Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Labour politics: the meh index (Guardian)

Miliband needs to find a persuasive alternative vision to the one Cameron has to begun to sketch out, says a Guardian editorial.

2. The left talks gibberish while Cameron racks up successes (Daily Telegraph)

After three years, the Tory-Lib Dem coalition’s daring reforms are starting to pay dividends, says Peter Oborne.

3. Cameron wants to reform the NHS. But it was his government that handed over the levers (Independent)

The labyrinthine management structures of the NHS and BBC stymie change, says Steve Richards.

4. Primary school tests follow the Piccadilly Circus rule (Guardian)

Wait long enough and every education policy comes round again, writes Peter Wilby. New exams for younger pupils is the latest example.

5. Britain's rentier society fit for a royal (Financial Times)

Never mind education, hard work or getting a good job – having the right ancestors matters, writes Chris Giles.

6. After Liverpool we need a better way of dying (Times)

My time on the review of the controversial ‘care pathway’ showed me how unprepared most of us are for our end, writes David Aaronovitch.

7. Unemployment: signs of recovery that leave too many behind (Independent)

With long-term joblessness on the rise, the auguries are far from promising, says an Independent editorial.

8. Does Whitehall need more party placemen? (Daily Telegraph)

Reform of the Civil Service is overdue, but its impartiality may be under threat, says Sue Cameron.

9. Ten years ago today, Dr Kelly's body was found. The subsequent cover-up is one of the great scandals of our age (Daily Mail)

We still do not know for certain why or how Dr Kelly died, writes Stephen Glover.

10.  A strong leader in Japan is not a minus (Financial Times)

Love him or loathe him, Abe is someone with whom his foreign counterparts can do business, writes David Pilling.

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Michael Gove definitely didn't betray anyone, says Michael Gove

What's a disagreement among friends?

Michael Gove is certainly not a traitor and he thinks Theresa May is absolutely the best leader of the Conservative party.

That's according to the cast out Brexiteer, who told the BBC's World At One life on the back benches has given him the opportunity to reflect on his mistakes. 

He described Boris Johnson, his one-time Leave ally before he decided to run against him for leader, as "phenomenally talented". 

Asked whether he had betrayed Johnson with his surprise leadership bid, Gove protested: "I wouldn't say I stabbed him in the back."

Instead, "while I intially thought Boris was the right person to be Prime Minister", he later came to the conclusion "he wasn't the right person to be Prime Minister at that point".

As for campaigning against the then-PM David Cameron, he declared: "I absolutely reject the idea of betrayal." Instead, it was a "disagreement" among friends: "Disagreement among friends is always painful."

Gove, who up to July had been a government minister since 2010, also found time to praise the person in charge of hiring government ministers, Theresa May. 

He said: "With the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to spend some time on the backbenches reflecting on some of the mistakes I've made and some of the judgements I've made, I actually think that Theresa is the right leader at the right time. 

"I think that someone who took the position she did during the referendum is very well placed both to unite the party and lead these negotiations effectively."

Gove, who told The Times he was shocked when Cameron resigned after the Brexit vote, had backed Johnson for leader.

However, at the last minute he announced his candidacy, and caused an infuriated Johnson to pull his own campaign. Gove received just 14 per cent of the vote in the final contest, compared to 60.5 per cent for May. 


Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.