Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Ukraine stands on the brink – and Europe must bring it back (Guardian)

This is no velvet revolution, but nor is it an uprising of fascist Cossacks or a zero-sum game with Russia, writes Timothy Garton Ash. Europe must intervene on the side of democracy and human rights.

2. I don’t begrudge Bob Crow his holiday but I do mind his strike (Daily Telegraph)

It’s outrageous that London can be held to ransom by a minority of the RMT’s members, says Boris Johnson. 

3. Cameron's Tories are even more rebellious than Major's. Whatever happened to loyalty? (Guardian)

Conservatives are now a party more interested in ideological purity than power – and the voters won't like it, says Chris Huhne. 

4. The bare necessities of life will come to you (Times)

Most of us think the poor stay poor and inequality is exploding, writes Matt Ridley. Wrong. The evidence is that these are times of plenty.

5. Emerging-market chaos and the Federal Reserve taper mean this might be as good as it gets for Britain’s economy (Independent)

This recovery looks unsustainable, says David Blanchflower.

6. Ukip has done more than any other party to destroy the racist BNP (Independent)

For the last three years, we’ve been telling those who vote for them out of frustration but don’t agree with their racist agenda to vote for us, writes Nigel Farage. 

7. Michael Gove: inspection failure (Guardian)

It is hard to see why Lady Morgan has been knifed except on partisan grounds as the general election nears, says a Guardian editorial. 

8. Stop kicking out bright foreigners (Financial Times)

Let us use their brains to our advantage, writes James Dyson. 

9. Full marks for Gove’s state-school ambition (Daily Telegraph)

The Education Secretary's agenda represents a much-awaited rejection of bog-standard equality in favour of the excellence that typifies the independent ethos, says a Telegraph editorial.

10. Obama’s trade agenda hangs on a thin Reid (Financial Times)

The Democrat from Nevada never met a trade deal he liked, writes Edward Luce.

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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.