Morning Call: pick of the papers

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


1. Cautious president deserves second term (Financial Times)

The case for Barack Obama is that he navigated the storms with careful intelligence, says Philip Stephens.

2. Labour, you've made your point about the EU – now make the case for it (Guardian)

In tough times it is only right that the EU budget be trimmed, but the left must never forget the benefits of membership, says Polly Toynbee.

3. America's political system is paralysed by hatred between Democrats and Republicans (Daily Mail)

The constitution created in 1776 is cracking open at the seams, says Max Hastings.

4. Radical paths to rebalance the UK economy (Financial Times)

The Bank of England could purchase foreign, rather than domestic, assets, writes Martin Wolf.

5. Britain shouldn’t jump the gun on leaving the European Union (Daily Telegraph)

Rather than rush for the exit, it would be better to allow the euro crisis to play out, says Jeremy Warner.

6. Leveson inquiry: prejudging the judge (Guardian)

The law on its own is not sufficient – which is why Leveson has to consider regulation, says a Guardian editorial.

7. We are all in the chorus of Dystopia Limited (Times) (£)

The 19th-century vision of the responsible company has vanished, as workers are denied their share of the rewards, writes Philip Collins.

8. Big Apple shows how to live with climate change (Daily Telegraph)

Technology and human ingenuity can defuse natural disasters that once killed thousands, says Fraser Nelson.

9. Superstorm Sandy sounds a warning (Financial Times)

New York is ill-prepared for the impact of climate change, says an FT editorial.

10. Labour and others have played a shameful role in the EU budget debate (Independent)

The government's defeat over the EU budget was a victory for parochial pettiness, not democracy, as some have suggested, writes Adrian Hamilton.

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Commons Confidential: Fearing the Wigan warrior

An electoral clash, select committee elections as speed dating, and Ed Miliband’s political convalescence.

Members of Labour’s disconsolate majority, sitting in tight knots in the tearoom as the MP with the best maths skills calculates who will survive and who will die, based on the latest bad poll, observe that Jeremy Corbyn has never been so loyal to the party leadership. The past 13 months, one told me, have been the Islington rebel’s longest spell without voting against Labour. The MP was contradicted by a colleague who argued that, in voting against Trident renewal, Corbyn had defied party policy. There is Labour chatter that an early general election would be a mercy killing if it put the party out of its misery and removed Corbyn next year. In 2020, it is judged, defeat will be inevitable.

The next London mayoral contest is scheduled for the same date as a 2020 election: 7 May. Sadiq Khan’s people whisper that when they mentioned the clash to ministers, they were assured it won’t happen. They are uncertain whether this indicates that the mayoral contest will be moved, or that there will be an early general election. Intriguing.

An unguarded retort from the peer Jim O’Neill seems to confirm that a dispute over the so-called Northern Powerhouse triggered his walkout from the Treasury last month. O’Neill, a fanboy of George Osborne and a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, gave no reason when he quit Theresa May’s government and resigned the Tory whip in the Lords. He joined the dots publicly when the Resolution Foundation’s director, Torsten Bell, queried the northern project. “Are you related to the PM?” shot back the Mancunian O’Neill. It’s the way he tells ’em.

Talk has quietened in Westminster Labour ranks of a formal challenge to Corbyn since this year’s attempt backfired, but the Tories fear Lisa Nandy, should the leader fall under a solar-powered ecotruck selling recycled organic knitwear.

The Wigan warrior is enjoying favourable reviews for her forensic examination of the troubled inquiry into historic child sex abuse. After Nandy put May on the spot, the Tory three-piece suit Alec Shelbrooke was overheard muttering: “I hope she never runs for leader.” Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, the Thelma and Louise of Tory opposition to Mayhem, were observed nodding in agreement.

Select committee elections are like speed dating. “Who are you?” inquired Labour’s Kevan Jones (Granite Central)of a stranger seeking his vote. She explained that she was Victoria Borwick, the Tory MP for Kensington, but that didn’t help. “This is the first time you’ve spoken to me,” Jones continued, “so the answer’s no.” The aloof Borwick lost, by the way.

Ed Miliband is joining Labour’s relaunched Tribune Group of MPs to continue his political convalescence. Next stop: the shadow cabinet?

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 27 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage