Morning Call: Pick of the papers

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

  1. NSA and GCHQ – too close for comfort (Guardian)
    It makes sense for the US and UK to co-operate and share, but payments between the two agencies must mean influence, writes Nick Hopkins.
  2. Britain is slamming its doors against the world (Financial Times)
    A champion of the liberal, open international system is redefining itself as a resentful victim, writes Philip Stephens.
  3. One thing Ryanair got right - charging extra for needless hand luggage (Independent)
    We know what a trip on Ryanair means: cheap and not very cheerful. But why do people now take huge bags on the flight instead of checking them in, asks Simon Kelner.
  4. Thatcher and Reagan may have seemed like equals. His invasion of Grenada shows they were not (Independent)
    The embarrassment and humiliation have in fact been known for years. But only now do we see how carefully Washington kept its supposedly close ally in the dark, writes Peter Popham.
  5. Parking fines rocket because of the centre's addiction to power (Guardian)
    Conservatives like Eric Pickles espouse freedom for local councils, but they have done nothing to show they mean it, writes Simon Jenkins.
  6. Children die when social workers stop feeling (Times)
    We need more raw revulsion at tragedies like Daniel Pelka’s, not administrative change, writes Camila Batmanghelidjh.
  7. So which anniversary will sway the Scots? (Telegraph)
    Both Bannockburn and the Great War will loom large when Scotland votes on independence, one year from now, Sunder Katwala points out.
  8. Moral objections to the case for dishing Wonga (Financial Times)
    There are better ways for the Archbishop of Canterbury to help the poor, says Jonathan Ford.
  9. It’s no wonder none of my friends are teenage Tories (Telegraph)
    Left-wing propaganda on A-level Politics syllabuses strongly influences 18-year-olds' opinions, argues Carola Binney.
  10. Why we can’t see the risks of monkey business (Times)
    Gaby Hinscliff offers a lesson from Longleat for Anthony Weiner.

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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Our union backed Brexit, but that doesn't mean scrapping freedom of movement

We can only improve the lives of our members, like those planning stike action at McDonalds, through solidarity.

The campaign to defend and extend free movement – highlighted by the launch of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement this month – is being seen in some circles as a back door strategy to re-run the EU referendum. If that was truly the case, then I don't think Unions like mine (the BFAWU) would be involved, especially as we campaigned to leave the EU ourselves.

In stark contrast to the rhetoric used by many sections of the Leave campaign, our argument wasn’t driven by fear and paranoia about migrant workers. A good number of the BFAWU’s membership is made up of workers not just from the EU, but from all corners of the world. They make a positive contribution to the industry that we represent. These people make a far larger and important contribution to our society and our communities than the wealthy Brexiteers, who sought to do nothing other than de-humanise them, cheered along by a rabid, right-wing press. 

Those who are calling for end to freedom of movement fail to realise that it’s people, rather than land and borders that makes the world we live in. Division works only in the interest of those that want to hold power, control, influence and wealth. Unfortunately, despite a rich history in terms of where division leads us, a good chunk of the UK population still falls for it. We believe that those who live and work here or in other countries should have their skills recognised and enjoy the same rights as those born in that country, including the democratic right to vote. 

Workers born outside of the UK contribute more than £328 million to the UK economy every day. Our NHS depends on their labour in order to keep it running; the leisure and hospitality industries depend on them in order to function; the food industry (including farming to a degree) is often propped up by their work.

The real architects of our misery and hardship reside in Westminster. It is they who introduced legislation designed to allow bosses to act with impunity and pay poverty wages. The only way we can really improve our lives is not as some would have you believe, by blaming other poor workers from other countries, it is through standing together in solidarity. By organising and combining that we become stronger as our fabulous members are showing through their decision to ballot for strike action in McDonalds.

Our members in McDonalds are both born in the UK and outside the UK, and where the bosses have separated groups of workers by pitting certain nationalities against each other, the workers organised have stood together and fought to win change for all, even organising themed social events to welcome each other in the face of the bosses ‘attempts to create divisions in the workplace.

Our union has held the long term view that we should have a planned economy with an ability to own and control the means of production. Our members saw the EU as a gravy train, working in the interests of wealthy elites and industrial scale tax avoidance. They felt that leaving the EU would give the UK the best opportunity to renationalise our key industries and begin a programme of manufacturing on a scale that would allow us to be self-sufficient and independent while enjoying solid trading relationships with other countries. Obviously, a key component in terms of facilitating this is continued freedom of movement.

Many of our members come from communities that voted to leave the EU. They are a reflection of real life that the movers and shakers in both the Leave and Remain campaigns took for granted. We weren’t surprised by the outcome of the EU referendum; after decades of politicians heaping blame on the EU for everything from the shape of fruit to personal hardship, what else could we possibly expect? However, we cannot allow migrant labour to remain as a political football to give succour to the prejudices of the uninformed. Given the same rights and freedoms as UK citizens, foreign workers have the ability to ensure that the UK actually makes a success of Brexit, one that benefits the many, rather than the few.

Ian Hodon is President of the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union and founding signatory of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement.