Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The Welfare State, 1942-2013, obituary (Guardian)

After decades of public illness, Beveridge's most famous offspring has died, writes Aditya Chakrabortty.

2. Forward, say Cameron and Clegg. But to where? (Independent)

Their confidence belies the fact they are the most trapped governing leaders since those that tried to rule in the late 1970s, says Steve Richards.

3. The myth of the imperial presidency (Financial Times)

Obama’s critics forget that he is stymied by his foes in Congress, writes Gideon Rachman.

4. Labour must challenge the Ronseal coalition (Times) (£)

The austerity government’s pledge to do what it says on the tin beyond 2015 shifts the centre of political gravity, writes Rachel Sylvester.

5. We need a dose of Thatcher-style privatisation (Daily Telegraph)

Wasteful public services need to be sold off, but today’s Tories don’t have the will to do it, says Philip Johnston.

6. Britain’s two gambles in welfare reform (Financial Times)

Prospects for the planned reshaping of benefits do not look rosy, says Janan Ganesh.

7. UKIP are not as odd as the Odd Couple (Sun)

The wisest thing Cameron can do right now is to avoid driving even more of his own supporters into Farage’s camp, says Trevor Kavanagh.

8. This renewal of coalition vows does nothing for families (Daily Telegraph)

Other than attempting to refresh their own vows, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have done little for married couples, says a Telegraph editorial.

9. Only bold Tory ideas will win the election (Daily Mail)

At yesterday's Mid-Term review there was a gaping void where policies on migration, Europe and law and order should have been, says a Daily Mail leader.

10. Yes, lead poisoning could really be a cause of violent crime (Guardian)

It seems crazy, but the evidence about lead is stacking up, writes George Monbiot. Behind crimes that have destroyed so many lives, is there a much greater crime?

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What do Labour's lost voters make of the Labour leadership candidates?

What does Newsnight's focus group make of the Labour leadership candidates?

Tonight on Newsnight, an IpsosMori focus group of former Labour voters talks about the four Labour leadership candidates. What did they make of the four candidates?

On Andy Burnham:

“He’s the old guard, with Yvette Cooper”

“It’s the same message they were trying to portray right up to the election”​

“I thought that he acknowledged the fact that they didn’t say sorry during the time of the election, and how can you expect people to vote for you when you’re not actually acknowledging that you were part of the problem”​

“Strongish leader, and at least he’s acknowledging and saying let’s move on from here as opposed to wishy washy”

“I was surprised how long he’d been in politics if he was talking about Tony Blair years – he doesn’t look old enough”

On Jeremy Corbyn:

"“He’s the older guy with the grey hair who’s got all the policies straight out of the sixties and is a bit of a hippy as well is what he comes across as” 

“I agree with most of what he said, I must admit, but I don’t think as a country we can afford his principles”

“He was just going to be the opposite of Conservatives, but there might be policies on the Conservative side that, y’know, might be good policies”

“I’ve heard in the paper he’s the favourite to win the Labour leadership. Well, if that was him, then I won’t be voting for Labour, put it that way”

“I think he’s a very good politician but he’s unelectable as a Prime Minister”

On Yvette Cooper

“She sounds quite positive doesn’t she – for families and their everyday issues”

“Bedroom tax, working tax credits, mainly mum things as well”

“We had Margaret Thatcher obviously years ago, and then I’ve always thought about it being a man, I wanted a man, thinking they were stronger…  she was very strong and decisive as well”

“She was very clear – more so than the other guy [Burnham]”

“I think she’s trying to play down her economics background to sort of distance herself from her husband… I think she’s dumbing herself down”

On Liz Kendall

“None of it came from the heart”

“She just sounds like someone’s told her to say something, it’s not coming from the heart, she needs passion”

“Rather than saying what she’s going to do, she’s attacking”

“She reminded me of a headteacher when she was standing there, and she was quite boring. She just didn’t seem to have any sort of personality, and you can’t imagine her being a leader of a party”

“With Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham there’s a lot of rhetoric but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of direction behind what they’re saying. There seems to be a lot of words but no action.”

And, finally, a piece of advice for all four candidates, should they win the leadership election:

“Get down on your hands and knees and start praying”

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.