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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Tom Watson rouses Labour's conference as he comes out fighting

The party's deputy leader exhilarated delegates with his paean to the Blair and Brown years. 

Tom Watson is down but not out. After Jeremy Corbyn's second landslide victory, and weeks of threats against his position, Labour's deputy leader could have played it safe. Instead, he came out fighting. 

With Corbyn seated directly behind him, he declared: "I don't know why we've been focusing on what was wrong with the Blair and Brown governments for the last six years. But trashing our record is not the way to enhance our brand. We won't win elections like that! And we need to win elections!" As Watson won a standing ovation from the hall and the platform, the Labour leader remained motionless. When a heckler interjected, Watson riposted: "Jeremy, I don't think she got the unity memo." Labour delegates, many of whom hail from the pre-Corbyn era, lapped it up.

Though he warned against another challenge to the leader ("we can't afford to keep doing this"), he offered a starkly different account of the party's past and its future. He reaffirmed Labour's commitment to Nato ("a socialist construct"), with Corbyn left isolated as the platform applauded. The only reference to the leader came when Watson recalled his recent PMQs victory over grammar schools. There were dissenting voices (Watson was heckled as he praised Sadiq Khan for winning an election: "Just like Jeremy Corbyn!"). But one would never have guessed that this was the party which had just re-elected Corbyn. 

There was much more to Watson's speech than this: a fine comic riff on "Saturday's result" (Ed Balls on Strictly), a spirited attack on Theresa May's "ducking and diving; humming and hahing" and a cerebral account of the automation revolution. But it was his paean to Labour history that roused the conference as no other speaker has. 

The party's deputy channelled the spirit of both Hugh Gaitskell ("fight, and fight, and fight again to save the party we love") and his mentor Gordon Brown (emulating his trademark rollcall of New Labour achivements). With his voice cracking, Watson recalled when "from the sunny uplands of increasing prosperity social democratic government started to feel normal to the people of Britain". For Labour, a party that has never been further from power in recent decades, that truly was another age. But for a brief moment, Watson's tubthumper allowed Corbyn's vanquished opponents to relive it. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.