CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. Why Britain should vote No in next year's AV referendum (Daily Telegraph)

The Alternative Vote system is obscure, unfair and expensive, says Lord Reid.

2. There won't be a bailout for the earth (Independent)

The world's governments are gathering in Cancun with no momentum to stop climate change, warns Johann Hari.

3. Red Ed should pass the baton to Green Ed (Times) (£)

Green Ed would be on strong ground, talking about what he knows and running on his record, says Philip Collins.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

4. Capitalism can save the planet (Financial Times)

Elsewhere, Philip Stephens says that self-interest, not altruism, is needed to fight climate change. Economic incentives are replacing the big stick of international direction.

5. Bank bonuses unbound (Guardian)

Despite coalition pledges to make the City pay its fair share, Osborne has let bankers off the hook, says Chuka Umunna.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

6. High-speed rail will be a scar across the heart of England (Daily Telegraph)

Even if we could afford it, a new train line would be a lunatic idea, says Peter Oborne.

7. Assets matter just as much as debt (Financial Times)

Borrowing is no sin, provided we use the funds productively, argues Martin Wolf.

8. If Cameron's wellbeing is seats on trains, affording a ticket comes first (Guardian)

Money may not be everything, writes Martin Kettle. But fairness and wellbeing are both made much harder when it is being taken away.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

9. Would Mr Gove's soldiers do any better in the classroom? (Daily Mail)

Servicemen would struggle to control a class full of bolshie British schoolchildren, says Tom Utley.

10. Everything else is being cut, so why not student numbers? (Independent)

Rather than wait for the market to cut student numbers, universities should take the initiative, writes Mary Dejevsky.

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Watch Ian Paisley Jr thank Martin McGuinness for partnership that "saved lives"

The son of Ian Paisley said he "humbly" thanked the man who was both his father's enemy, and then friend. 

Northern Irish politics started 2017 at a low point. The First Minister, the Democratic Unionist Arlene Foster, is embroiled in scandal - so much so that her deputy, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, resigned. Then McGuinness confirmed speculation that he was suffering from a serious illness, and would be resigning from frontline politics altogether. 

But as Ian Paisley Jr, the son of the Democratic Unionist founder Ian Paisley and a DUP politician himself, made clear, it is still possible to rise above the fray.

Paisley Sr, a firebrand Protestant preacher, opposed the Good Friday Agreement, but subsequently worked in partnership with his old nemesis, McGuinness, who himself was a former member of the IRA. Amazingly, they got on so well they were nicknamed "The Chuckle Brothers". When Paisley Sr died, McGuinness wrote that he had "lost a friend".

Speaking after McGuinness announced his retirement, Paisley Jr wished him good health, and then continued: 

"The second thing I'm going to say is thank you. I think it's important that we actually do reflect on the fact we would not be where we are in Northern Ireland in terms of having stability, peace and the opportunity to rebuild our country, if it hadn't been for the work he did put in, especially with my father at the beginning of this long journey.

"And I'm going to acknowledge the fact perhaps if we got back to some of that foundation work of building a proper relationship and recognising what partnership actually means, then we can get out of the mess we're currently in."

Questioned on whether other unionists "dont really get it", Paisley Jr retorted that it was time to move on: "Can we please get over that. Everyone out there has got over it. We as the political leaders have to demonstrate by our actions, by our words, and by our talk that we're over that."

He said he was thanking McGuinness "humbly" in recognition of "the remarkable journey" he had been on. The partnership government had "not only saved lives, but has made lives of countless people in Northern Ireland better", he said. 

 

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