Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Osborne has an economic recovery, but what sort? (Daily Telegraph)

The Chancellor’s plan is to fire up demand and hope sustained growth follows in its wake, writes Jeremy Warner. 

2. No one is left to enforce the rules (Financial Times)

Europe’s posture in the face of Middle East unrest is best described as hiding under the bedcovers, writes Philip Stephens.

3. Russia and the US are closer than we think (Times)

When the smoke clears, both sides are set on stopping extremists taking over Syria, writes Tony Brenton.

4. On Syria, we have allowed Labour policy to be dictated by the government (Guardian)

Ed Miliband was right to halt Cameron's 'rush to war', says Ben Bradshaw. But now is the time to reflect, as a party, on our own position.

5. We need a law to end gender-specific abortions (Daily Telegraph)

Terminations based on sex are a disgrace that most politicians would rather ignore, says Fraser Nelson.

6. Whose recovery is this? That's the great general election question (Guardian)

If competition over living standards for low and middle earners does become the next battleground, that's cause for celebration, writes Polly Toynbee.

7. Labour can’t allow the unions to win this (Times)

The GMB union has called Ed Miliband’s bluff, writes Philip Collins. Despite the financial cost to the party, he must stand firm.

8. The bravery of women like Asma Jahangir shines through Pakistan’s murky history (Independent)

The laws repealed are testament to what can be achieved, writes Peter Popham. 

9. The judicial review system is not a promotional tool for countless left-wing campaigners (Daily Mail)

Britain cannot afford to allow a culture of left-wing-dominated, single-issue activism to hold back our country from investing in infrastructure and new sources of energy, says Chris Grayling. 

10. New York’s farewell to America’s mayor (Financial Times)

The high-profile post could be taken by a candidate grounded in humble issues, writes Gary Silverman. 

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Recess confidential: Labour's liquid party

Sniffing out the best stories from Westminster, including Showsec, soames, and Smith-side splits.

If you are celebrating in a brewery, don’t ask Labour to provide the drinks. Because of the party’s continuing failure to secure a security contractor for its Liverpool conference, it is still uncertain whether the gathering will take place at all. Since boycotting G4S, the usual supplier, over its links with Israeli prisons, Labour has struggled to find an alternative. Of the five firms approached, only one – Showsec – offered its services. But the company’s non-union-recognition policy is inhibiting an agreement. The GMB, the firm’s antagonist, has threatened to picket the conference if Showsec is awarded the contract. In lieu of a breakthrough, sources suggest two alternatives: the police (at a cost of £59.65 per constable per hour), or the suspension of the G4S boycott. “We’ll soon find out which the Corbynites dislike the least,” an MP jested. Another feared that the Tories’ attack lines will write themselves: “How can Labour be trusted with national security if it can’t organise its own?”

Farewell, then, to Respect. The left-wing party founded in 2004 and joined by George Galloway after his expulsion from Labour has officially deregistered itself.

“We support Corbyn’s Labour Party,” the former MP explained, urging his 522,000 Facebook followers to sign up. “The Labour Party does not belong to one man,” replied Jess Phillips MP, who also pointed out in the same tweet that Respect had “massively failed”. Galloway, who won 1.4 per cent of the vote in this year’s London mayoral election, insists that he is not seeking to return to Labour. But he would surely be welcomed by Jeremy Corbyn’s director of communications, Seumas Milne, whom he once described as his “closest friend”. “We have spoken almost daily for 30 years,” Galloway boasted.

After Young Labour’s national committee voted to endorse Corbyn, its members were aggrieved to learn that they would not be permitted to promote his candidacy unless Owen Smith was given equal treatment. The leader’s supporters curse more “dirty tricks” from the Smith-sympathetic party machine.

Word reaches your mole of a Smith-side split between the ex-shadow cabinet ministers Lisa Nandy and Lucy Powell. The former is said to be encouraging the challenger’s left-wing platform, while the latter believes that he should make a more centrist pitch. If, as expected, Smith is beaten by Corbyn, it’s not only the divisions between the leader and his opponents that will be worth watching.

Nicholas Soames, the Tory grandee, has been slimming down – so much so, that he was congratulated by Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, on his weight loss. “Soon I’ll be able to give you my old suits!” Soames told the similarly rotund Watson. 

Kevin Maguire is away

I'm a mole, innit.

This article first appeared in the 25 August 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Cameron: the legacy of a loser