Morning Call: pick of the papers

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


1. Why my father loved Britain (Daily Mail)

The Daily Mail sometimes claims it stands for the best of British values of decency, writes Ed Miliband. But something has really gone wrong when it attacks the family of a politician.

2. The Conservatives face a battle of ideas and are not sure how to win it (Independent)

Ed Miliband has laid down an ideological challenge, and voters seem pleased, writes Steve Richards.

3. How things could go right in Middle East (Financial Times)

A region given to crushing optimism might be showing its brighter side, says Gideon Rachman.

4. The incredible shrinking Tory party (Guardian)

The attendance figures for the Conservative party conference tell a tale of how David Cameron lost his core membership and let the bankers in, writes Aditya Chakrabortty.

5. Cameron is betting that Britain is still a country of grown-ups (Daily Telegraph)

The Prime Minister hopes that the public will realise that "vote Ukip, get Miliband" is no longer an idle threat, writes Benedict Brogan.

6. Tories must balance the tough with the tender (Times)

Vintage policies on welfare and immigration will not win unless there is action too on jobs and housing, writes Rachel Sylvester.

7. Who will vote for George Osborne's even nastier economic medicine now? (Guardian)

Forever dogged by his tax cut for the rich, the chancellor struggles to be believed when he says the country will recover together, says Polly Toynbee.

8. The Tories will get serious with populism (Financial Times)

The Conservatives will seek credibility as a riposte to UKIP and Labour, writes Janan Ganesh.

9. Merkel may rock the boat and turn Green (Financial Times)

The German leader has what it takes to break with the past, writes Stephan Richter.

10. A pact with angry old Ukip would be disastrous for the Conservative party (Guardian)

Europe is not a major issue for voters, writes Nick Herbert. We must focus on the things that matter most: the economy and living standards.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.