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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Who really wants to roll back the state? Not the right (Guardian)

While this government props up big business and delves into our private lives, there is a tradition of individualism on the left waiting to be reclaimed, says Owen Jones. 

2. Hedge fund titans are testing US democracy (Financial Times)

If branches of government bow to big business, public policy will be decided by the highest bidder, warns Edward Luce. 

3. John Smith would have led us to a decent world (Guardian)

The Labour leader, who died 20 years ago today, was a political giant who ought to inspire a better kind of politics, says John McTernan. 

4. Unemployment will scar us for years (Independent)

The figures make it look as if unemployment is going down, but they hide a multitude of sins and as usual it is the poorest that suffer the most, writes David Blanchflower. 

5. Local elections matter more than their European equivalents (Daily Mirror)

They may be at the bottom of the democratic pile, writes Kevin Maguire. But we need good councillors much more than we need MEPs.

6. Could John Smith have envisaged where his "parliament" would lead? (Daily Telegraph)

The institution he so desired has nourished the very political ideology he despised, writes Alan Cochrane. 

7. The NHS is being suffocated by cynical politicking (Independent)

But let’s never forget that it represents the best of British idealism and energy, says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. 

8. In our own modest way, we’re living in a Boko Haram world (Daily Telegraph)

There is no consistency or fairness in the BBC’s disgraceful treatment of its Radio Devon DJ, says Boris Johnson. 

9. There is a way to cut knife crime – the Tories just aren't delivering it (Guardian)

Grayling and co, eager to win headlines and dish the Lib Dems, aren't so bothered about a policy that actually works, writes Chris Huhne. 

10. Humans are not all the same under the skin (Times)

There are genetic variations between races, but they don’t matter, writes Matt Ridley. It is co-operation that brings progress to our species. 

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George Osborne takes up job at BlackRock - but what does it mean for politics?

The former Chancellor insists he hasn't forgotten about the Northern Powerhouse.

George Osborne is to take up a part-time role at asset management giant BlackRock.

The former Chancellor is understood to have been hired by the chief executive of the world's biggest investor, Larry Fink. He will be working alongside his former economic adviser Rupert Harrison.

The appointment has been approved by the Independent Appointments Committee and Osborne intends to continue as a backbench MP.

He said: "I am excited to be working with the BlackRock Investment Institute as an adviser. BlackRock wants better outcomes for pensioners and savers - and I want to help them deliver that. It's a chance for me to work part-time with one of the world's most respected firms and a major employer in Britain. 

"The majority of my time will be devoted to being an MP, representing my constituents and promoting the Northern Powerhouse.  My goal is to go on learning, gaining new experience and get an even better understanding of the world."

Once tipped as a future Prime Minister, Osborne's career ambitions were stymied after he backed Remain in the EU referendum and was sacked in Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle. Whether he will find the halls of fund managers more comfortable than the green back benches is yet to be seen, but for now he has been clear he intends to continue his constituency duties. 

He will work at the BlackRock Investment Institute, which researches geopolitical, technological and economic trends. 

He is expected to provide insights on European politics and policy, Chinese economic reform, and trends such as low yields and longevity and their impact on retirement planning. 

While the pay packet has not been officially confirmed, Sky News quoted a source saying it would be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

But the move will also place a pro-Remain former Chancellor at the heart of the City of London, just as his Tory front bench is losing its support over Brexit negotiations.

Speaking shortly after the EU referendum vote, BlackRock chief executive Fink said he "didn't get a lot of sleep" the night of Brexit, and that the decision had led to greater uncertainty. 

 

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.