Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. In Egypt, we thought democracy was enough. It was not (Guardian)

Mohamed Morsi broke his promises to the Egyptian people, writes Ahdaf Soueif. He must go, and the revolution must continue.

2. British left is turning against Europe (Financial Times)

Labour is watching the social market become less social and more of a market, writes Janan Ganesh.

3. Labour's spending worked. Why don't they defend it? (Guardian)

Blair and Brown improved schools and hospitals and cut poverty – but never embedded this agenda in the national psyche, writes Polly Toynbee. 

4. Does Len McCluskey or Ed Miliband run Labour? (Times)

The Labour leader cannot let a trade union boss dictate who his MPs are, says Rachel Sylvester. He must show he’s in charge.

5. Mark Carney is hailed as a saviour – but what do we really know about him? (Guardian)

The new Bank of England governor's CV contains details that should give one pause – such as that decade spent in the Goldman Sachs shark pool, says Aditya Chakrabortty.

6. The Tories must beware these feelings of irrational exuberance (Daily Telegraph)

The polls are going the party’s way, but the odds remain stacked against a win in 2015, writes Benedict Brogan.

7. Will Ed win this EU battle, but lose the war? (Independent)

Without Labour or Lib Dem participation, the vote on a referendum this Friday will be a farce - but , eventually, Miliband must decide one way or the other, writes John Rentoul.

The most vociferous critics expected far more than a mere mortal could deliver, writes Gideon Rachman.

9. For-profit state schools should not be ruled out (Independent)

The focus must be on the quality of the service, not the mechanism by which it is provided, says an Independent editorial. 

10. Keep the rot from the system – give MPs a rise (Daily Telegraph)

Politicians should take a back seat on the issue of their pay, and leave it to Ipsa to decide, says Jack Straw.

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Are there “tens of thousands” who still don't have their Labour leadership ballot paper?

Word has it that swathes of eligible voters have yet to receive their ballot papers, suggesting there is still all to play for in the Labour leadership contest. But is it true?

Is there still all to play for in the Labour leadership contest?

Some party insiders believe there is, having heard whispers following the bank holiday weekend that “tens of thousands” of eligible voters have yet to receive their ballot papers.

The voting process closes next Thursday (10 September), and today (1 September) is the day the Labour party suggests you get in touch if you haven’t yet been given a chance to vote.

The impression here is that most people allowed to vote – members, registered supporters, and affiliated supporters – should have received their voting code over email, or their election pack in the post, by now, and that it begins to boil down to individual administrative problems if they’ve received neither by this point.

But many are still reporting that they haven’t yet been given a chance to vote. Even Shabana Mahmood MP, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, still hasn’t received her voting pack, as she writes on the Staggers, warning us not to assume Jeremy Corbyn will win. What’s more, Mahmood and her team have heard anecdotally that there are still “tens of thousands” who have been approved to vote who have yet to receive their ballot papers.

It’s important to remember that Mahmood is an Yvette Cooper supporter, and is using this figure in her piece to argue that there is still all to play for in the leadership race. Also, “tens of thousands” is sufficiently vague; it doesn’t give away whether or not these mystery ballot-lacking voters would really make a difference in an election in which around half a million will be voting.

But there are others in the party who have heard similar figures.

“I know people who haven’t received [their voting details] either,” one Labour political adviser tells me. “That figure [tens of thousands] is probably accurate, but the party is being far from open with us.”

“That’s the number we’ve heard, as of Friday, the bank holiday, and today – apparently it is still that many,” says another.

A source at Labour HQ does not deny that such a high number of people are still unable to vote. They say it’s difficult to work out the exact figures of ballot papers that have yet to be sent out, but reveal that they are still likely to be, “going out in batches over the next two weeks”.

A Labour press office spokesperson confirms that papers are still being sent out, but does not give me a figure: “The process of sending out ballot papers is still under way, and people can vote online right up to the deadline on September 10th.”

The Electoral Reform Services is the independent body administrating the ballot for Labour. They are more sceptical about the “tens of thousands” figure. “Tens of thousands? Nah,” an official at the organisation tells me.

“The vast majority will have been sent an email allowing them to vote, or a pack in one or two days after that. The idea that as many as tens of thousands haven’t seems a little bit strange,” they add. “There were some last-minute membership applications, and there might be a few late postal votes, or a few individuals late to register. [But] everybody should have definitely been sent an email.”

Considering Labour’s own information to voters suggests today (1 September) is the day to begin worrying if you haven’t received your ballot yet, and the body in charge of sending out the ballots denies the figure, these “tens of thousands” are likely to be wishful thinking on the part of those in the party dreading a Corbyn victory.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.