Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. What MPs must know before they vote to wreck the NHS (Guardian)

The Tories' ideologically driven NHS bill deserves a backlash. The Lords would be well within their rights to block it, says Polly Toynbee.

2. For the good of rural life, we must build houses in the countryside (Daily Telegraph)

Planning reforms can shape the landscape to suit our needs and still maintain its beauty, insists Charles Moore.

3. No need to outsource kindness. Tories do it too (Times) (£)

It's not a coalition of Lib Dem foot-draggers and go-for-it Conservatives, writes Matthew Parris. This rightwing idea has to be killed.

4. What Ed must do to shake the Kinnock analogies (Financial Times)

The Labour leader still has much to prove, writes Matthew Taylor.

5. A few sex education lessons might benefit Ms Dorries (Independent)

The best way of cutting the number of abortions must be to cut the number of conceptions, writes Chris Bryant.

6. Famine in Somalia: a man-made crisis (Guardian)

Starvation in the Horn of Africa is not only a natural disaster - conflict rages and international aid is hampered, writes Unni Karunakara.

7. Hands off our land: The Eden that is England (Daily Telegraph)

Despite England being an urban nation, our rural self-image is fundamental to English identity, says Roy Strong.

8. Leaders of today: do crises demand craziness? (Financial Times)

If mentally healthy leaders crumble in crises, big countries in the west are in trouble, says Christopher Caldwell.

9. Guess who's become the Tories' secret weapon? (Daily Mail)

Ed Balls delights the Tories, and daily reminds us that this Labour Party is not fit for office, writes Stephen Glover.

10. The best future would be the one imagined by Doctor Who (Independent)

Doctor Who is far more than a kids' show about a time traveller, writes Laurie Penny.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.