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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. The gap widens between the right and reality (Times)

The left recognises growing inequality and ludicrously high executive pay, writes Philip Collins. Capitalists, on the other hand, are in denial.

2. Low-rent Labour is positioning itself as the Ukip of the left (Daily Telegraph)

Ed Miliband is banking on a populist wave sweeping him all the way to Downing Street, says Fraser Nelson. 

3. Vince Cable poses as the scourge of City spivs. But he blundered into handing them millions of your money (Daily Mail)

The loss to the Exchequer as a result of the mispricing of Royal Mail is scandalous at a time of national austerity, says Alex Brummer. 

4. Scrap inheritance tax and leave the dead to rest in peace (Guardian)

To reduce our soaring inequality we must treat inherited wealth like ordinary taxed income and end all the wheezes, writes Polly Toynbee. 

5. The mission that is Blair’s dismal last act (Financial Times)

His arguments have been lost to the lust for personal riches and attention, writes Philip Stephens.

6. When the pressure’s on, by-elections get delirious and dirty (Daily Telegraph)

The souped-up campaigning promises to make the fight for the vacant Westminster seat both shambolic and amusing, writes Isabel Hardman. 

7. Northern Ireland: power of the past (Guardian)

Everything connected with the Troubles is politicised – and the future of the McConville investigation will not be a simple matter, says a Guardian editorial.

8. Japan should resist right-wingers who discount the country's war crimes (Independent)

Shinzo Abe’s revisionist government would like to take back an apology over "comfort women", writes Peter Popham. 

9. Schools are held hostage by politicians' control-freakery (Guardian)

Local authorities are effective guarantors of educational standards, writes Simon Jenkins. Gove, Hunt and Blunkett need to get out of the way.

10. Despite those 14 questions, I admire Jeremy Paxman (Times)

...but the BBC’s grand inquisitor didn’t always get the better of me, says Michael Howard. 

Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd/Published with permission
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Everything that is wonderful about The Sun’s HMS Global Britain Brexit boat

And all who sail in her.

Just when you’d suffered a storm called Doris, spotted a sad Ukip man striding around the Potteries in top-to-toe tweed, watched 60 hours of drama about the Queen being a Queen and thought Britain couldn’t get any more Brexity, The Sun on Sunday has launched a boat called HMS Global Britain.


Photo: Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd/Photos published with permission from The Sun

Taking its name from one of Theresa May’s more optimistic characterisations of the UK post-Europe (it’s better than “Red, white and blue Brexit”, your mole grants), this poor abused vessel is being used by the weekend tabloid to host a gaggle of Brexiteers captained by Michael Gove – and a six-foot placard bearing the terms of Article 50.

Destination? Bloody Brussels, of course!

“Cheering MPs boarded HMS Global Britain at Westminster before waving off our message on a 200-mile voyage to the heart of the EU,” explains the paper. “Our crew started the journey at Westminster Pier to drive home the clear message: ‘It’s full steam ahead for Brexit.’”

Your mole finds this a wonderful spectacle. Here are the best bits:

Captain Michael Gove’s rise to power

The pinnacle of success in Brexit Britain is to go from being a potential Prime Minister to breaking a bottle of champagne against the side of a boat with a fake name for a publicity stunt about the policy you would have been enacting if you’d made it to Downing Street. Forget the experts! This is taking back control!


 

“God bless her, and all who sail in her,” he barks, smashing the bottle as a nation shudders.

The fake name

Though apparently photoshopped out of some of the stills, HMS Global Britain’s real name is clear in The Sun’s footage of the launch. It is actually called The Edwardian, its name painted proudly in neat, white lettering on its hull. Sullied by the plasticky motorway pub sign reading “HMS Global Britain” hanging limply from its deck railings. Poor The Edwardian. Living in London and working a job that involves a lot of travel, it probably voted Remain. It probably joined the Lib Dems following the Article 50 vote. It doesn’t want this shit.

The poses

All the poses in this picture are excellent. Tory MP Julian Brazier’s dead-eyed wave, the Demon Headmaster on his holidays. Former education minister Tim Loughton wearing an admiral’s hat and toting a telescope, like he dreamed of as a little boy. Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns’ Tim Henman fist of regret. Labour MP Kate Hoey’s cheeky grin belied by her desperately grasping, steadying hand. Former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale’s jolly black power salute. And failed Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Gove – a child needing a wee who has proudly found the perfect receptacle.

The metaphor

In a way, this is the perfect representation of Brexit. Ramshackle, contrived authenticity, unclear purpose, and universally white. But your mole isn’t sure this was the message intended by its sailors… the idea of a Global Britain may well be sunk.

I'm a mole, innit.