Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The Lib Dems left me disillusioned. Labour has made me hopeful again (Guardian)

After leaving the Liberal Democrats I did not think I would join another party, says Richard Grayson. But in fact I couldn't not join Labour.

2. Summers’ end leaves Yellen out in front (Financial Times)

Frontrunner has done everyone a favour by withdrawing, writes Edward Luce.

3. Why is Ofsted lashing out against primary schools? (Guardian)

Swingeing reports by the inspection body are forcing primaries into academy status and tarnishing its independent reputation, writes John Harris.

4. Germany’s election is vital to Europe (Financial Times)

If the SPD and Greens won outright, they would move faster than Merkel on crisis management, writes Wolfgang Münchau.

5. What Nick Clegg can learn from François Mitterrand (Guardian)

The party faithful should not be dismayed by their leader's unpopularity, says Chris Huhne. History shows the Lib Dems will bounce back.

6. The decline and fall of Barack Obama (Times)

A presidency that began with such high expectations is confirming America’s decline as a world power, says Tim Montgomerie.

7. What Nick Clegg can learn from François Mitterrand (Guardian)

The party faithful should not be dismayed by their leader's unpopularity, says Chris Huhne. History shows the Lib Dems will bounce back.

8. There is something deeply cynical about this chemical weapons ‘timetable’ (Independent)

Even if it succeeds, Syrians will be left to kill each other as before - only without sarin, writes Robert Fisk.

9. Labour's plan to eject squatters won't fix Britain's broken housing system (Independent)

It is the causes - not the symptoms - of the housing crisis that Labour needs to crush, says Owen Jones.

10. Condescending Lord Clegg, the invincible loser of British politics (Daily Telegraph)

Luckily, there’s every chance the Lib Dems will be out of office after the next election, says Boris Johnson.

 

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