CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Wanted: Labour leader to win future election (Times)

Take it from a man who has stood and lost, says Roy Hattersley: the party no longer loves a loser. It wants a reasonable radical.

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2. A progressive movement can still make history (Guardian)

Neal Lawson says that it is a dull race for leader of a Labour Party that has lost its purpose -- but it's up to us all to change that. The starting point is a process of truth and reconciliation.

3. Fear of the markets must not blind us to deflation's dangers (FT)

Martin Wolf questions the consensus that fiscal tightening is the way forward. What makes these policymakers sure that business and consumers will spend in response to austerity?

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4. We're running out of time to put things right (Independent)

Hamish McRae warns that there is an overwhelming probability of a double dip -- a faster-than-expected return towards balanced budgets is likely in the short term to depress demand.

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5. A dishonest campaign has given us a cynical government (Daily Telegraph)

David Cameron's claim that the finances are worse than expected continues the dishonesty of his campaign, says Simon Heffer: it was what the PR men call "expectation management". It is cynical to ask the public to fill in the blanks on cuts.

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6. Dear PM, you asked for some cost-cutting tips (Times)

Anatole Kaletsky suggests the Prime Minister should stop massaging public opinion and get on with governing. When he does, a few candidates for culling are Trident, quangos, child benefits for the rich and indiscriminate handouts.

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7. My once-in-a-generation cut? The armed forces. All of them (Guardian)

We are safer than at any time since the Norman conquest, yet £45bn is spent defending Britain against fantasy enemies. Simon Jenkins argues that we have no need for the army, the navy and the air force.

8. Is that the sound of donkeys in Whitehall? (Times)

Anthony Lloyd discusses the findings of a Times investigation. The accusation is grave: a "yes minister" culture among the generals led to failure in Helmand.

9. "No Drama, Obama" style of leadership is no match for this crisis (Independent)

Emotional words, and the gratification they bring, are not Barack Obama's preferred way, says Rupert Cornwell. However hard he tries to display public fury over BP, it shows.

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10. The brutal crackdowns only make Iran's women stronger (Guardian)

The protest movement is now a year old, says Shirin Ebadi, but the feminists at its helm can look back on decades of courageous activism.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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