CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Radical? Hardly. But Cameron is so much more than Blair reincarnated (Guardian)

The Queen's Speech may cleanse only the most fouled stables in the Labour camp. However, says Simon Jenkins, David Cameron has proved an original political personality.

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2. A liberal but fragile legislative agenda (Independent)

The agenda unveiled yesterday is generally a liberal and progressive legislative programme, says the leading article. But it is the state of the wider economy that will make the political weather.

3. It's Lehman the sequel, with Merkel as Bush (Times)

The big lesson of the financial crisis was that no bank must be allowed to fail, says Anatole Kaletsky. The same now applies to Greece.

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4. The collapse of the euro would open the door to democracy (Daily Telegraph)

The European project has been shown to be economically and politically bankrupt, writes Simon Heffer. European economies are struggling because of bad and indulgent decisions by governments.

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5. The grasshoppers and the ants -- a modern fable (Financial Times)

Today's global economy is more complex than Aesop could have imagined, says Martin Wolf. What is the moral of this fable? If you want to accumulate enduring wealth, do not lend to grasshoppers.

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6. The new politics needs a realignment of the mind. It needs Caroline Lucas (Guardian)

David Marquand argues that tarted-up neoliberalism won't cut it. The great question of our time isn't the deficit, but halting the capitalist merry-go-round.

7. It's risky, but this time North Korea must pay (Times)

Seoul has abandoned hope of taming its neighbour with its "sunshine policy" of aid and economic co-operation, says Rosemary Righter. Now, its rhetoric and defences are hardening.

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8. Towards a new ethics of nature (Financial Times)

Paul Collier writes that natural assets are valuable, and vulnerable. Unfortunately, nature has been moralised before it has been analysed, but our obligation should be to pass on equivalent value for the assets we deplete.

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9. Labour's leadership candidates are all against the war now (Independent)

The comedian Mark Steel points out that there's an honourable tradition in the Labour Party of bravely standing against an unjust war -- as long as the war ended several years ago.

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10. The Caribbean's necessary conflict (Times)

The leading article maintains that Jamaica is right to attempt to extradite the alleged druglord Christopher Coke, but that won't solve the crisis. After a 40-year "war on drugs" that it has not won, the US should take more care to study the world's clear successes -- and failures.

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Why relations between Theresa May and Philip Hammond became tense so quickly

The political imperative of controlling immigration is clashing with the economic imperative of maintaining growth. 

There is no relationship in government more important than that between the prime minister and the chancellor. When Theresa May entered No.10, she chose Philip Hammond, a dependable technocrat and long-standing ally who she had known since Oxford University. 

But relations between the pair have proved far tenser than anticipated. On Wednesday, Hammond suggested that students could be excluded from the net migration target. "We are having conversations within government about the most appropriate way to record and address net migration," he told the Treasury select committee. The Chancellor, in common with many others, has long regarded the inclusion of students as an obstacle to growth. 

The following day Hammond was publicly rebuked by No.10. "Our position on who is included in the figures has not changed, and we are categorically not reviewing whether or not students are included," a spokesman said (as I reported in advance, May believes that the public would see this move as "a fix"). 

This is not the only clash in May's first 100 days. Hammond was aggrieved by the Prime Minister's criticisms of loose monetary policy (which forced No.10 to state that it "respects the independence of the Bank of England") and is resisting tougher controls on foreign takeovers. The Chancellor has also struck a more sceptical tone on the UK's economic prospects. "It is clear to me that the British people did not vote on June 23 to become poorer," he declared in his conference speech, a signal that national prosperity must come before control of immigration. 

May and Hammond's relationship was never going to match the remarkable bond between David Cameron and George Osborne. But should relations worsen it risks becoming closer to that beween Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Like Hammond, Darling entered the Treasury as a calm technocrat and an ally of the PM. But the extraordinary circumstances of the financial crisis transformed him into a far more assertive figure.

In times of turmoil, there is an inevitable clash between political and economic priorities. As prime minister, Brown resisted talk of cuts for fear of the electoral consequences. But as chancellor, Darling was more concerned with the bottom line (backing a rise in VAT). By analogy, May is focused on the political imperative of controlling immigration, while Hammond is focused on the economic imperative of maintaining growth. If their relationship is to endure far tougher times they will soon need to find a middle way. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.