Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Left and libertarian right cohabit in the weird world of the genocide belittlers (Guardian)

Many on the left are determined to dismiss the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, writes George Monbiot.

2. Why peace-loving Ed Miliband would be better off picking a few fights (Daily Telegraph)

Fear of repeating the TB-GBs has led the Labour leader to seek unity at any price, says Mary Riddell.

3. Tell us why it was worth stabbing your brother (Times) (£)

In the TV age voters see leaders through images, writes Rachel Sylvester. Ed Miliband is a blank screen desperately in need of definition.

4. Why Syria will get away with it (Financial Times)

A 20-year experiment with the idea that western military force can put the world to rights is coming to a close, says Gideon Rachman.

5. NHS shakeup review leaves big questions unanswered (Guardian)

Critical issues such as how to ensure quality of care and stop private hospitals cherry-picking patients are ignored in the report, says Christina McAnea.

6. I'm sorry, but there's precious little about Mr Cameron's government that's visibly Conservative (Daily Mail)

Cameron becomes strangely timid when important domestic reforms meet entrenched opposition, notes Stephen Glover.

7. Labour must own its past to build its future (Financial Times)

Anything interesting that Ed Miliband's party might have to say is drowned out by introspection and infighting, writes Philip Stephens.

8. NHS reforms: The Government is turning the clock back (Daily Telegraph)

David Cameron is going back on Kenneth Clarke's health reforms of 1991, writes Andrew Haldenby.

9. While the PM and his deputy jockey for credit, Labour is the real winner (Independent)

The amended health bill may not necessarily cure the coalition parties' ills, says Andrew Grice.

10. The debris of dodgy data (Guardian)

Too many journalists take the claims of politicians at face value instead of examining the statistics, writes Mark Damazer.

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Theresa May knows she's talking nonsense - here's why she's doing it

The Prime Minister's argument increases the sense that this is a time to "lend" - in her words - the Tories your vote.

Good morning.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May are more similar politicians than people think, and that holds true for Brexit too. The German Chancellor gave a speech yesterday, and the message: Brexit means Brexit.

Of course, the emphasis is slightly different. When May says it, it's about reassuring the Brexit elite in SW1 that she isn't going to backslide, and anxious Remainers and soft Brexiteers in the country that it will work out okay in the end.

When Merkel says it, she's setting out what the EU wants and the reality of third country status outside the European Union.  She's also, as with May, tilting to her own party and public opinion in Germany, which thinks that the UK was an awkward partner in the EU and is being even more awkward in the manner of its leaving.

It's a measure of how poor the debate both during the referendum and its aftermath is that Merkel's bland statement of reality - "A third-party state - and that's what Britain will be - can't and won't be able to have the same rights, let alone a better position than a member of the European Union" - feels newsworthy.

In the short term, all this helps Theresa May. Her response - delivered to a carefully-selected audience of Leeds factory workers, the better to avoid awkward questions - that the EU is "ganging up" on Britain is ludicrous if you think about it. A bloc of nations acting in their own interest against their smaller partners - colour me surprised!

But in terms of what May wants out of this election - a massive majority that gives her carte blanche to implement her agenda and puts Labour out of contention for at least a decade - it's a great message. It increases the sense that this is a time to "lend" - in May's words - the Tories your vote. You may be unhappy about the referendum result, you may usually vote Labour - but on this occasion, what's needed is a one-off Tory vote to make Brexit a success.

May's message is silly if you pay any attention to how the EU works or indeed to the internal politics of the EU27. That doesn't mean it won't be effective.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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