Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. If an Arab Winter comes, we will all shiver (Times)

Neither side in Cairo’s bloody violence understands democracy, says David Aaronovitch. Their failure is likely to spill over national borders.

2. Tories heading for victory? Don’t you believe it (Independent)

The economy will still be fragile by 2015, and Labour have cards to play, writes Steve Richards. 

3. Cairo massacre: After today, what Muslim will ever trust the ballot box again? (Independent)

This marks a tragic turning point, from which it will take Egypt years to recover, writes Robert Fisk. 

4. Have the austerians won, or will pragmatists prevail? (Daily Telegraph)

Economics pretends to be an evidence-based science, but it’s really about warring sects, writes Jeremy Warner.

5. The heat is still on Hollande (Financial Times)

To hope ‘something will turn up’ to boost exports is not an elegant posture, says Howard Davies.

6. Bad economic news for Europe is good news for Merkel and Cameron (Guardian)

These figures are proof not of a European recovery, but of the right's ability to exploit grim times in a way that eludes the left, writes Martin Kettle.

7. China is key to saving endangered species (Financial Times)

Cracking down on the illicit animal trade would help Beijing to boost its soft power, writes David Pilling.

8. Fracking v renewables? This is dumb electioneering dressed up as policy (Guardian)

Britain's energy future, an issue fraught with complexity, is presented as a mere binary choice, writes Zoe Williams.

9. Why does the BBC sneer about Britain's recovery but go crazy if Euroland's corpse so much as twitches? (Daily Mail)

The BBC may be unable to see it, but the British economy appears at last to be stirring into action, writes Stephen Glover. 

10. Britain’s foreign legion of missing voters (Daily Telegraph)

The search is on for five million expats whose ballots could be vital in a close contest, writes Sue Cameron. 

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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.