CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

1. These leaks could deal a fatal blow to global trust (Independent)

Real damage can be caused when personal trust, honour or national security is involved, warns Hilary Synnott.

2. WikiLeaks: Open secrets (Guardian)

The US cables leak is a historian's dream and a diplomat's nightmare, says a Guardian editorial.

3. The City's masters need to stay above the fray (Financial Times)

To become identified with one political party would be fatal to the Bank of England's reputation, says Alistair Darling.

Read the CommentPlus summary.

4. The prize of freedom (Times) (£)

China has reacted with predictable fury to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, says a Times leader. He should be allowed to pick up his award in person.

5. England is best placed to spread the gospel of football (Daily Telegraph)

Tonight's Panorama investigation into Fifa must not be allowed to scupper Britain's World Cup bid, says Boris Johnson.

6. Stop talking and start taxing carbon (Financial Times)

With or without an effective climate change policy, Americans will eventually have to pay more in taxes, writes Clive Crook.

7. Promoting happiness and cutting welfare: what a devious combination (Guardian)

David Cameron's happiness initiative is premised on the illusion of choice, says Madeleine Bunting.

8. This happiness index is a cynical attempt to control our minds (Daily Mail)

Elsewhere, Melanie Phillips agrees that the happiness index is part of a sinister effort to manipulate the public.

9. To see how fascism can be throttled, look at Barking (Guardian)

The Battle for Barking teaches us what really motivates people to join or vote for the BNP, says Jackie Ashley.

10. Let us not doom Cancún to failure before it even begins (Independent)

Options other than a legally binding global agreement deserve exploring, says an Independent editorial.

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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.