Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. A Mitt Romney win would merely reward Republicans for bad behaviour (Guardian)

Obama's presidency may have been too timid, but let's not forget who's been responsible for the US's political gridlock, says Gary Younge.

2. Obama is the wiser bet for crisis-hit US (Financial Times)

There remains a need for intelligent, reformist US governance, says an FT editorial. Obama looks the better choice.

3. Vote Mitt: the world needs this deal-maker (Times) (£)

Obama has proved that he can’t reach across party lines, says Tim Montgomerie.

4. If only we had a real choice like America (Daily Mail)

While Obama and Romney offer two entirely different visions of the US's future, our parties have become ever more similar, writes Simon Heffer.

5. The Tories are emasculating the Equality and Human Rights Commission (Independent)

The government is attempting to frame human rights and equality as a fringe concern, but these are issues that should matter to us all, writes Yasmin Alibhai Brown.

6. We’re on our way out of EU but PM must rein in the rebels (Sun)

Britain is surely heading for the EU exit, but it cannot afford to be blamed for bringing the roof down as it goes, says Trevor Kavanagh.

7. Labour must not let Britain drift into a European exit (Guardian)

After last week's political opportunism, Ed Miliband has to ensure his party counters the nation's growing anti-EU sentiment, writes Jackie Ashley.

8. The Taliban's main fear is not drones but educated girls (Guardian)

If Pakistan really wants to combat the fundamentalists, it should be protecting its children and their teachers, writes Mohammed Hanif.

9. There is no place for French-style protectionism in UK (Financial Times)

France’s approach to takeovers has not helped its economy, writes Geoff Owen.

10. Listen up, Mitt – because I’ve got the key to the White House (Daily Telegraph)

Planet Earth is rooting for Obama, but his rival can change that with one simple gesture, writes Boris Johnson.

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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