Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Miliband and the left misread Lehman (Financial Times)

As long as the central fact of politics is scarcity, parties defined by public spending will struggle, says Janan Ganesh.

2. Forget the BBC, unions, civil servants. The cause of Tory fury is other Tories (Guardian)

Once Cameron charmed his critics, but now his government lashes out – enraged by its failure to control its own party, writes Gaby Hinsliff.

3. Now Britain needs a recovery that will last (Times)

George Osborne has nothing to boast about, says Ed Balls. On every test he set himself, he’s failed.

4. Germany focuses on small beer (Financial Times)

German political debate is peculiarly parochial considering it is the leading power in Europe, writes Gideon Rachman.

5. Obama's rogue state tramples over every law it demands others uphold (Guardian)

For 67 years the US has pursued its own interests at the expense of global justice – no wonder people are sceptical now, says George Monbiot.

6. This Labour mouse needs to find its roar (Times)

Ed Miliband should scrap the antiquated voting system that helped to elect him leader in the first place, writes Rachel Sylvester.

7. Italy's racism is embedded (Guardian)

The shocking abuse of minister Cécile Kyenge stems from the country's failure to face up to its past, says Maaza Mengiste. 

8. BBC bosses are all at sea in an ocean of self-regard (Independent)

The cast of characters at this committee hearing could hardly have been bettered as a mini-portrait of those who reach the top of a certain part of our establishment, writes Mary Dejevsky.

9. Shining a light on the shadowy figures who shape our politics (Daily Telegraph)

This bill is not about lobbyists, but the left’s control of the national bully pulpit, says Gideon Rachman.

10. The unions should realise - this isn't an attack (Independent)

It's not "Blairite" to question the links between the unions and Labour, says Donald Macintyre. 

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Commons Confidential: Fearing the Wigan warrior

An electoral clash, select committee elections as speed dating, and Ed Miliband’s political convalescence.

Members of Labour’s disconsolate majority, sitting in tight knots in the tearoom as the MP with the best maths skills calculates who will survive and who will die, based on the latest bad poll, observe that Jeremy Corbyn has never been so loyal to the party leadership. The past 13 months, one told me, have been the Islington rebel’s longest spell without voting against Labour. The MP was contradicted by a colleague who argued that, in voting against Trident renewal, Corbyn had defied party policy. There is Labour chatter that an early general election would be a mercy killing if it put the party out of its misery and removed Corbyn next year. In 2020, it is judged, defeat will be inevitable.

The next London mayoral contest is scheduled for the same date as a 2020 election: 7 May. Sadiq Khan’s people whisper that when they mentioned the clash to ministers, they were assured it won’t happen. They are uncertain whether this indicates that the mayoral contest will be moved, or that there will be an early general election. Intriguing.

An unguarded retort from the peer Jim O’Neill seems to confirm that a dispute over the so-called Northern Powerhouse triggered his walkout from the Treasury last month. O’Neill, a fanboy of George Osborne and a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, gave no reason when he quit Theresa May’s government and resigned the Tory whip in the Lords. He joined the dots publicly when the Resolution Foundation’s director, Torsten Bell, queried the northern project. “Are you related to the PM?” shot back the Mancunian O’Neill. It’s the way he tells ’em.

Talk has quietened in Westminster Labour ranks of a formal challenge to Corbyn since this year’s attempt backfired, but the Tories fear Lisa Nandy, should the leader fall under a solar-powered ecotruck selling recycled organic knitwear.

The Wigan warrior is enjoying favourable reviews for her forensic examination of the troubled inquiry into historic child sex abuse. After Nandy put May on the spot, the Tory three-piece suit Alec Shelbrooke was overheard muttering: “I hope she never runs for leader.” Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, the Thelma and Louise of Tory opposition to Mayhem, were observed nodding in agreement.

Select committee elections are like speed dating. “Who are you?” inquired Labour’s Kevan Jones (Granite Central)of a stranger seeking his vote. She explained that she was Victoria Borwick, the Tory MP for Kensington, but that didn’t help. “This is the first time you’ve spoken to me,” Jones continued, “so the answer’s no.” The aloof Borwick lost, by the way.

Ed Miliband is joining Labour’s relaunched Tribune Group of MPs to continue his political convalescence. Next stop: the shadow cabinet?

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 27 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage