Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The state must end the UK housing crisis (Financial Times)

Government needs to become engaged in building communities again, says Andrew Adonis.

2. Why do private-sector zealots choose to ignore the countless ways public money underpins daily life? (Independent)

Free market capitalism is a con, says Owen Jones. The state is the backbone of modern British capitalism.

3. Miliband gambles that recovery will be weak (Times)

A confident Labour leader plans more policies to help people to make ends meet, says Jenni Russell. 

4. The moment David Cameron lost the 2015 general election (Guardian)

By extolling the virtues of permanent austerity, the prime minister has abandoned the middle ground he needs to win, says Martin Kettle.

5. We can’t leave A&E reform to our children (Times)

Flunking big decisions on the NHS, energy generation or transport is a fatal and expensive error, says David Aaronovitch.

6. Immigration: Britain’s doors are wide open, and we can’t even talk about it (Daily Telegraph)

A wave of Romanians and Bulgarians is heading our way, thanks to the EU’s lack of democracy, says Peter Oborne.

7. A campaign to leave the EU is taking shape (Times)

Those who want Britain to become an independent nation again are preparing a populist plan of action, writes Tim Montgomerie.

8. Unite can't be left to resist Cameron's smear campaign alone (Guardian)

David Cameron and the Tory press have launched a retro anti-union drive to damage Ed Miliband, says Seumas Milne. But it won't fly in today's Britain.

9. Abe’s first arrow is the one that matters (Financial Times)

What is really radical is the bold gamble to rid Japan of 15 years of deflation, writes David Pilling.

10. How the EU is thwarting states from continuing with capital punishment (Independent)

Some states are trying to keep the show on the road with risky improvisation, writes David Usborne. 

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Commons Confidential: Dave's picnic with Dacre

Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

Sulking David Cameron can’t forgive the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, for his role in his downfall. The unrelenting hostility of the self-appointed voice of Middle England to the Remain cause felt pivotal to the defeat. So, what a glorious coincidence it was that they found themselves picnicking a couple of motors apart before England beat Scotland at Twickenham. My snout recalled Cameron studiously peering in the opposite direction. On Dacre’s face was the smile of an assassin. Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

The good news is that since Jeremy Corbyn let Theresa May off the Budget hook at Prime Minister’s Questions, most of his MPs no longer hate him. The bad news is that many now openly express their pity. It is whispered that Corbyn’s office made it clear that he didn’t wish to sit next to Tony Blair at the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial in London. His desire for distance was probably reciprocated, as Comrade Corbyn wanted Brigadier Blair to be charged with war crimes. Fighting old battles is easier than beating the Tories.

Brexit is a ticket to travel. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is lifting its three-trip cap on funded journeys to Europe for MPs. The idea of paying for as many cross-Channel visits as a politician can enjoy reminds me of Denis MacShane. Under the old limits, he ended up in the clink for fiddling accounts to fund his Continental missionary work. If the new rule was applied retrospectively, perhaps the former Labour minister should be entitled to get his seat back and compensation?

The word in Ukip is that Paul Nuttall, OBE VC KG – the ridiculed former Premier League professional footballer and England 1966 World Cup winner – has cold feet after his Stoke mauling about standing in a by-election in Leigh (assuming that Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May). The electorate already knows his Walter Mitty act too well.

A senior Labour MP, who demanded anonymity, revealed that she had received a letter after Leicester’s Keith Vaz paid men to entertain him. Vaz had posed as Jim the washing machine man. Why, asked the complainant, wasn’t this second job listed in the register of members’ interests? She’s avoiding writing a reply.

Years ago, this column unearthed and ridiculed the early journalism of George Osborne, who must be the least qualified newspaper editor in history. The cabinet lackey Ben “Selwyn” Gummer’s feeble intervention in the Osborne debate has put him on our radar. We are now watching him and will be reporting back. My snouts are already unearthing interesting information.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

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 23 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's permanent revolution