CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. By playing nasty, Labour is wrecking its own chances (Guardian)

Jackie Ashley says that the public likes the shift in tone to more amiable, co-operative politics -- but still Labour's leadership hopefuls are acting tribal, competing to see who can be nastiest to the Lib Dems.

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2. The Liberals have a history of splitting (Daily Telegraph)

What's unique about the Charles Kennedy silly-season rumour is that it doesn't matter if it's true or not, says Stephen Pollard. Most Lib Dems would feel happier with Labour.

3. Labor paid the price for its lack of principle (Times)

The Australian MP Malcolm Turnbull argues that on 21 August Julia Gillard learned that voters will forgive incompetence, but not failure of conviction.

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4. Can talks bring peace at last? (Independent)

Donald Macintyre looks at the Middle East peace process, and asks whether Binyamin Netanyahu remains the opportunistic rightist of old, or if he has decided he wants a real place in history.

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5. A missed chance to quell the fanatics (Financial Times)

Barack Obama's statement on the "Ground Zero mosque" looked vacillating, says Clive Crook. Whether or not he made the case for the project to go ahead, he could have sought to unify, and insisted on tolerance on both sides.

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6. Democrats' fright club (Guardian)

Obama's approval rating is fine, says Michael Tomasky, but his party's fear of the Republicans means they'll suffer at the polls.

7. Children of addicts deserve a chance of a better life (Times)

Looking at the coalition's proposals on cutting welfare for addicts, Libby Purves argues that it's not taking away benefits that will make a difference, but taking away children from damaging and chaotic parents.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

8. Cuts are one thing, revenue another (Independent)

Mary Ann Sieghart warns that if tax takes fall, we could end up with spending cuts, a spiral back into recession and a deficit just as big as it was before -- the worst outcome for the country and the coalition.

Read the CommenPlus summary.

9. Why Europe fears Petraeus's urge to surge (Financial Times)

General Petraeus is expected to push for a troop surge, notes Ahmed Rashid, but Europe wants a negotiated endgame and regional settlement -- and that must include talking to the Taliban.

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10. Generational warriors have a point. But go easy on the old (Guardian)

Political short-termism has failed the young, says Madeline Bunting. Yet attacking the elderly and sick instead of inequality will only help Osborne.

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Could Jeremy Corbyn still be excluded from the leadership race? The High Court will rule today

Labour donor Michael Foster has applied for a judgement. 

If you thought Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Jeremy Corbyn automatically run again for leader was the end of it, think again. 

Today, the High Court will decide whether the NEC made the right judgement - or if Corbyn should have been forced to seek nominations from 51 MPs, which would effectively block him from the ballot.

The legal challenge is brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate. Corbyn is listed as one of the defendants.

Before the NEC decision, both Corbyn's team and the rebel MPs sought legal advice.

Foster has maintained he is simply seeking the views of experts. 

Nevertheless, he has clashed with Corbyn before. He heckled the Labour leader, whose party has been racked with anti-Semitism scandals, at a Labour Friends of Israel event in September 2015, where he demanded: "Say the word Israel."

But should the judge decide in favour of Foster, would the Labour leadership challenge really be over?

Dr Peter Catterall, a reader in history at Westminster University and a specialist in opposition studies, doesn't think so. He said: "The Labour party is a private institution, so unless they are actually breaking the law, it seems to me it is about how you interpret the rules of the party."

Corbyn's bid to be personally mentioned on the ballot paper was a smart move, he said, and the High Court's decision is unlikely to heal wounds.

 "You have to ask yourself, what is the point of doing this? What does success look like?" he said. "Will it simply reinforce the idea that Mr Corbyn is being made a martyr by people who are out to get him?"