Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. My advice to Labour: be of good cheer, be bold, stop jumping at shadows (Guardian)

 Forget the Wallace and Grommit jibes, says Polly Toynbee. Leaders are the embodiment of their policies – and Ed Miliband's can win him the election.

2. Cameron has an inspiring message, so let's hear it (Daily Telegraph)

With the rise of Ukip, it is crucial that the PM makes the argument for a Tory government, says Fraser Nelson.

3. Syria deal holds a lesson – talk to Iran (Financial Times)

After all the mistakes with Damascus, the US has a chance to put things right with Tehran, writes Philip Stephens.

4. The Blair-Brown war cost the Labour party dear (Guardian)

When Labour returns to office, Ed Miliband must ensure that the errors of the last generation are not repeated by his, writes Benjamin Wegg-Prosser.

5. The Bedroom Tax: The Tories’ idea of fairness that could yet return to haunt them (Independent)

So is the bedroom tax the new poll tax, asks Donald Macintyre. The wording favours the critics.

6. Labour’s salvation? The hated Lib Dems (Times)

Fear and loathing of Nick Clegg’s party runs deep on the left, but wooing them is the way back to power, writes Philip Collins.

7. Who do you think you’re kidding, Mr Schauble? (Daily Telegraph)

The eurozone may have avoided calamity, but all the underlying problems are still there, says Jeremy Warner. 

8. How Labour's lies and spin poisoned politics (Daily Mail)

The revelations contained in Damian McBride's memoirs drag New Labour's reputation to even lower depths, says a Daily Mail editorial.

9. Fed gets it right but says it wrong (Financial Times)

It will now be harder for markets to trust the central bank, says an FT editorial.

10. Italy needs this to be the end of Berlusconi (Independent)

Can this disgraced man really even believe what he is saying, asks Peter Popham. 

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.
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What Jeremy Corbyn gets right about the single market

Technically, you can be outside the EU but inside the single market. Philosophically, you're still in the EU. 

I’ve been trying to work out what bothers me about the response to Jeremy Corbyn’s interview on the Andrew Marr programme.

What bothers me about Corbyn’s interview is obvious: the use of the phrase “wholesale importation” to describe people coming from Eastern Europe to the United Kingdom makes them sound like boxes of sugar rather than people. Adding to that, by suggesting that this “importation” had “destroy[ed] conditions”, rather than laying the blame on Britain’s under-enforced and under-regulated labour market, his words were more appropriate to a politician who believes that immigrants are objects to be scapegoated, not people to be served. (Though perhaps that is appropriate for the leader of the Labour Party if recent history is any guide.)

But I’m bothered, too, by the reaction to another part of his interview, in which the Labour leader said that Britain must leave the single market as it leaves the European Union. The response to this, which is technically correct, has been to attack Corbyn as Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are members of the single market but not the European Union.

In my view, leaving the single market will make Britain poorer in the short and long term, will immediately render much of Labour’s 2017 manifesto moot and will, in the long run, be a far bigger victory for right-wing politics than any mere election. Corbyn’s view, that the benefits of freeing a British government from the rules of the single market will outweigh the costs, doesn’t seem very likely to me. So why do I feel so uneasy about the claim that you can be a member of the single market and not the European Union?

I think it’s because the difficult truth is that these countries are, de facto, in the European Union in any meaningful sense. By any estimation, the three pillars of Britain’s “Out” vote were, firstly, control over Britain’s borders, aka the end of the free movement of people, secondly, more money for the public realm aka £350m a week for the NHS, and thirdly control over Britain’s own laws. It’s hard to see how, if the United Kingdom continues to be subject to the free movement of people, continues to pay large sums towards the European Union, and continues to have its laws set elsewhere, we have “honoured the referendum result”.

None of which changes my view that leaving the single market would be a catastrophe for the United Kingdom. But retaining Britain’s single market membership starts with making the argument for single market membership, not hiding behind rhetorical tricks about whether or not single market membership was on the ballot last June, when it quite clearly was. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.