Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. It's a myth the generations are at war. We're all in this together (Guardian)

Instead of starting a proxy war pitting old voters against young, politicians should be creating whole-family policies, writes Jackie Ashley. 

2. Bridging the poverty gap calls for bold ideas (Daily Telegraph)

Raising the minimum wage will help the poor, but it is no substitute for free-market reform, argues Jeremy Warner.

3. Only trust can dampen this inflamed anger (Times)

Recruiting more black officers is the best way to bring calm to the combustible streets of Tottenham, writes Philip Collins. 

4. Tomorrow holds both risk and riches (Financial Times)

Pressures for conflict in a more disordered planet are there for all to see, writes Philip Stephens. 

5. Gangsterism, not racism, was the root of Duggan’s shooting (Daily Telegraph)

Too many children on council estates are being drawn into a life of crime because work does not pay, says Fraser Nelson. 

6. Winter Olympics: one day the worm will turn against these gods of sport (Guardian)

After Vladimir Putin, how many more leaders will risk their nation's security and economy for an IOC mega-event, asks Simon Jenkins.

7. The strange case of the 'influential’ board (Daily Telegraph)

It was remarkable that Nadhim Zahawi decided to attack the National Planning Policy Framework, says Isabel Hardman. 

8. Free politics from intellectual vacuum (Financial Times)

Conservatives and progressives have to learn from each other, writes Michael Ignatieff.

9. There's no sense in querying the Mark Duggan jury (Independent)

To accuse them of being illogical or stupid is to reject what a jury is for, says Mary Dejevsky.

10. The stench of a cover-up over Libya grows (Times)

The refusal to release a report into the killing of Yvonne Fletcher may be due to official embarrassment, says Ben Macintyre.

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It's Gary Lineker 1, the Sun 0

The football hero has found himself at the heart of a Twitter storm over the refugee children debate.

The Mole wonders what sort of topsy-turvy universe we now live in where Gary Lineker is suddenly being called a “political activist” by a Conservative MP? Our favourite big-eared football pundit has found himself in a war of words with the Sun newspaper after wading into the controversy over the age of the refugee children granted entry into Britain from Calais.

Pictures published earlier this week in the right-wing press prompted speculation over the migrants' “true age”, and a Tory MP even went as far as suggesting that these children should have their age verified by dental X-rays. All of which leaves your poor Mole with a deeply furrowed brow. But luckily the British Dental Association was on hand to condemn the idea as unethical, inaccurate and inappropriate. Phew. Thank God for dentists.

Back to old Big Ears, sorry, Saint Gary, who on Wednesday tweeted his outrage over the Murdoch-owned newspaper’s scaremongering coverage of the story. He smacked down the ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson, in a single tweet, calling him a “racist idiot”, and went on to defend his right to express his opinions freely on his feed.

The Sun hit back in traditional form, calling for Lineker to be ousted from his job as host of the BBC’s Match of the Day. The headline they chose? “Out on his ears”, of course, referring to the sporting hero’s most notable assets. In the article, the tabloid lays into Lineker, branding him a “leftie luvvie” and “jug-eared”. The article attacked him for describing those querying the age of the young migrants as “hideously racist” and suggested he had breached BBC guidelines on impartiality.

All of which has prompted calls for a boycott of the Sun and an outpouring of support for Lineker on Twitter. His fellow football hero Stan Collymore waded in, tweeting that he was on “Team Lineker”. Leading the charge against the Murdoch-owned title was the close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Channel 4 News economics editor, Paul Mason, who tweeted:

Lineker, who is not accustomed to finding himself at the centre of such highly politicised arguments on social media, responded with typical good humour, saying he had received a bit of a “spanking”.

All of which leaves the Mole with renewed respect for Lineker and an uncharacteristic desire to watch this weekend’s Match of the Day to see if any trace of his new activist persona might surface.


I'm a mole, innit.