Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

  1. Just remember, children born out of wedlock are loved – and will vote (£) (Telegraph)
    The Office for National Statistics predicts that most children in 2016 will be born out of wedlock - but that doesn't mean they will be raised in single parent households, writes Graeme Archer.
  2. A telling failure at G4S (£) (Financial Times)
    Service companies need to be more transparent to parliament and the public, says John McDermott.
  3. Our postman delivers a sack of bad news (£) (Telegraph)
    Things are going to go downhill with privatisation, according to the man in the hi-viz vest, writes Vicki Woods
  4. Faslane: this was a nuclear weapon for the SNP (Guardian)
    The rumoured plans for the naval base were a reminder of how deeply unpopular Trident is among Scots, writes AL Kennedy
  5. White Van voters will decide the next PM (£) (Times)
    Tories can win by cutting taxes for the low-paid, helping families to buy homes and increasing apprenticeships, writes Robert Halfon
  6. As G4S 'overcharging' and BBC payouts reveal, life in the UK just isn't fair (Guardian)
    If all this were in period costume, a Downton Abbey world of elites, we would be appalled. So why isn't there more outrage, asks Jonathan Freedland.
  7. My step-by-step programme for curing men of sexism (Independent)
    It's really not that hard to understand. Are you the man who bellows, “DON’T GET HYSTERICAL!” if a woman is trying to make point. Congrats, you're a sexist berk, writes Grace Dent.
  8. Guess who’s going to pay for politics? You! (Times)
    The political parties will ask the taxpayer to pay their bills once unions and tycoons have walked away, writes Robert Halfon.
  9. The Privatisation of Royal Mail: Are you ready to deliver your own letters? (Independent)
    Vince Cable has assured us a privatised Royal Mail would maintain all its services. Of course it will, because making a profit will hardly figure in their plans at all, writes Mark Steel
  10. Labour realised that parties need recruits, not conscripts (£) (Financial Times)
    Every political party faces possible scandals over its sources of finance, writes Peter Clarke.

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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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.