Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Words won't change capitalism. So be daring and do something (The Observer)
Western governments must replace their redundant inflation targets with a target for the growth of the value of the goods and service they produce, says Will Hutton

2. The trouble is we don't have true capitalism (The Sunday Times £)
The problem we have at the moment is not capitalism, but its absence, writes Dominic Lawson

3. Do you want the market or the market? (The Independent on Sunday)
Cameron and Miliband compete to bash the bankers, but they both intend to safeguard the capitalist system in Britain, says John Rentoul

4. We're proudly Scottish - but still British (Independent on Sunday)
Narrow nationalism is not what Scotland - nor the United Kingdom - needs in the debate about independence, writes Douglas Alexander

5. The good ship NHS needs a steer, Dave ( The Sunday Times £)
Cameron must also take the lead on remaking the argument for health reform, if that is what he intends, says Martin Ivens

6. America has the opportunity to usher in radical new political era (The Observer)
If super-rich Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, the US can have a real debate on income disparity, says Michael Cohen

7. Fresh Doubts About Republican Contest (New York Times)
The South Carolina result raises the likelihood of a primary battle stretching well into springtime, says Jeff Zeleny

8. Which Romney will show up now? (Washington Post)
He has shown many faces, but now caught in a revived race, his game face may change, again, writes Philip Rucker

9. Labour has finally decided to join the grown-ups' table (The Sunday Telegraph)
Ed Balls and Ed Miliband showed signs of a willingness to capitulate to reality, says Matthew d'Ancona

10. Only the super six can break the shackles of Coalition (The Mail on Sunday)
The Tories are now ruthlessly focused on making sure that next time they get to govern on their own

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Vince Cable will need something snappier than a graduate tax to escape tuition fees

Perhaps he's placing his hopes in the “Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front.” 

“We took power, and we got crushed,” Tim Farron said in what would turn out to be his final Autumn conference as Liberal Democrat leader, before hastening on to talk about Brexit and the need for a strong opposition.

A year and a snap election later, Vince Cable, the Lib Dem warhorse-turned-leader and the former Coalition business secretary, had plenty of cracks about Brexit.

He called for a second referendum – or what he dubbed a “first referendum on the facts” – and joked that he was “half prepared for a spell in a cell with Supreme Court judges, Gina Miller, Ken Clarke, and the governors of the BBC” for suggesting it".

Lib Dems, he suggested, were the “political adults” in the room, while Labour sat on the fence. Unlike Farron, however, he did not rule out the idea of working with Jeremy Corbyn, and urged "grown ups" in other parties to put aside their differences. “Jeremy – join us in the Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front,” he said. The Lib Dems had been right on Iraq, and would be proved right on Brexit, he added. 

But unlike Farron, Cable revisited his party’s time in power.

“In government, we did a lot of good and we stopped a lot of bad,” he told conference. “Don’t let the Tories tell you that they lifted millions of low-earners out of income tax. We did… But we have paid a very high political price.”

Cable paid the price himself, when he lost his Twickenham seat in 2015, and saw his former Coalition colleague Nick Clegg turfed out of student-heavy Sheffield Hallam. However much the Lib Dems might wish it away, the tuition fees debate is here to stay, aided by some canny Labour manoeuvring, and no amount of opposition to Brexit will hide it.

“There is an elephant in the room,” the newly re-established MP for Twickenham said in his speech. “Debt – specifically student debt.” He defended the policy (he chose to vote for it in 2010, rather than abstain) for making sure universities were properly funded, but added: “Just because the system operates like a tax, we cannot escape the fact it isn’t seen as one.” He is reviewing options for the future, including a graduate tax. But students are unlikely to be cheering for a graduate tax when Labour is pledging to scrap tuition fees altogether.

There lies Cable’s challenge. Farron may have stepped down a week after the election declaring himself “torn” between religion and party, but if he had stayed, he would have had to face the fact that voters were happier to nibble Labour’s Brexit fudge (with lashings of free tuition fees), than choose a party on pure Remain principles alone.

“We are not a single-issue party…we’re not Ukip in reverse,” Cable said. “I see our future as a party of government.” In which case, the onus is on him to come up with something more inspiring than a graduate tax.

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.