Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The secret state is just itching to gag the press (Guardian)

Get regulation wrong, and it won't be tales of Cheryl Cole that are censored, but revelations like those of Edward Snowden, writes Jonathan Freedland.

2. Has someone got to this conspiracy theorist? (Times) (£)

Norman Baker can’t suddenly put aside his David Kelly belief, says Daniel Finkelstein.

3. US shutdown: The rise of America’s vetocracy is true to the ideals of the Founding Fathers (Independent)

Francis Fukuyama: In a system designed to empower minorities and block majorities, stalemate will go on.

4. Gazprom on the ropes (IHT)

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, is in trouble. Would the Kremlin break it up? asks Alan Riley.

5. EU referendum: Adam Afriyie, the first man of Tory self-sacrifice (Telegraph)

By reopening the debate on the EU referendum, Adam Afriyie has achieved the impossible – a united Conservative Party, writes Matthew Norman.

6. Why is the left obsessed by the Daily Mail? (Guardian)

The Mail editor Paul Dacre defends the decision to publish Geoffrey Levy's piece, and claims Mail stand up to the "liberal-left consensus" in Britain.

7. David Cameron's baiting of the BBC may betray a wider strategy (Independent)

We learnt quite a lot at PMQs. But the most intriguing revelation was the Prime Minister's dig at the beeb, writes Chris Bryant.

8. Battersea is saved. Dad would be chuffed (Times) (£)

Yet it is odd that the impetus for the rescue came not from Britain but from the other side of the world, writes Matthew Paris.

9. Who is responsible for the US shutdown? The same idiots responsible for the 2008 meltdown (Guardian)

In opposing Obamacare, the radical-populist right exposes its own twisted ideology, says Slavoj Žižek.

10. The care system has to change - not the workers who gave my dad a dignified death (The Mirror)

Fiona Phillip says that in a society so driven by a thirst for 15 minutes of fame, it is a scandal that our elderly, ill and vulnerable are the victims of 15 minutes of shame.

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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs


The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.


For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming


With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.


On the Middle East:


To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 


We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”


In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.


America will start winning again, winning like never before.


On trade


This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  


We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland