CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Ed Miliband has to crack the whip to secure change (Guardian)

A Blairite sense of grievance could yet hobble Ed Miliband's attempt to lead Labour in a new direction, warns Seumas Milne.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

2. Forget Red Ed, it's Optimistic Ed whom David Cameron must confront (Daily Telegraph)

To confront and defeat Optimistic Ed, David Cameron must rediscover the hope that guides him, says Benedict Brogan.

3. Dramas that expose a Miliband myth (Independent)

In ruthlessly highlighting Labour's mistakes, Ed makes possible a realignment of the centre-left, writes Steve Richards.

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4. David Miliband has done the right thing (Guardian)

David Miliband's decision not to run for the shadow cabinet is the best for his family, party and country, says Alastair Campbell.

5. How the Republicans can still fail to triumph (Financial Times)

The Republican Party must not allow social conservatives to distract it from the issue of spending, says Grover Norquist.

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6. Here's a chance to reshape Britain's defences (Times) (£)

Britain now has a chance to break with an antiquated Cold War-era approach, argues Bernard Gray.

7. The strategic defence and security review must not be rushed (Daily Telegraph)

Elsewhere, a Telegraph editorial says that the strategic defence review must be decoupled from the spending review.

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8. This is not Paris 1968, and it is probably self-defeating (Independent)

The waves of strikes across Europe are self-defeating but could yet be replicated in Britain, says Sean O'Grady.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

9. US politics is angry, polarised, and gridlocked. Can it be reformed? (Guardian)

US politics is both polarised and gridlocked, writes Timothy Garton Ash. Washington needs to be more like Silicon Valley if it is to compete with China.

10. Republic of Intolerance (Times) (£)

Tehran's draconian punishment of a blogger will choke off Iran's vitality, says a Times leader.

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Zac Goldsmith has bitten off more than he can chew

In standing as an independent, Goldsmith may face the worst of both worlds. 

After just 48 years, we can announce the very late arrival of the third runway at Heathrow. Assuming, that is, that it makes its way past the legal challenge from five local councils and Greenpeace, the consultation with local residents, and the financial worries of the big airlines. And that's not counting the political struggles...

While the Times leads with the logistical headaches - "Heathrow runway may be built over motorway" is their splash, the political hurdles dominate most of this morning’s papers

"Tory rebels let fly on Heathrow" says the i's frontpage, while the FT goes for "Prominent Tories lead challenge to May on Heathrow expansion". Although Justine Greening, a May loyalist to her fingertips, has limited herself to a critical blogpost, Boris Johnson has said the project is "undeliverable" and will lead to London becoming "a city of planes". 

But May’s real headache is Zac Goldsmith, who has quit, triggering a by-election in his seat of Richmond Park, in which he will stand as an anti-Heathrow candidate.  "Heathrow forces May into Brexit by-election" is the Telegraph's splash. 

CCHQ has decided to duck out of the contest entirely, leaving Goldsmith running as the Conservative candidate in all but name, against the Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney. 

What are Goldsmith's chances? To win the seat, the Liberal Democrats would need a 19.3 per cent swing from the Conservatives - and in Witney, they got exactly that.

They will also find it easier to squeeze the third-placed Labour vote than they did in Witney, where they started the race in fourth place. They will find that task all the easier if the calls for Labour to stand aside are heeded by the party leadership. In any case, that Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy and Jonathan Reynolds have all declared that they should will be a boost for Olney even if she does face a Labour candidate.  

The Liberal Democrats are fond of leaflets warning that their rivals “cannot win here” and thanks to Witney they have one ready made.  

Goldsmith risks having the worst of all worlds. I'm waiting to hear whether or not the Conservatives will make their resources freely available to Goldsmith, but it is hard to see how, without taking an axe to data protection laws, he can make use of Conservative VoterID or information gathered in his doomed mayoral campaign. 

But in any case, the Liberal Democrats will still be able to paint him as the Brexit candidate and the preferred choice of the pro-Heathrow Prime Minister, as he is. I think Goldsmith will find he has bitten more than he can chew this time.

This article originally appeared in today's Morning Call, your essential email covering everything you need to know about British politics and today's news. You can subscribe for free here.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.