Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

  1. David Cameron won't prosper by trying to outkip the Kippers (Observer)
    Both the Tories and Labour have several reasons to be troubled by the Ukip surge – and one to be grateful for it, writes Andrew Rawnsley.
  2. Has the Conservative Party learnt any lessons from Ukip's success? (Sunday Telegraph)
    There has been a groundswell in the big world – the neglected majority of conservative voters has moved on, writes Janet Daley
  3. They’re all now making plans for Nigel (Sunday Times)
    UKIP has staked out its territory and it won’t be dislodged easily. Who is the joke on, asks Adam Boulton, and who are the pretenders now?
  4. When Nigel Farage's dream fades, it will be Dave who smiles (Independent on Sunday)
    The Tories will be also-rans in next year's European elections, but once reality dawns in 2015, it is Labour who will have most to worry about, writes John Rentoul.
  5. Fashion still doesn't give a damn about the deaths of garment workers (Observer)
    Lucy Siegle reports on a campaign launched this week aiming to ensure the tragedy in Bangladesh is a tipping point for both the industry and consumers.
  6. A decade that hushed up horror (Sunday Telegraph)
    We don't feel so nostalgic for the Seventies in the wake of these scandals, writes Jenny McCartney.
  7. Brutal Obama is shackled by his Guantanamo gulag (Sunday Times)
    Obama is now more brutal in his treatment of prisoners in a terrorist war than Thatcher, writes Andrew Sullivan.
  8. Our disbelief is the sexual predator's great asset (Independent on Sunday)
    The problem was not tolerance of abuse but disbelief of anyone who dared complain, writes Joan Smith
  9. Fruitcakes and closet racists? Cameron's talking about YOU! (**)
    It is now just a matter of time before the Tory Party dies, asserts Peter Hitchens.
  10. Worker Safety in Bangladesh and Beyond (New York Times)
    Lawmakers began improving industrial safety in earnest after the 1911 fire at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist factory, which killed 146 workers and horrified the country. The collapse of Rana Plaza should play a similarly galvanizing role now, write the New York Times' editors.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Commons Confidential: Dave's picnic with Dacre

Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

Sulking David Cameron can’t forgive the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, for his role in his downfall. The unrelenting hostility of the self-appointed voice of Middle England to the Remain cause felt pivotal to the defeat. So, what a glorious coincidence it was that they found themselves picnicking a couple of motors apart before England beat Scotland at Twickenham. My snout recalled Cameron studiously peering in the opposite direction. On Dacre’s face was the smile of an assassin. Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

The good news is that since Jeremy Corbyn let Theresa May off the Budget hook at Prime Minister’s Questions, most of his MPs no longer hate him. The bad news is that many now openly express their pity. It is whispered that Corbyn’s office made it clear that he didn’t wish to sit next to Tony Blair at the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial in London. His desire for distance was probably reciprocated, as Comrade Corbyn wanted Brigadier Blair to be charged with war crimes. Fighting old battles is easier than beating the Tories.

Brexit is a ticket to travel. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is lifting its three-trip cap on funded journeys to Europe for MPs. The idea of paying for as many cross-Channel visits as a politician can enjoy reminds me of Denis MacShane. Under the old limits, he ended up in the clink for fiddling accounts to fund his Continental missionary work. If the new rule was applied retrospectively, perhaps the former Labour minister should be entitled to get his seat back and compensation?

The word in Ukip is that Paul Nuttall, OBE VC KG – the ridiculed former Premier League professional footballer and England 1966 World Cup winner – has cold feet after his Stoke mauling about standing in a by-election in Leigh (assuming that Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May). The electorate already knows his Walter Mitty act too well.

A senior Labour MP, who demanded anonymity, revealed that she had received a letter after Leicester’s Keith Vaz paid men to entertain him. Vaz had posed as Jim the washing machine man. Why, asked the complainant, wasn’t this second job listed in the register of members’ interests? She’s avoiding writing a reply.

Years ago, this column unearthed and ridiculed the early journalism of George Osborne, who must be the least qualified newspaper editor in history. The cabinet lackey Ben “Selwyn” Gummer’s feeble intervention in the Osborne debate has put him on our radar. We are now watching him and will be reporting back. My snouts are already unearthing interesting information.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 23 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's permanent revolution