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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. We appeased Putin before - why confront him now? (Daily Telegraph)

The deaths in Ukraine are tiny when set against the Russian president’s past crimes, writes Peter Oborne. 

2. Can the rest of Britain compete with London? (Times)

The world economy is changing radically but the British state is largely unreformed, trapped in a different timezone, writes Tim Montgomerie. 

3. Punishing London’s oligarchs is not enough (Financial Times)

The most punitive financial sanction would be to target state-controlled Russian banks, writes John Gapper. 

4. White face, blue collar, grey hair: the 'left behind' voters only Ukip understands (Guardian)

Farage's core voters are not EU-obsessed Tories, but working-class men, write Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford. Labour cannot afford to ignore their real concerns.

5. The hypocrisy of the great powers is on display again in Ukraine (Independent)

We should look in the mirror before condemning Russian expansionism, says Owen Jones. 

6. What a hypocrite Red Ed will be if he takes cash from the tainted pockets of tyrants' pal Tony (Daily Mail)

Self-interest, as well as principle, demand that Miliband shouldn’t seek a donation from Blair, says Stephen Glover.

7. If you’ve got a bear by the assets, it’s in trouble (Times)

Don’t listen to those trying to justify Russia’s actions, writes David Aaronovitch. mWe should respond to this military intervention with sanctions. 

8. The clash in Crimea is the fruit of western expansion (Guardian)

The external struggle to dominate Ukraine has put fascists in power and brought the country to the brink of conflict, writes Seumas Milne. 

9. Cameron's caught between a Rock and a hard place (Daily Telegraph)

The arrest of Cameron aide Patrick Rock is further proof that an over-reliance on a tight-knit group of old chums is damaging the Prime Minister’s status, says Sue Cameron. 

10. The British economy: rate relief (Guardian)

Given the scale of the calamity that hit the economy in 2008, worklessness has been nothing like as bad as we had any right to expect, notes a Guardian editorial.

Screengrab from Telegraph video
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The Telegraph’s bizarre list of 100 reasons to be happy about Brexit

“Old-fashioned light bulbs”, “crooked cucumbers”, and “new vocabulary”.

As the economy teeters on the verge of oblivion, and the Prime Minister grapples with steering the UK around a black hole of political turmoil, the Telegraph is making the best of a bad situation.

The paper has posted a video labelled “100 reasons to embrace Brexit”. Obviously the precise number is “zero”, but that didn’t stop it filling the blanks with some rather bizarre reasons, floating before the viewer to an inevitable Jerusalem soundtrack:

Cheap tennis balls

At last. Tennis balls are no longer reserved for the gilded eurocrat elite.

Keep paper licences

I can’t trust it unless I can get it wet so it disintegrates, or I can throw it in the bin by mistake, or lose it when I’m clearing out my filing cabinet. It’s only authentic that way.

New hangover cures

What?

Stronger vacuums

An end to the miserable years of desperately trying to hoover up dust by inhaling close to the carpet.

Old-fashioned light bulbs

I like my electricals filled with mercury and coated in lead paint, ideally.

No more EU elections

Because the democratic aspect of the European Union was something we never obsessed over in the run-up to the referendum.

End working time directive

At last, I don’t even have to go to the trouble of opting out of over-working! I will automatically be exploited!

Drop green targets

Most people don’t have time to worry about the future of our planet. Some don’t even know where their next tennis ball will come from.

No more wind farms

Renewable energy sources, infrastructure and investment – what a bore.

Blue passports

I like my personal identification how I like my rinse.

UK passport lane

Oh good, an unadulterated queue of British tourists. Just mind the vomit, beer spillage and flakes of sunburnt skin while you wait.

No fridge red tape

Free the fridge!

Pounds and ounces

Units of measurement are definitely top of voters’ priorities. Way above the economy, health service, and even a smidgen higher than equality of tennis ball access.

Straight bananas

Wait, what kind of bananas do Brexiteers want? Didn’t they want to protect bendy ones? Either way, this is as persistent a myth as the slapstick banana skin trope.

Crooked cucumbers

I don’t understand.

Small kiwi fruits

Fair enough. They were getting a bit above their station, weren’t they.

No EU flags in UK

They are a disgusting colour and design. An eyesore everywhere you look…in the uh zero places that fly them here.

Kent champagne

To celebrate Ukip cleaning up the east coast, right?

No olive oil bans

Finally, we can put our reliable, Mediterranean weather and multiple olive groves to proper use.

No clinical trials red tape

What is there to regulate?

No Turkey EU worries

True, we don’t have to worry. Because there is NO WAY AND NEVER WAS.

No kettle restrictions

Free the kettle! All kitchen appliances’ lives matter!

Less EU X-factor

What is this?

Ditto with BGT

I really don’t get this.

New vocabulary

Mainly racist slurs, right?

Keep our UN seat

Until that in/out UN referendum, of course.

No EU human rights laws

Yeah, got a bit fed up with my human rights tbh.

Herbal remedy boost

At last, a chance to be treated with medicine that doesn’t work.

Others will follow [picture of dominos]

Hooray! The economic collapse of countries surrounding us upon whose trade and labour we rely, one by one!

Better English team

Ah, because we can replace them with more qualified players under an Australian-style points-based system, you mean?

High-powered hairdryers

An end to the miserable years of desperately trying to dry my hair by yawning on it.

She would’ve wanted it [picture of Margaret Thatcher]

Well, I’m convinced.

I'm a mole, innit.