Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. After this shadow cabinet reshuffle, we know what's in Ed Miliband's mind (Guardian)

The Labour leader has got what he wanted, says Polly Toynbee. No lurch to the left or right, but a team unafraid of the challenges ahead.

2. Getting giddy over shale won’t do much to keep the lights on (Daily Telegraph)

Yes, fracking has vast potential - but Britain's looming energy crunch is rather more pressing, says Benedict Brogan. 

3. America cannot live so carelessly forever (Financial Times)

Playing Russian roulette is never advisable, writes Gideon Rachman. Congress may find a bullet in the chamber this time.

4. The prejudice, fear and ignorance around Alan Sugar’s – and others’ – views on Chinese labour (Independent)

So the Chinese work harder than the rest of us,  right? Wrong, says Ben Chu. 

5. Ignore the press barons: a royal charter is not 'state regulation' (Guardian)

All being well, parliament's royal charter will get the final nod from the privy council this week, writes Hugh Grant. All those who believe in a free - and fair - press should welcome it.

6. A shuffled pack doesn’t make a winning hand (Times)

Cameron can’t rely on promoting token women and northerners to win over wavering voters, writes Rachel Sylvester. 

7. UK eurosceptics are not ready for a fight (Financial Times)

Haggling over process is a good way of not having to think about substance, says Janan Ganesh.

8. At last, Clegg is making the case for Britain in the EU - just the corrective needed to Tory Europhobia (Independent)

But it will be interesting to see where the Deputy PM's speech leaves Labour, says Donald Macintyre.

9. Does Britain need an FBI? (Daily Telegraph)

The launch of the National Crime Agency is more than a rebrand: it has significant new powers over local forces, writes Philip Johnston. 

10. The problem with education? Children aren't feral enough (Guardian)

The 10-year-old Londoners I took to Wales were proof that a week in the countryside is worth three months in a classroom, writes George Monbiot. 

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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