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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Are the Conservatives getting ready to learn to love the EEA?

You can see the shape of the deal that the right would accept. 

In an early morning address aimed half reassuring the markets and half at salvaging his own legacy, George Osborne set out the government’s stall.

The difficulty was that the two halves were hard to reconcile. Talk of “fixing the roof” and getting Britain’s finances in control, an established part of Treasury setpieces under Osborne, are usually merely wrong. With the prospect of further downgrades in Britain’s credit rating and thus its ability to borrow cheaply, the £1.6 trillion that Britain still owes and the country’s deficit in day-to-day spending, they acquired a fresh layer of black humour. It made for uneasy listening.

But more importantly, it offered further signs of what post-Brexit deal the Conservatives will attempt to strike. Boris Johnson, the frontrunner for the Conservative leadership, set out the deal he wants in his Telegraph column: British access to the single market, free movement of British workers within the European Union but border control for workers from the EU within Britain.

There is no chance of that deal – in fact, reading Johnson’s Telegraph column called to mind the exasperated response that Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal and a supporter of a Remain vote, gave upon hearing that one of his players wanted to move to Real Madrid: “It's like you wanting to marry Miss World and she doesn't want you, what can I do about it? I can try to help you, but if she does not want to marry you what can I do?”

But Osborne, who has yet to rule out a bid for the top job and confirmed his intention to serve in the post-Cameron government, hinted at the deal that seems most likely – or, at least, the most optimistic: one that keeps Britain in the single market and therefore protects Britain’s financial services and manufacturing sectors.

For the Conservatives, you can see how such a deal might not prove electorally disastrous – it would allow them to maintain the idea with its own voters that they had voted for greater “sovereignty” while maintaining their easy continental holidays, au pairs and access to the Erasmus scheme.  They might be able to secure a few votes from relieved supporters of Remain who backed the Liberal Democrats or Labour at the last election – but, in any case, you can see how a deal of that kind would be sellable to their coalition of the vote. For Johnson, further disillusionment and anger among the voters of Sunderland, Hull and so on are a price that a Tory government can happily pay – and indeed, has, during both of the Conservatives’ recent long stays in government from 1951 to 1964 and from 1979 to 1997.

It feels unlikely that it will be a price that those Labour voters who backed a Leave vote – or the ethnic and social minorities that may take the blame – can happily pay.  

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.