Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Bash the poor and wave the flag - how this Tory trick works (Guardian)

Jonathan Freedland explains how in a move imported from the US right, the Conservatives have successfully induced people to vote against their own interests.

2. This is a question of honour for the coalition -- not Stephen Hester (Daily Telegraph)

To do difficult things, the government must stand behind its own policies and people, says Charles Moore.

3. It's a crisis of confidence, not of capitalism (Financial Times)

We must return to the principles of the free market, writes George Osborne.

4. The Days of Our Youth (Times) (£)

European leaders need to tackle their terrible rates of youth unemployment, says leading article.

5. Philanthropy is the enemy of justice (Guardian)

The world's poor are not begging for charity from the rich, says Robert Newman -- they're asking for justice and fairness.

6. The outsider who has run foul of the FSA (Financial Times)

David Einhorn, the fund titan who shorted Lehman, has sold himself short, write Sam Jones and Dan McCrum.

7. Why protesters should occupy London 2012 (Times) (£)

Giles Coren writes that instead of banning tents from the Olympics, we should give medals for formal displays of civil disobedience.

8. Hornby: the end of the line (Guardian)

If play is the work of childhood, says Andrew Martin, Hornby's struggle is grim news for the future of UK manufacturing.

9. Class warfare need not be taxing (Financial Times)

The pragmatic case for socking it to the rich is weak, said Christopher Caldwell.

10. God may not be great, but religion can be (Times) (£)

Janice Turner writes how as a teenage atheist, she removed Jesus from the Nativity scene. Now she has realised that something is missing.

Photo: Getty Images
Show Hide image

Responding to George Osborne's tax credit U-turn should have been Labour's victory lap

He changed the forecast, we changed the weather. But still it rains.

The Labour Party should have rested on its laurels in the Autumn Statement. While Gideon name checked his Tory colleagues for their successful lobbying, he should have been reading out the names of Labour members who changed his position.  I'll let the Tories have the potholes, (even though it was in Labour manifesto) but everything else was us. 

He stopped his assault on tax credits. Not because he woke up in his mansion in a cold sweat, the ghost of Christmas Future at the foot of his bed, ringing out the names of the thousands and thousands of children he would plunge into poverty. Nah, it's not that. It's as my sons might say "no way George, you got told!" The constant pressure of the Labour Party and a variety of Lords in a range of shades, supported by that media we are all meant to hate, did for him. It's the thousands of brilliant people who kept the pressure up by emailing politicians constantly that did it. Bravo us, boo nasty George!

As Baron Osborne thanked the Tory male MP for his brilliant idea, to spend the Tampax tax on women's services, I wanted to launch a tampon at his head. Not a used one you understand, I have some boundaries. He should have credited Paula Sheriff, the Labour MP for making this change. He should have credited all the brilliant women's groups, Yvette Cooper, Stella Creasy, Caroline Lucas and even little old me, for our constant, regular and persistent pestering on the subject of funding for refuges and women's services. 

On police cuts, his side should not have cheered him at all. We are now in a position when loud cheers are heard when nothing changes. So happy was his side that he was not cutting it, one can only conclude they really hate all the cutting they do. He should not have taken a ridiculous side swipe at Andy Burnham, but instead he should have credited the years and years of constant campaigning by Jack Dromey. 

I tell you what Georgie boy can take credit for, the many tax increases he chalked up. Increases in council tax to pay for huge deficit in care costs left by his cuts. Increases in the bit of council tax that pays for Police. Even though nothing changed remember. When he says levy or precept it's like when people say I'm curvy when they mean fat. It's a tax. 

He can take credit for making student nurses pay to work for free in the NHS. That's got his little privileged fingers all over it. My babies were both delivered by student midwives. The first time my sons life was saved, and on the second occasion my life was saved. The women who saved us were on placement hours as part of their training, working towards their qualifications. Now those same women, will be paying for the pleasure of working for free and saving lives. Paying to work for free! On reflection throwing a tampon at him is too good, this change makes me want to lob my son's placenta in his face.

Elsewhere in Parliament on Autumn Statement day Jeremy Hunt, capitulated and agreed to negotiate with Student Doctors. Thanks to the brilliant pressure built by junior doctors and in no small part Heidi Alexander. Another disaster averted, thanks to Labour.

I could go on and on with thanks to charities, think tanks, individual constituents and other opposition MPs who should have got the autumn cheers. We did it, we were a great and powerful opposition, we balanced the pain with reality. We made Lord sorry the first Lord of the Treasury and his stormtroopers move from the dark side. We should have got the cheers, but all we got was a black eye, when a little red book smacked us right in the face.