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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Commons Confidential: Dave's picnic with Dacre

Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

Sulking David Cameron can’t forgive the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, for his role in his downfall. The unrelenting hostility of the self-appointed voice of Middle England to the Remain cause felt pivotal to the defeat. So, what a glorious coincidence it was that they found themselves picnicking a couple of motors apart before England beat Scotland at Twickenham. My snout recalled Cameron studiously peering in the opposite direction. On Dacre’s face was the smile of an assassin. Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

The good news is that since Jeremy Corbyn let Theresa May off the Budget hook at Prime Minister’s Questions, most of his MPs no longer hate him. The bad news is that many now openly express their pity. It is whispered that Corbyn’s office made it clear that he didn’t wish to sit next to Tony Blair at the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial in London. His desire for distance was probably reciprocated, as Comrade Corbyn wanted Brigadier Blair to be charged with war crimes. Fighting old battles is easier than beating the Tories.

Brexit is a ticket to travel. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is lifting its three-trip cap on funded journeys to Europe for MPs. The idea of paying for as many cross-Channel visits as a politician can enjoy reminds me of Denis MacShane. Under the old limits, he ended up in the clink for fiddling accounts to fund his Continental missionary work. If the new rule was applied retrospectively, perhaps the former Labour minister should be entitled to get his seat back and compensation?

The word in Ukip is that Paul Nuttall, OBE VC KG – the ridiculed former Premier League professional footballer and England 1966 World Cup winner – has cold feet after his Stoke mauling about standing in a by-election in Leigh (assuming that Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May). The electorate already knows his Walter Mitty act too well.

A senior Labour MP, who demanded anonymity, revealed that she had received a letter after Leicester’s Keith Vaz paid men to entertain him. Vaz had posed as Jim the washing machine man. Why, asked the complainant, wasn’t this second job listed in the register of members’ interests? She’s avoiding writing a reply.

Years ago, this column unearthed and ridiculed the early journalism of George Osborne, who must be the least qualified newspaper editor in history. The cabinet lackey Ben “Selwyn” Gummer’s feeble intervention in the Osborne debate has put him on our radar. We are now watching him and will be reporting back. My snouts are already unearthing interesting information.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 23 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's permanent revolution