal of politically engaged citizens into a reality, says Alasdair Palmer. Staying in a job while being a good parent is demanding enough for most people.

4. Educating children should not be for profit (Observer)

Hundreds of companies already profit from our education system, says the paper's editorial, but learning has always been separate from the forces of the free market, and that's how it should stay.

5. Mandelson is losing the spin game (Sunday Times)

The editorial argues that the tide has turned this week, and discusses factors that might have led to the Times/YouGov poll today showing the Tories with a 10-point lead.

6. David Cameron as Gene Hunt? Labour must be living life on Mars (Sunday Telegraph)

Matthew d'Ancona agrees, saying that besides the wounds that Labour inflicted on itself -- including the woeful winning campaign poster from a public competition -- the past week has been the Tories' best in a long while.

7. One of the above (Independent on Sunday)

The Independent on Sunday launches a campaign to get people to vote, amid expectations of a lower than ever turnout, reflecting the public's antipathy -- a positive hostility stronger than mere apathy -- towards politicians.

8. The tower and the Olympic curse (Sunday Times)

Dominic Lawson adds his voice to the cacophony of disapproval for Anish Kapoor's Olympic tower. In its bombast and excess, he says, the monument is in perfect harmony with what the Games have become.

9. Actually, Ms Lumley, you should apologise, too (Observer)

Joanna Lumley is right to be angry at the treatment of Gurkhas, says Nick Cohen, but she must understand that her campaign has flaws, too.

10. Wrong again, m'lud -- and now you're getting my back up (Sunday Times)

Mr Justice Eady has been criticised for his judgment in the Simon Singh case. This is not the first time, says Rod Liddle, yet Eady is often the high court judge presiding over media cases, and wields greater influence than he should.

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Voters are turning against Brexit but the Lib Dems aren't benefiting

Labour's pro-Brexit stance is not preventing it from winning the support of Remainers. Will that change?

More than a year after the UK voted for Brexit, there has been little sign of buyer's remorse. The public, including around a third of Remainers, are largely of the view that the government should "get on with it".

But as real wages are squeezed (owing to the Brexit-linked inflationary spike) there are tentative signs that the mood is changing. In the event of a second referendum, an Opinium/Observer poll found, 47 per cent would vote Remain, compared to 44 per cent for Leave. Support for a repeat vote is also increasing. Forty one per cent of the public now favour a second referendum (with 48 per cent opposed), compared to 33 per cent last December. 

The Liberal Democrats have made halting Brexit their raison d'être. But as public opinion turns, there is no sign they are benefiting. Since the election, Vince Cable's party has yet to exceed single figures in the polls, scoring a lowly 6 per cent in the Opinium survey (down from 7.4 per cent at the election). 

What accounts for this disparity? After their near-extinction in 2015, the Lib Dems remain either toxic or irrelevant to many voters. Labour, by contrast, despite its pro-Brexit stance, has hoovered up Remainers (55 per cent back Jeremy Corbyn's party). 

In some cases, this reflects voters' other priorities. Remainers are prepared to support Labour on account of the party's stances on austerity, housing and education. Corbyn, meanwhile, is a eurosceptic whose internationalism and pro-migration reputation endear him to EU supporters. Other Remainers rewarded Labour MPs who voted against Article 50, rebelling against the leadership's stance. 

But the trend also partly reflects ignorance. By saying little on the subject of Brexit, Corbyn and Labour allowed Remainers to assume the best. Though there is little evidence that voters will abandon Corbyn over his EU stance, the potential exists.

For this reason, the proposal of a new party will continue to recur. By challenging Labour over Brexit, without the toxicity of Lib Dems, it would sharpen the choice before voters. Though it would not win an election, a new party could force Corbyn to soften his stance on Brexit or to offer a second referendum (mirroring Ukip's effect on the Conservatives).

The greatest problem for the project is that it lacks support where it counts: among MPs. For reasons of tribalism and strategy, there is no emergent "Gang of Four" ready to helm a new party. In the absence of a new convulsion, the UK may turn against Brexit without the anti-Brexiteers benefiting. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.