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CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. It's madness to split the centre-left vote (Independent)

It is nonsense to pretend that the Lib Dems are equidistant from Labour and the Tories, writes Andrew Adonis. The return of a Labour government offers Nick Clegg the best chance to implement his agenda.

2. Labour are now the reactionaries, we the radicals (Guardian)

Elsewhere, David Cameron argues that his party's pledge to investigate public pay inequality proves that it is the Tories who offer the chance for bold, progressive change.

3. The Tories have just the man to find more jobs for British workers (Daily Telegraph)

Iain Duncan Smith's benefit reform proposals could transform the British labour market, says Fraser Nelson. If the Tories win, he should head a new Department of Social Justice, dedicated to healing our "broken society".

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4. The long parliament is over. Good riddance (Times)

The disillusion caused by the MPs' expenses scandal holds back any chance of an inspiring election campaign, writes Roy Hattersley. The one hope is that the rehabilitation of democracy can now begin for real.

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5. Now Obama is president with an endgame (Financial Times)

Obama now looks like a leader in command of his agenda, says Philip Stephens. That he has rebuilt his political authority at home means that he is being taken more seriously abroad.

6. As democracy unravels at home, the west thuggishly exports it elsewhere (Guardian)

The west has greatly oversold the benefits of democracy, writes Simon Jenkins. The forced elections in Afghanistan and Iraq do little to justify the death and destruction we have seen in both countries.

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7. If you're looking for class war, just read Cameron's policies (Independent)

The right may accuse Gordon Brown of waging "class war" but it's the Tories who are truly guilty of the charge, argues Johann Hari. If elected, David Cameron would institute a huge redistribution of wealth from the poorest to the richest.

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8. The case for a written constitution (Financial Times)

We need a written constitution to act as a further barrier against parliamentary misconduct, writes Samuel Brittan.

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9. Arms and the plan (Times)

The case for Britain retaining an independent nuclear deterrent is strong, argues a leader in the Times. Future generations would pay a high price for any mistakes.

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10. First round to the Tories, but the debate remains unreal (Independent)

Cameron has won the political battle over National Insurance but he has not answered the charge that he has gone soft on the deficit, says a leader in the Independent.

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