Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. In France, Hollande is losing the battle for the eurozone (Guardian)

The president's woes matter outside France, says Jonathan Fenby. The failure of his anti-austerity pledge has left the balance of power with Germany.

2. Heroes and history keep red flags flying high (Times)

Manchester United’s global appeal is fuelled by ideals and romance, which also sustains parties of the left, writes Tim Montgomerie.

3. Britain now has one selfish class (Financial Times)

There is no sense of mission to this modern middle class, writes Tristram Hunt.

4. Migrants get jobs because they work harder than us (Daily Telegraph)

Labour’s education policies left our young people lacking the skills or ambition to compete, writes Boris Johnson.

5. The UN should put North Korea in the dock at the Hague (Guardian)

The UN should treat Kim Jong-un's threat as a crime against humanity, and refer it to the ICC, says Geoffrey Robertson.

6. Don’t get violins out for useless bankers (Sun)

Every saver in Britain needs to know they can rely on the measures promised and introduced since the last crash to protect them from the next, says Trevor Kavanagh. 

7. Timid US visa reform will deter workers (Financial Times)

The H1B visa manages to annoy everyone, writes Edward Luce.

8. Lee Halpin's tragic story shows the terrible plight of the homeless - but does anybody care? (Independent)

We are slyly slipping back from the caring society that founded Crisis and Shelter to one holding Victorian attitudes to work, poverty and misfortune, says Yasmin Alibhai Brown.

9. Warning. This article on gay marriage contains optimism (Guardian)

Gay rights' first activists never imagined that it would go politically mainstream, as it has now, says Gary Younge. But they fought anyway.

10. It is too late to preserve the old Royal Mail (Daily Telegraph)

Campaigners are right to say that the postal services are in jeopardy, but it is difficult to make the case for a rethink when privatisation is long overdue, says a Telegraph editorial. 

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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.