CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. There's a good idea in Cameron's "big society" screaming to get out (Guardian)

Jonathan Freedland argues that Labour must seize this flawed initiative from the Tories, reclaim its Labour origins and then set about improving it.

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2. The next Labour leader could be prime minister within a year (Daily Telegraph)

Whoever wins the leadership battle will present a real challenge to the coalition, Simon Heffer points out. A leader with box-office appeal could exploit the stumbling block of the government's planned constitutional reforms.

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3. Do us a favour. Let us wear what we like (Times)

Women put up with restrictions such as the burqa because they find it liberating, says Daniel Finkelstein. Illiberalism disguised as liberalism is more frightening than the burqa.

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4. Dictators around the world must feel vindicated by Parliament Square eviction (Independent)

It is healthy that the powerful be confronted with the victims of their failed policies as they were in Democracy Village, argues Johann Hari. Now citizens cannot pressure their government for justice in the same way.

5. Western policy in Afghanistan is at a crossroads (Financial Times)

It is time to decide which course to take in Afghanistan: change things for good, or get out. Greg Mills runs through the options.

6. Taliban put to the test (Guardian)

In Kabul, reconciliation is on the agenda, says Richard Barrett, co-ordinator of the United Nations al-Qaeda-Taliban monitoring team for Afghanistan. A political deal is doable -- and so it could be time to talk.

7. Death by appointment degrades the disabled (Times)

Ilora Finlay mounts an argument against legalising assisted suicide. In a country celebrated for its care, it would be heartless to make the sick think they should opt for death.

8. Is there room for art in the big society? (Independent)

There isn't much philanthropy in Britain, says Christina Patterson. Without consistent state funding at a realistic level, the arts -- the most unequivocal success story of the past 13 years -- will be destroyed.

9. Ignore this howl of protest -- the police are ripe for cuts (Guardian)

Spending has doubled, and yet the number of officers on the beat has fallen. Simon Jenkins suggests that something is seriously awry.

10. A sunlit Keynesian paradise awaits our grandchildren (Financial Times)

Tim Harford looks back at Keynes's essay "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren", which looked at what would happen when the Great Depression was over. We must remember to come back to this long-run forecast when the current crisis ends.

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The NS Podcast #204: Carswell and Collapse

The New Statesman podcast.

Helen and Stephen are joined by Jonn Elledge to lament our exit from the EU, discuss what they feel about the EEA, and decide who they loathe more: Douglas Carswell or Daniel Hannan. Jason Cowley and George Eaton then introduce our special-issue on Labour's collapse. And you ask us: what do we think of the Labour Leave MPs?

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