Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The unions' no-cuts agenda is delusional (Guardian)

Some on the left inhabit a fantasy utopia, writes Alan Johnson. But this week Labour showed it is a credible alternative.

2. Expel Germany, not Greece, to save the euro (Times) (£)

The truth is slowly dawning about Europe's real odd-man-out, writes Anatole Kaletsky. France, Italy and Spain should form their own club.

3. Canada's cautionary tale for Scottish secessionists (Financial Times)

Scotland must negotiate, not dictate a divorce, writes Michael Ignatieff.

4. How will the Coalition cope with a year of living fractiously? (Daily Telegraph)

Cameron and Clegg are discovering how little they actually have in common, writes Benedict Brogan.

5. Ed Miliband, welcome to the coalition - but don't stay too long (Guardian)

The Labour leader's sanity on cuts is what the economy needs, says Simon Jenkins. But long term, a healthy democracy needs real opposition.

6. Why the super-Marios need help (Financial Times)

The costs of failure are so large that the possibility of domestic and eurozone reform must be kept alive, says Martin Wolf.

7. And still the banks' vandalism goes on... (Daily Mail)

In the case of RBS, the politicians are custodians of our shares. So when will they practise what they preach, asks a Daily Mail editorial.

8. China's success challenges a failed economic consensus (Guardian)

It's public ownership that has allowed Beijing to ride out the west's crisis, says Seumas Milne. Without it, recovery will be harder everywhere.

9. David Cameron going overboard for fatcat friends (Daily Mirror)

The PM's revealed his priority is the cushiest 1%, with the other 99% condemned to sink or swim on their own, says Kevin Maguire.

10. SOPA unites the internet in protest (Daily Telegraph)

The Stop Online Piracy Act is the modern-day equivalent of smashing the Gutenberg press, writes Adrian Hon.

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UnHerd's rejection of the new isn't as groundbreaking as it seems to think

Tim Montgomerie's new venture has some promise, but it's trying to solve an old problem.

Information overload is oft-cited as one of the main drawbacks of the modern age. There is simply too much to take in, especially when it comes to news. Hourly radio bulletins, rolling news channels and the constant stream of updates available from the internet – there is just more than any one person can consume. 

Luckily Tim Montgomerie, the founder of ConservativeHome and former Times comment editor, is here to help. Montgomerie is launching UnHerd, a new media venture that promises to pull back and focus on "the important things rather than the latest things". 

According to Montgomerie the site has a "package of investment", at least some of which comes from Paul Marshall. He is co-founder of one of Europe's largest hedge funds, Marshall Wace, formerly a longstanding Lib Dem, and also one of the main backers and chair of Ark Schools, an academy chain. The money behind the project is on display in UnHerd's swish (if slightly overwhelming) site, Google ads promoting the homepage, and article commissions worth up to $5,000. The selection of articles at launch includes an entertaining piece by Lionel Shriver on being a "news-aholic", though currently most of the bylines belong to Montgomerie himself. 

Guidelines for contributors, also meant to reflect the site's "values", contain some sensible advice. This includes breaking down ideas into bullet points, thinking about who is likely to read and promote articles, and footnoting facts. 

The guidelines also suggest focusing on what people will "still want to read in six, 12 or 24 months" and that will "be of interest to someone in Cincinnati or Perth as well as Vancouver or St Petersburg and Cape Town and Edinburgh" – though it's not quite clear how one of Montgomerie's early contributions, a defence of George Osborne's editorship of the Evening Standard, quite fits that global criteria. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the full page comment piece Montgomerie got in Osborne's paper to bemoan the deficiencies of modern media on the day UnHerd launched. 

UnHerd's mascot  – a cow – has also created some confusion, compounded by another line in the writing tips describing it as "a cow, who like our target readers, tends to avoid herds and behave in unmissable ways as a result". At least Montgomerie only picked the second-most famous poster animal for herding behaviour. It could have been a sheep. In any case, the line has since disappeared from the post – suggesting the zoological inadequacy of the metaphor may have been recognised. 

There is one way in which UnHerd perfectly embodies its stated aim of avoiding the new – the idea that we need to address the frenetic nature of modern news has been around for years.

"Slow news" – a more considered approach to what's going on in the world that takes in the bigger picture – has been talked about since at least the beginning of this decade.

In fact, it's been around so long that it has become positively mainstream. That pusher of rolling coverage the BBC has been talking about using slow news to counteract fake news, and Montgomerie's old employers, the Times decided last year to move to publishing digital editions at set points during the day, rather than constantly updating as stories break. Even the Guardian – which has most enthusiastically embraced the crack-cocaine of rolling web coverage, the live blog – also publishes regular long reads taking a deep dive into a weighty subject. 

UnHerd may well find an audience particularly attuned to its approach and values. It intends to introduce paid services – an especially good idea given the perverse incentives to chase traffic that come with relying on digital advertising. The ethos it is pitching may well help persuade people to pay, and I don't doubt Montgomerie will be able to find good writers who will deal with big ideas in interesting ways. 

But the idea UnHerd is offering a groundbreaking solution to information overload is faintly ludicrous. There are plenty of ways for people to disengage from the news cycle – and plenty of sources of information and good writing that allow people to do it while staying informed. It's just that given so many opportunities to stay up to date with what has just happened, few people decide they would rather not know.