Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Osama Bin Laden's death: the US patriot reflex (Guardian)

Given 9/11, a desire for vengeance is a legitimate emotional response, says Gary Younge. But it is not a foreign policy.

2. Bin Laden is more dangerous dead than alive (Times) (£)

Ed Husain says that it was right to remove this enemy. But it would be wrong to think that his demise has weakened the jihadists.

3. Security chiefs must end Pakistan's duplicity (Financial Times)

Osama Bin Laden's death gives Islamabad an opportunity to fix much that is wrong, writes Mansoor Ijaz.

4. Pakistan and Osama Bin Laden: how the west was conned (Daily Telegraph)

The ISI and its covert support for Islamist terrorism must be confronted, argues Praveen Swami.

5. For ten years Osama Bin Laden filled a gap left by the Soviet Union. Who will be the baddie now? (Guardian)

Adam Curtis says that neoconservatives, "terror journalists" and Osama Bin Laden himself all had their own reasons to create a simple story of looming apocalypse.

6. There has been pain but we were right to fight (Times) (£)

What is happening across the Arab world shows that al-Qaeda has failed spectacularly, says Jack Straw.

7. Just say Yes to voting reform (Independent)

As the polls point to a substantial lead for the No campaign, says this editorial, there are still 24 hours left to change the system.

8. Nick Clegg is out of his depth – and David Cameron should let him sink (Daily Telegraph)

The Tories' bargaining power in the coalition will increase after tomorrow's elections, Simon Heffer predicts.

9. Ian Tomlinson verdict: the people defer no more (Guardian)

The Tomlinson jury showed how completely public views of the police have changed, says Duncan Campbell.

10. Chances are better now of the US fixing its deficit (Independent)

There is, after any memorable event, an immediate instinct to look for economic and financial consequences, says Hamish McRae.

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It's Gary Lineker 1, the Sun 0

The football hero has found himself at the heart of a Twitter storm over the refugee children debate.

The Mole wonders what sort of topsy-turvy universe we now live in where Gary Lineker is suddenly being called a “political activist” by a Conservative MP? Our favourite big-eared football pundit has found himself in a war of words with the Sun newspaper after wading into the controversy over the age of the refugee children granted entry into Britain from Calais.

Pictures published earlier this week in the right-wing press prompted speculation over the migrants' “true age”, and a Tory MP even went as far as suggesting that these children should have their age verified by dental X-rays. All of which leaves your poor Mole with a deeply furrowed brow. But luckily the British Dental Association was on hand to condemn the idea as unethical, inaccurate and inappropriate. Phew. Thank God for dentists.

Back to old Big Ears, sorry, Saint Gary, who on Wednesday tweeted his outrage over the Murdoch-owned newspaper’s scaremongering coverage of the story. He smacked down the ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson, in a single tweet, calling him a “racist idiot”, and went on to defend his right to express his opinions freely on his feed.

The Sun hit back in traditional form, calling for Lineker to be ousted from his job as host of the BBC’s Match of the Day. The headline they chose? “Out on his ears”, of course, referring to the sporting hero’s most notable assets. In the article, the tabloid lays into Lineker, branding him a “leftie luvvie” and “jug-eared”. The article attacked him for describing those querying the age of the young migrants as “hideously racist” and suggested he had breached BBC guidelines on impartiality.

All of which has prompted calls for a boycott of the Sun and an outpouring of support for Lineker on Twitter. His fellow football hero Stan Collymore waded in, tweeting that he was on “Team Lineker”. Leading the charge against the Murdoch-owned title was the close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Channel 4 News economics editor, Paul Mason, who tweeted:

Lineker, who is not accustomed to finding himself at the centre of such highly politicised arguments on social media, responded with typical good humour, saying he had received a bit of a “spanking”.

All of which leaves the Mole with renewed respect for Lineker and an uncharacteristic desire to watch this weekend’s Match of the Day to see if any trace of his new activist persona might surface.


I'm a mole, innit.