Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The cracks are starting to show between the PM and Chancellor (Daily Telegraph)

Far from 'seeing eye to eye’, David Cameron and George Osborne are cut from different political cloth, writes Fraser Nelson. 

2. Independent Scotland’s fiscal hole (Financial Times)

One reason would be the bad initial borrowing position, the other is weaker demographics, says Martin Wolf. 

3. Dear Ed, there still isn’t any money left (Times)

Miliband misunderstands the 2008 crash, says Philip Collins. It didn’t save him, it wrecked his only plan – higher spending.

4. One thing Cameron can't rip from the young is the vote (Guardian)

The lost generation can strike back at a vindictive coalition at election time, says Polly Toynbee. Labour must put their plight centre stage.

5. Trade trumps missiles in power plays (Financial Times)

China is waking up to the fact it is being left behind as the west clings to economic power, writes Philip Stephens. 

6. Politics and the Co-op: a time for mutual respect (Guardian)

The Tories' tactic of playing the man not the ball undermines politics as a whole and blocks the conversation the country needs, says a Guardian editorial. 

7. The rise of Paul Flowers offers a textbook example of cronyism (Independent)

He was sped to his position by indulgences typical in the British elite, writes Mary Dejevsky. 

8. The deficit is still huge. There is no room for tax cuts (Times)

Osborne should resist calls to give us an early Christmas present, says Philip Aldrick.

9. The deficit is still huge. There is no room for tax cuts (Times)

Osborne should resist calls to give us an early Christmas present, says Philip Aldrick.

10. Police crime figures are meaningless. Ban them (Guardian)

Crime statistics could plummet, yet tell us nothing about whether the British are treating each other 'better or worse', writes Simon Jenkins. 

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Commons Confidential: Could Corbyn's El Gato kick Larry out of Downing Street?

The No 10 cat fight.

A rolling revolt is gathering speed, as the suspicion grows that Theresa May called her snap poll to escape potential by-elections, should the Crown Prosecution Service find that her MPs were involved in electoral fraud during the 2015 campaign.

A growing number of Tory MPs are informing HQ that they don’t want a battle bus visit. Driving the rebellion is the hard-boiled Andrew Bridgen, who made his cash by selling prewashed spuds to supermarkets. “I’m going to post party workers on every route into my constituency,” growled the veg baron, who is defending an 11,373 majority in Leicestershire, “with orders not to let any bloody bus on to our patch.” Here’s an opportunity for Tory command to raise a few bob: flog tyre-bursting spike strips to candidates.

Fur would fly in the unlikely event that Jeremy Corbyn moves into No 10. The more optimistic among his entourage fret over whether the moggy El Gato could cohabit with Larry the Downing Street cat. Corbyn muses that El Gato is a socialist, sharing food with a stray that turned up in his north London garden. If Labour wins, I understand that El Gato is the top cat or Larry is out with May. Jezza’s first call wouldn’t be to Donald Trump or Angela Merkel but to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

George Osborne’s £650,000 BlackRock sinecure is jeopardised, I hear, by his London Evening Standard editorship. An impeccable source whispers that the world’s largest investment fund, controlling £4trn of loot, anguishes over possible conflicts of interest. BlackRock hired Osborne to nurture high-net-worth clients, who are suddenly wary of divulging secrets to an ambitious hack. Perhaps the super-rich should relax. He is incapable of recognising a story, even missing Standard deadlines with his resignation as a Tory MP.

The word is that Ukip’s seven-time loser Nigel Farage declined the chance to risk an eighth loss to retain his £800-per-hour LBC radio gig. The Brexit elites’ Don Farageone needs the money – a chauffeur-driven Range Rover with tinted windows won’t be cheap.

Corbyn’s war on dandelions is on hold during the campaign, with green-fingered comrades tending his allotment. Cherie Blair was accused 20 years ago of mentally measuring up curtains for No 10. Corbyn quipped that he is tempted to measure flower borders to plant runner beans. Labour’s No 10 would certainly be no bed of roses.

What will retiring MPs do? Middlesbrough South’s Tom Blenkinsop informed colleagues that he might join the army. My hunch is that at 36, with a Peaky Blinders haircut, the general secretaryship of the Community trade union is more likely.

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 27 April 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Cool Britannia 20 Years On

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