Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The failure of this Islamist experiment poses a danger far beyond Egypt (Guardian)

Too many in the Muslim world will now conclude that democracy has no place for them - and be drawn to violence, writes Jonathan Freedland.

2. Scrap Tory associations, build a new party (Times)

Labour isn't the only one with local difficulties, writes Matthew Parris, grassroots Conservatives no longer represent modern Britain.

3. Unite in Falkirk - amateur and irresponsible (Guardian)

Eric Joyce, the outgoing Falkirk MP, is unimpressed by the selection process to find a successor.

4. Who will be there for you when you grow old (Times)

Janice Turner confronts the demographic and social catastrophe that will engulf the NHS.

5. Laptops and the case for high speed rail (Financial Times)

It's easier to grasp the costs than the benefits of HS2, writes Sarah O'Connor.

6. If we sell school places overseas, full blown privatisation won't be far off (Guardian)

Fiona Millar sees the ever deeper penetration of market forces as the logical extension of Michael Gove's agenda.

7. The flaws in selection are not Labour's alone (Daily Telegraph)

The Tory system kind of works. Primaries would be better, says Graeme Archer.

8. Tom Watson: my part in his downfall (Daily Telegraph)

Brisk yet thorough precis of an admired and feared Labour power-broker, by Dan Hodges.

9. Edward Snowden is a traitor just as surely as George Blake was (Daily Telegraph)

Charles Moore is unimpressed by justifications of the great CIA data-snoop leak.

10. A Conservative-Referendum party: The vindication of Sir James Goldsmith (Daily Mail)

Adrian Hilton is pleased as punch that the mood that destroyed John Major's government now sets the tone for the modern Conservative party.

David Cameron addresses pupils at an assembly during a visit to Corby Technical School on September 2, 2015. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Can Cameron maintain his refugee stance as he comes under attack from all sides?

Tory MPs, the Sun, Labour and a growing section of the public are calling on the PM to end his refusal to take "more and more". 

The disparity between the traumatic images of drowned Syrian children and David Cameron's compassionless response ("I don't think there is an answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and more refugees") has triggered a political backlash. A petition calling for greater action (the UK has to date accepted around 5,000) has passed the 100,000 threshold required for the government to consider a debate after tens of thousands signed this morning. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has tweeted: "This is not an immigration issue, it's a humanitarian one, and the human response must be to help. If we don't, what does that make us?" Tory MPs such as Nicola Blackwood, David Burrowes, Jeremy Lefroy and Johnny Mercer have similarly appealed to Cameron to reverse his stance.

Today's Sun declares that the UK has "a proud record of taking in desperate people and we should not flinch from it now if it is beyond doubt that they have fled for their lives." Meanwhile, the Washington Post has published a derisive piece headlined "Britain takes in so few refugees from Syria they would fit on a subway train". Labour has called on Cameron to convene a meeting of Cobra to discuss the crisis and to request an emergency EU summit. Yvette Cooper, who led the way with a speech on Monday outlining how the UK could accept 10,000 refugees, is organising a meeting of councils, charities and faith groups to discuss Britain's response. Public opinion, which can turn remarkably quickly in response to harrowing images, is likely to have grown more sympathetic to the Syrians' plight. Indeed, a survey in March found that those who supported accepting refugees fleeing persecution outnumbered opponents by 47-24 per cent. 

The political question is whether this cumulative pressure will force Cameron to change his stance. He may not agree to match Cooper's demand of 10,000 (though Germany is poised to accept 800,000) but an increasing number at Westminster believe that he cannot remain impassive. Surely Cameron, who will not stand for election again, will not want this stain on his premiership? The UK's obstinacy is further antagonising Angela Merkel on whom his hopes of a successful EU renegotiation rest. If nothing else, Cameron should remember one of the laws of politics: the earlier a climbdown, the less painful it is. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.