Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. When Nelson Mandela goes, the global village will lose its elder (Guardian)

The former South African president is the ultimate example of moral authority, the most precious commodity in politics, writes Jonathan Freedland.

2. Australian blokes have done their country down (Daily Telegraph)

Julia Gillard has been driven out as Australia's prime minister by a brutal and unfair misogynist culture, says John McTernan.

3. The State’s been cut but Britain hasn’t bled (Times)

Forget scissors and axes, says Matthew Parris. There’s so much public sector fat George Osborne just needs a liposuction machine.

4. Labour pays price of George Osborne’s failure to cut deficit (Independent)

The continuing age of austerity means Labour will be playing away in 2015, writes Andrew Grice.

5. Croatia, a nation lost in translation (Guardian)

Despite the fact that our country joins the European Union on Monday, we don't seem in the mood to celebrate, writes Slavenka Drakulic.

6. Our leaders are busy polishing their CVs (Daily Telegraph)

Mervyn King avoided the selfishness that afflicts too many of our modern politicians, says Charles Moore.

7. This dash for shale gas should be Plan Z, not Plan A (Independent)

The government say that a technological revolution based on government getting out of the way of progress is what we need, writes Tony Juniper. They couldn’t be more wrong.

8. Who Governs Labour? (Times)

Labour is too dominated by influences in Unite, argues a Times editorial. Ed Miliband needs to assert his authority.

9. From Leveson to Iraq, our leaders are obsessed with inquiries (Daily Mail)

Instead of embracing responsibility, modern ministers recoil in horror at decision-making, writes Dominic Sandbrook.
 

The spending review foretells a smaller and far more humble government, writes Janan Ganesh.

 

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To stop Jeremy Corbyn, I am giving my second preference to Andy Burnham

The big question is whether Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper will face Jeremy in the final round of this election.

Voting is now underway in the Labour leadership election. There can be no doubt that Jeremy Corbyn is the frontrunner, but the race isn't over yet.

I know from conversations across the country that many voters still haven't made up their mind.

Some are drawn to Jeremy's promises of a new Jerusalem and endless spending, but worried that these endless promises, with no credibility, will only serve to lose us the next general election.

Others are certain that a Jeremy victory is really a win for Cameron and Osborne, but don't know who is the best alternative to vote for.

I am supporting Liz Kendall and will give her my first preference. But polling data is brutally clear: the big question is whether Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper will face Jeremy in the final round of this election.

Andy can win. He can draw together support from across the party, motivated by his history of loyalty to the Labour movement, his passionate appeal for unity in fighting the Tories, and the findings of every poll of the general public in this campaign that he is best placed candidate to win the next general election.

Yvette, in contrast, would lose to Jeremy Corbyn and lose heavily. Evidence from data collected by all the campaigns – except (apparently) Yvette's own – shows this. All publicly available polling shows the same. If Andy drops out of the race, a large part of the broad coalition he attracts will vote for Jeremy. If Yvette is knocked out, her support firmly swings behind Andy.

We will all have our views about the different candidates, but the real choice for our country is between a Labour government and the ongoing rightwing agenda of the Tories.

I am in politics to make a real difference to the lives of my constituents. We are all in the Labour movement to get behind the beliefs that unite all in our party.

In the crucial choice we are making right now, I have no doubt that a vote for Jeremy would be the wrong choice – throwing away the next election, and with it hope for the next decade.

A vote for Yvette gets the same result – her defeat by Jeremy, and Jeremy's defeat to Cameron and Osborne.

In the crucial choice between Yvette and Andy, Andy will get my second preference so we can have the best hope of keeping the fight for our party alive, and the best hope for the future of our country too.

Tom Blenkinsop is the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland