Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Can Ed Miliband find an antidote to the politics of fear and loathing? (Daily Telegraph)

The blood spilt in Arizona is a grim reminder of what can happen when the voters lose faith, writes Mary Riddell.

2. Bed of roses? Or sleeping with the enemy? (Times) (£)

Listing their hits, pitching their policies, the Lib Dems are drifting away. Rachel Sylvester argues that Oldham could be the tipping point.

3. So, Simon Hughes, what would it take for you to walk away? (Guardian)

After a heated row with Hughes on the telephone, Polly Toynbee is still mystified why he defends coalition policy.

4. Labour's profligacy is a myth that Miliband must debunk (Independent)

Cameron, Osborne and Clegg have placed their every move in the context of an apparently bleak inheritance. Steve Richards argues that Labour must counter this myth.

5. Paranoia disfigures the Tea Party (Financial Times)

Gideon Rachman suggests that the radical right has fuelled the rage and paranoia of US political debate.

6. A new opening in Afghanistan's theatre of war (Times) (£)

Ben Macintyre discusses a fringe play, transferring from London to the Pentagon, which will teach soldiers that their enemy's history is their own.

7. The rich will reap none of the pain and all of the gain of Kenneth Clarke's legal aid cuts (Guardian)

To understand the government's phoney war on fat-cat lawyers, don't just look at the victims, says George Monbiot – look at the beneficiaries.

8. A Pakistan in mourning will not be silenced (Financial Times)

Those who have sounded the death knell for liberalism have been too hasty, writes Fatima Bhutto.

9. We're sorry, but Heathrow did all it could (Times) (£)

Airports everywhere were hit by snow, says Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA – but he promises that the lessons of December's disruption will be learned.

10. The fallacy of Osbornomics (Guardian)

John Ross points out that the Tories claim deficit reduction is the urgent task when it was already falling without cuts in public spending.

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Commons Confidential: Fearing the Wigan warrior

An electoral clash, select committee elections as speed dating, and Ed Miliband’s political convalescence.

Members of Labour’s disconsolate majority, sitting in tight knots in the tearoom as the MP with the best maths skills calculates who will survive and who will die, based on the latest bad poll, observe that Jeremy Corbyn has never been so loyal to the party leadership. The past 13 months, one told me, have been the Islington rebel’s longest spell without voting against Labour. The MP was contradicted by a colleague who argued that, in voting against Trident renewal, Corbyn had defied party policy. There is Labour chatter that an early general election would be a mercy killing if it put the party out of its misery and removed Corbyn next year. In 2020, it is judged, defeat will be inevitable.

The next London mayoral contest is scheduled for the same date as a 2020 election: 7 May. Sadiq Khan’s people whisper that when they mentioned the clash to ministers, they were assured it won’t happen. They are uncertain whether this indicates that the mayoral contest will be moved, or that there will be an early general election. Intriguing.

An unguarded retort from the peer Jim O’Neill seems to confirm that a dispute over the so-called Northern Powerhouse triggered his walkout from the Treasury last month. O’Neill, a fanboy of George Osborne and a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, gave no reason when he quit Theresa May’s government and resigned the Tory whip in the Lords. He joined the dots publicly when the Resolution Foundation’s director, Torsten Bell, queried the northern project. “Are you related to the PM?” shot back the Mancunian O’Neill. It’s the way he tells ’em.

Talk has quietened in Westminster Labour ranks of a formal challenge to Corbyn since this year’s attempt backfired, but the Tories fear Lisa Nandy, should the leader fall under a solar-powered ecotruck selling recycled organic knitwear.

The Wigan warrior is enjoying favourable reviews for her forensic examination of the troubled inquiry into historic child sex abuse. After Nandy put May on the spot, the Tory three-piece suit Alec Shelbrooke was overheard muttering: “I hope she never runs for leader.” Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, the Thelma and Louise of Tory opposition to Mayhem, were observed nodding in agreement.

Select committee elections are like speed dating. “Who are you?” inquired Labour’s Kevan Jones (Granite Central)of a stranger seeking his vote. She explained that she was Victoria Borwick, the Tory MP for Kensington, but that didn’t help. “This is the first time you’ve spoken to me,” Jones continued, “so the answer’s no.” The aloof Borwick lost, by the way.

Ed Miliband is joining Labour’s relaunched Tribune Group of MPs to continue his political convalescence. Next stop: the shadow cabinet?

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 27 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage