Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. It’s Ed 'Ryanair’ Miliband v David 'Business Class' Cameron (Sunday Telegraph)

The Tories realise they are in trouble unless the public believes them to be in the same single class Boeing 737 as the rest of us, says Matthew d'Ancona.

2. Three daunting hurdles that the Labour Party needs to overcome (Observer)

Ed Miliband goes into conference facing huge challenges, writes Andrew Rawnsley. Some signature policies might help convince voters.

3. Zombies stir to drag Ed back to his dark side (Sunday Times)

McBride tells us more than we might like to know about where Miliband came from, writes Adam Boulton.

4. Ed really will be on the rocks if he slips up at the seaside... (Mail on Sunday)

Miliband’s team hope that a conference with a simple, direct policy message can steady the ship, says James Forsyth.
5. While Iran and the US talk of peace, the real war keeps going (Independent on Sunday)

Ethnic cleansing continues as President Rouhani prepares to address the UN on Tuesday, writes Patrick Cockburn.

6. Once, British statesmen were defined by their ambition (Mail on Sunday)

Clegg's proud conference boast of what the coalition hasn't done shows we are stuck in the politics of no, says Allister Heath.

7. To fight climate change, we must trust scientific truth and collective action (Observer)

Sceptics will rubbish a new report on climate change, dismissing calls for governmental action, writes Will Hutton. Don't be swayed.

8. Damian McBride knew: Get caught and you walk alone (Independent on Sunday)

It did not damage Gordon Brown's image that he seemed to practise gangland politics, writes John Rentoul.

9. 'Führerprinzip’ is killing off genuine debate (Sunday Telegraph)

The balance between state power and free markets needs to be constantly discussed, says Janet Daley.

10. American gun use is out of control. Shouldn't the world intervene? (Observer)

The death toll from firearms in the US suggests that the country is gripped by civil war, writes Henry Porter.

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.
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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.