Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

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

1. Labour must draw the sting from welfare, or lose in 2015 (Guardian)

Ed Miliband has to defy the skiver talk instead of vainly propping up the status quo or doing the Tories' work for them, writes Jonathan Freedland

2.Law and disorder: the destructive dynamic of America's segregated cities (Guardian)

Policing tactics like stop-and-frisk treat symptom as cause: so we end up getting punitive racial profiling rather than tackling poverty, writes Gary Younge

3. Mick Philpott: if welfare's to blame, so is the army, prison, feminism, TV etc (Guardian)

Calls for benefit reform in the wake of Philpott's conviction for manslaughter are predictable but troubling. Can one man's sick psyche really be a political issue? asks Deborah Orr

4. Jay-Z, rapper with a sporting goal (Financial Times)

Behind the feints and boasts lies a great capitalist story, writes Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

5. History is leaving welfare state behind (Financial Times)

British parties that take comfort in tired attitudes will be dumped, writes Janan Ganesh

6. Google revolution isn’t worth our privacy (Financial Times)

This is a future we would be wise to avoid, writes Evgeny Morozov

7. A gloriously crude topless 'jihad' from a Femen activist (Guardian)

Femen deserve the support the Arab spring got. They're giving patriarchy – and mealy-mouthed relativists – a kick up the arse, writes Jonathan Jones

The British Library is launching a mega-project to preserve the UK's “digital memory”, writes Alice Jones.

9. "Relegation might be best for my club" (Independent)

Sunderland needs this new manager like a hole in the head, writes Chris Mullin.

10. Here's another job for your to-do list, Lord Hall... (Independent)

Restore arts at the BBC to their former glory, writes David Lister.


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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.