Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Think brain scans can reveal our innermost thoughts? Think again (Guardian)

Increasing claims for neuroscience – that it can locate jealousy or Muslim fundamentalism – are ludicrous, writes Raymond Tallis

2. Britain can no longer afford to bankroll the rich  (Guardian)

Not only is the ever-growing wealth of the super-rich not trickling down, it is creating ever-growing instability in a future not worth having, writes Nick Cohen

3. Will we ever really know why people turn to terrorism? (Guardian)

We need to ask what leads a person to rationalise an act of murder and see themselves as above the law, writes Peter Beaumont

4. Hate mustn’t be made a thought crime – only acting on it is (Telegraph)

Words must be regarded differently in law from acts. It distinguishes a free nation from a totalitarian one, writes Janet Daley

5. Patrick Mercer: A rogue operator, or a return to the days of Tory sleaze? (Telegraph)

For the Prime Minister’s allies, Patrick Mercer’s disgrace is positively karmic, says Matthew d’Ancona

6. Cuts, BBC? What cuts?   (Telegraph)

What neither the Chancellor nor the BBC want to admit is that public spending is still racing upwards, says Christopher Booker

7. France is marching against markets   (FT)

Gay marriage is the cherished priority of an elite-driven political system, writes Christopher Caldwell

8. Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah leader (FT)

The militia chief’s backing for the Assad regime could ignite a bigger conflict, says David Gardner

9. China, Baby 59, and national self-deception (Independent)

The mother deserves sympathy, the state scrutiny, writes Memphis Barker

10. Sorry James Salter, if a book's any good, the best lines will linger (Independent)

And you can quote me on that, writes Tom Sutcliffe

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If Seumas Milne leaves Jeremy Corbyn, he'll do it on his own terms

The Corbynista comms chief has been keeping a diary. 

It’s been a departure long rumoured: Seumas Milne to leave post as Jeremy Corbyn’s director of communications and strategy to return to the Guardian.

With his loan deal set to expire on 20 October, speculation is mounting that he will quit the leader’s office. 

Although Milne is a key part of the set-up – at times of crisis, Corbyn likes to surround himself with long-time associates, of whom Milne is one – he has enemies within the inner circle as well. As I wrote at the start of the coup, there is a feeling among Corbyn’s allies in the trade unions and Momentum that the leader’s offfice “fucked the first year and had to be rescued”, with Milne taking much of the blame. 

Senior figures in Momentum are keen for him to be replaced, while the TSSA, whose general secretary, Manuel Cortes, is one of Corbyn’s most reliable allies, is said to be keen for their man Sam Tarry to take post in the leader’s office on a semi-permanent basis. (Tarry won the respect of many generally hostile journalists when he served as campaign chief on the Corbyn re-election bid.) There have already been personnel changes at the behest of Corbyn-allied trade unions, with a designated speechwriter being brought in.

But Milne has seen off the attempt to remove him, with one source saying his critics had been “outplayed, again” and that any new hires will be designed to bolster, rather than replace Milne as comms chief. 

Milne, however, has found the last year a trial. I am reliably informed that he has been keeping a diary and is keen for the full story of the year to come out. With his place secure, he could leave “with his head held high”, rather than being forced out by his enemies and made a scapegoat for failures elsewhere, as friends fear he has been. The contents of the diary would also allow him to return in triumph to The Guardian rather than slinking back. 

So whether he decides to remain in the Corbyn camp or walk away, the Milne effect on Team Corbyn is set to endure.

 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.