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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The New Statesman's Fundamenta-list: the zeitgeist, then and now

In 1988, Marxism Today put out a list of "modern" and "new" things. Now, with the future of the left forcing us to radically rethink the "new times", the New Statesman has updated the list for 2016.