Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. False claims won't deny us our place in the family of nations (Independent)

Alex Salmond writes that the ham-fisted antics of Cameron and Osborne will only increase support for Scottish independence.

2. Can Alex Salmond give Britain the chop? (Daily Telegraph)

Scottish independence is the SNP leader's great ambition -- but, says Alan Cochrane, his weaknesses could be the project's undoing.

3. Alex Salmond does not make Scottish independence inexorable (Guardian)

Martin Kettle says that the SNP leader wants a referendum deal -- because without it the SNP is more likely to lose

4. Scotland's secessionists are slaves to a romantic tartan past (Financial Times)

SNP strategy boils down to medieval populism, says John Lloyd.

5. Migration caps aren't about protecting British workers (Guardian)

Reduce net migration if you must, says Zoe Williams, but don't expect it to improve the lot of the lowest skilled and lowest paid.

6. Ulster needs peace. But it needs truth more (Times) (£)

It's the hardest of moral dilemmas, says David Aaronovitch -- does one family's desire for justice trump the goal of ending all the violence?

7. Mitt Romney's 'Mittmentum' may not last long (Daily Telegraph)

Tim Stanley notes that the suspicion lingers that the Republicans' likely presidential nominee is simply the best of a bad bunch.

8. Hands off British film, Mr Cameron (Guardian)

Peter Bradshaw argues that it is absurd to imply, as David Cameron has, that hearty commercial films are starved of cash by arthouse conspirators.

9. Forget spreadsheets. Teach maths and magic (Times) (£)

Mike Lynch says that Gove is right: schools are failing at computer science, which hurts pupils and business.

10. West needs to go back to capitalist basics (Financial Times)

Europe must look east if it wants to resolve its debt crisis, says Mahathir Mohamad.

Screencrap
Show Hide image

The most British thing happened when this hassled Piccadilly line worker had had enough

"I try so hard to help you Soph, so hard."

Pity the poor Piccadilly Line. Or rather, pity the poor person who runs its social media account. With the London Underground line running with delays since, well, what seems like forever, the soul behind Transport for London's official @piccadillyline account has been getting it in the neck from all quarters.

Lucky, then, that the faceless figure manning the handle seems to be a hardy and patient sort, responding calmly to tweet upon tweet bemoaning the slow trains.

But everyone has their limit, and last night, fair @piccadillyline seemed to hit theirs, asking Twitter users frustrated about the line to stop swearing at them in tones that brought a single, glittering tear to this mole's eye.

"I do my best as do the others here," our mystery hero pleaded. "We all truly sympathise with people travelling and do the best we can to help them, shouting and swearing at us does nothing to help us helping you."

After another exchange with the angry commuter, @piccadillyline eventually gave up. Their tweet could melt the coldest heart: "Okay, sorry if your tweet mixed up, I won't bother for the rest of my shift. I try so hard to help you Soph, so hard."

Being a mole, one has a natural affinity with those who labour underground, and I was saddened to see poor @piccadillyline reduced to such lows especially so close to Christmas. Luckily, some kind Londoners came to their defence, checking in on the anonymous worker and offering comfort and tea.

And shortly after, all seemed to be well again:

I'm a mole, innit.