Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. We're on a journey full-circle back to O-levels (Independent)

Michael Gove's reforms, which will stretch the brightest students, are well overdue, writes Philip Hensher.

2. Lionel Messi: Simply the best (Financial Times) (£)

The world's greatest football has been pitched into tax problems, according to Simon Kuper.

3. On PRISM, partisanship and propaganda (Guardian)

Glenn Greenwald addresses his critics after this week's NSA stories.

4. Mao in the middle (IHT)

Can't rule like him, can't rule without him - on Mao's legacy, by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore.

5. Statistically speaking, politicians place too much faith in figures (Telegraph)

Data is a useful tool, but over-reliance on it means major problems are too often ignored.

6. A chapter in the Enlightenment closes (Financial Times) (£)

For the first time in centuries, Germany will not produce a major encyclopoedia this year.

7. Both Labour and the Tories think they're going to lose the next election. Maybe they're both right (Guardian)

The parties are in the grip of pessimism about their election hopes, but such negativity can be fulfilling, writes Steve Richards.

8. Disabled go from Paralympic winners to humiliated as "scroungers" in less than a year (Mirror)

IDS’s reforms are targeting the truly deserving to weed out a few cheats, totally humiliating even the most severely disabled, says Tony Parsons.

9. Popular northern museums must stay open (The Times) (£)

Co-signed by directors of a number of museums: "Party manifestos spoke of the right of free access to our national heritage but it is an empty right if the museum concerned has closed"

10. My mother died a week ago. The feeling of loss is unbearably intense (Guardian)

Deborah Orr writes starkly on losing her mother - how the end of her pain is a good thing, but little comfort.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

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. 

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