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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PMQs review: Theresa May shows how her confidence has grown

After her Brexit speech, the PM declared of Jeremy Corbyn: "I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue". 

The woman derided as “Theresa Maybe” believes she has neutralised that charge. Following her Brexit speech, Theresa May cut a far more confident figure at today's PMQs. Jeremy Corbyn inevitably devoted all six of his questions to Europe but failed to land a definitive blow.

He began by denouncing May for “sidelining parliament” at the very moment the UK was supposedly reclaiming sovereignty (though he yesterday praised her for guaranteeing MPs would get a vote). “It’s not so much the Iron Lady as the irony lady,” he quipped. But May, who has sometimes faltered against Corbyn, had a ready retort. The Labour leader, she noted, had denounced the government for planning to leave the single market while simultaneously seeking “access” to it. Yet “access”, she went on, was precisely what Corbyn had demanded (seemingly having confused it with full membership). "I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue,” she declared.

When Corbyn recalled May’s economic warnings during the referendum (“Does she now disagree with herself?”), the PM was able to reply: “I said if we voted to leave the EU the sky would not fall in and look at what has happened to our economic situation since we voted to leave the EU”.

Corbyn’s subsequent question on whether May would pay for single market access was less wounding than it might have been because she has consistently refused to rule out budget contributions (though yesterday emphasised that the days of “vast” payments were over).

When the Labour leader ended by rightly hailing the contribution immigrants made to public services (“The real pressure on public services comes from a government that slashed billions”), May took full opportunity of the chance to have the last word, launching a full-frontal attack on his leadership and a defence of hers. “There is indeed a difference - when I look at the issue of Brexit or any other issues like the NHS or social care, I consider the issue, I set out my plan and I stick to it. It's called leadership, he should try it some time.”

For May, life will soon get harder. Once Article 50 is triggered, it is the EU 27, not the UK, that will take back control (the withdrawal agreement must be approved by at least 72 per cent of member states). With MPs now guaranteed a vote on the final outcome, parliament will also reassert itself. But for now, May can reflect with satisfaction on her strengthened position.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.