Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Why I no longer support a new high-speed rail line (Financial Times)

All the parties – especially Labour – should think twice before binding themselves irrevocably to HS2, writes Peter Mandelson.

2. Miliband hopes his tortoise will prevail over the Cameron hare (Daily Telegraph)

The Labour leader’s calm belies an air of frustration among many MPs and supporters, writes Mary Riddell.

3. We no longer believe the left will look after us (Times)

Large majorities of voters think Europe’s governments tax unfairly and spend inefficiently, writes Peter Kellner.

4. To rein in top pay, keep MPs poor and furious (Guardian)

As long as politicians harbour a pay grievance against public sector colleagues, they are more likely to guard the public purse, writes Simon Jenkins.

5. How can we be confident that things are really getting better? (Independent)

There have been so many disappointments over the economic recovery that caution is wise, writes Hamish McRae. So which green shoots are the ones we can rely on?

6. Egypt, Brazil, Turkey: without politics, protest is at the mercy of the elite (Guardian)

From Egypt to Brazil, street action is driving change, but organisation is essential if it's not to be hijacked or disarmed, says Seumas Milne.

7. Risks of a hard landing for China (Financial Times)

Beijing might need to do what its leaders neither want nor expect, writes Martin Wolf.

8. Don’t be tempted by nice Nigel Farage (Daily Telegraph)

Labour could well win the next general election if the Tories let down their guard, says Chris Grayling.

9. Most gay people still fear a knock at the door (Times)

Millions are persecuted for being homosexual, writes Daniel Finkelstein. The pursuit of global equality is still one of the great civil rights causes.

10. George Osborne's latest flop over 'shares for rights' is typical of modern government (Independent)

This measure's history says a lot about the replacement of ideology with marketing, says Andreas Whittam Smith. 

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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.