Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The Cyprus eurozone bailout conditions are bank robbery pure and simple (Guardian)

This is yet another euro bailout that punishes ordinary people to prop up a bust financial system, writes Aditya Chakrabortty. How long can the euro last now?

2. Press battle thaws Labour-Lib Dem frost (Financial Times)

This could in future be seen as the dawn of a new coalition, writes Janan Ganesh.

3. Across the Rubicon (Times)

David Cameron’s Royal Charter subjects a free press to Parliament and sets a dangerous precedent, argues a Times leader.

4. A Leveson deal worth backing (Independent)

It is not credible to claim that the existing form of self-regulation was working, says an Independent editorial.

5. Politicians and press regulation: a good deal on paper … (Guardian)

The political class as a whole could discover that the brokering has only just begun, says a Guardian editorial.

6. Crosby’s cunning plan for a Tory victory – no more stupid ideas (Daily Telegraph)

There will be no more nods to fashion that leave voters on the right mystified or angry, says Benedict Brogan.

7. In the war on the poor, Pope Francis is on the wrong side (Guardian)

In Latin America a new Inquisition has betrayed Catholic priests who risk their lives to stand up to tyrants – as I've witnessed, writes George Monbiot. 

8. Europe’s leaders run out of credit in Cyprus (Financial Times)

The problem remains the gap in trust between north and south, says Gideon Rachman.

9. Will Britain's press repent its nasty ways? Don't hold your breath (Guardian)

A small triumph for citizens the royal charter may be, but for now we're still stuck with the most savage papers in Europe, says Polly Toynbee.

10. Forget privacy – it’s conversation Google is killing (Independent)

Google Glass will make its users even more detached from the immediate real world, writes Dominic Lawson. 

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Vince Cable will need something snappier than a graduate tax to escape tuition fees

Perhaps he's placing his hopes in the “Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front.” 

“We took power, and we got crushed,” Tim Farron said in what would turn out to be his final Autumn conference as Liberal Democrat leader, before hastening on to talk about Brexit and the need for a strong opposition.

A year and a snap election later, Vince Cable, the Lib Dem warhorse-turned-leader and the former Coalition business secretary, had plenty of cracks about Brexit.

He called for a second referendum – or what he dubbed a “first referendum on the facts” – and joked that he was “half prepared for a spell in a cell with Supreme Court judges, Gina Miller, Ken Clarke, and the governors of the BBC” for suggesting it".

Lib Dems, he suggested, were the “political adults” in the room, while Labour sat on the fence. Unlike Farron, however, he did not rule out the idea of working with Jeremy Corbyn, and urged "grown ups" in other parties to put aside their differences. “Jeremy – join us in the Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front,” he said. The Lib Dems had been right on Iraq, and would be proved right on Brexit, he added. 

But unlike Farron, Cable revisited his party’s time in power.

“In government, we did a lot of good and we stopped a lot of bad,” he told conference. “Don’t let the Tories tell you that they lifted millions of low-earners out of income tax. We did… But we have paid a very high political price.”

Cable paid the price himself, when he lost his Twickenham seat in 2015, and saw his former Coalition colleague Nick Clegg turfed out of student-heavy Sheffield Hallam. However much the Lib Dems might wish it away, the tuition fees debate is here to stay, aided by some canny Labour manoeuvring, and no amount of opposition to Brexit will hide it.

“There is an elephant in the room,” the newly re-established MP for Twickenham said in his speech. “Debt – specifically student debt.” He defended the policy (he chose to vote for it in 2010, rather than abstain) for making sure universities were properly funded, but added: “Just because the system operates like a tax, we cannot escape the fact it isn’t seen as one.” He is reviewing options for the future, including a graduate tax. But students are unlikely to be cheering for a graduate tax when Labour is pledging to scrap tuition fees altogether.

There lies Cable’s challenge. Farron may have stepped down a week after the election declaring himself “torn” between religion and party, but if he had stayed, he would have had to face the fact that voters were happier to nibble Labour’s Brexit fudge (with lashings of free tuition fees), than choose a party on pure Remain principles alone.

“We are not a single-issue party…we’re not Ukip in reverse,” Cable said. “I see our future as a party of government.” In which case, the onus is on him to come up with something more inspiring than a graduate tax.

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.