Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Follow Mandela's example, and laugh at this rightwing fawning (Guardian)

Mandela not only made history, he did so in a way that made others, from David Cameron to Elton John, want to rewrite theirs, writes Marina Hyde.

2. South Africa may still face a day of reckoning (Times) (£)

Even Nelson Mandela’s transcendent goodness might not be enough to secure a lasting settlement, writes Matthew Parris.

3. The Left does not own Nelson Mandela’s legacy (Telegraph)

With the death of Nelson Mandela, the British Left has lost its leading icon, says Mary Riddell.

4. Africans must now walk to freedom (Financial Times) (£)

A man of unique authority, Mandela set a very high standard for us to attain, says Kofi Annan.

5. How computer games can help us overthrow capitalism (Guardian)

The challenge is to design a game where instead of being a badass in LA, you can be a goodass on a communal farm, says Paul Mason.

6. Ed Miliband needs to look forward and avoid George Osborne’s expertly laid trap (Independent)

Osborne’s Autumn Statement performance was that of a man confident that he has won the argument, says Andrew Grice.

7. What does George Osborne's growth offer the young? (Guardian)

The forecasts of growth should be good news for young people just starting out in work, but in fact this appears to be a recovery for the elderly, the wealthy and the bosses, writes Aditya Chakrabortty.

8. Balls isn’t working. Labour must ditch this liability (Times) (£)

Whatever the opposite of star quality is, the floundering Shadow Chancellor has it in spades, says Jenni Russell.

9. Of Bitcoins, bubbles and B&Q vouchers (Financial Times) (£)

The object of anarcho-utopian fantasies is of little value if you want a pizza, writes Tim Harford.

10. This court case will make Nigella stronger (Times) (£)

The more the revelations emerge about her troubled marriage, the more we love her for her flaws , says Janice Turner.

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Michael Gove definitely didn't betray anyone, says Michael Gove

What's a disagreement among friends?

Michael Gove is certainly not a traitor and he thinks Theresa May is absolutely the best leader of the Conservative party.

That's according to the cast out Brexiteer, who told the BBC's World At One life on the back benches has given him the opportunity to reflect on his mistakes. 

He described Boris Johnson, his one-time Leave ally before he decided to run against him for leader, as "phenomenally talented". 

Asked whether he had betrayed Johnson with his surprise leadership bid, Gove protested: "I wouldn't say I stabbed him in the back."

Instead, "while I intially thought Boris was the right person to be Prime Minister", he later came to the conclusion "he wasn't the right person to be Prime Minister at that point".

As for campaigning against the then-PM David Cameron, he declared: "I absolutely reject the idea of betrayal." Instead, it was a "disagreement" among friends: "Disagreement among friends is always painful."

Gove, who up to July had been a government minister since 2010, also found time to praise the person in charge of hiring government ministers, Theresa May. 

He said: "With the benefit of hindsight and the opportunity to spend some time on the backbenches reflecting on some of the mistakes I've made and some of the judgements I've made, I actually think that Theresa is the right leader at the right time. 

"I think that someone who took the position she did during the referendum is very well placed both to unite the party and lead these negotiations effectively."

Gove, who told The Times he was shocked when Cameron resigned after the Brexit vote, had backed Johnson for leader.

However, at the last minute he announced his candidacy, and caused an infuriated Johnson to pull his own campaign. Gove received just 14 per cent of the vote in the final contest, compared to 60.5 per cent for May. 


Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.