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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. British politics is broken - and only Nigel Farage is profiting (Daily Telegraph)

The Ukip chief is alone among the party leaders in being able to navigate our shattered political landscape, writes Peter Oborne.

2. Google ruling shows EU law is an ass (Financial Times)

The right to delete does not mean history should be hidden from the collective view, writes John Gapper. 

3. The tech firms hate the Google verdict, but they can't be beyond the law (Guardian)

The digital industry's attacks on the "right to be forgotten" ruling should be treated with icy scepticism, says Martin Kettle. 

4. The chief executive of Pfizer failed to dispel the impression that tax, and tax alone, brought him here (Independent)

He failed to persuade the impartial observer that his company’s promises were credible, says an Independent editorial. 

5. We are not at war over free school lunches (Times)

Both coalition partners support this policy – because it has been proved that it help pupils to get better results, write Michael Gove and David Laws.

6. The rise of Europe's far right will only be halted by a populism of the left (Guardian)

Ukip's advance is part of a wider discontent, fed by EU-wide austerity and revulsion against an anti-democratic stitch-up, says Seumas Milne. 

7. Free speech must trump the right to privacy (Times)

The European Court ruling on internet searches will protect the powerful, not those who make innocent mistakes, says David Aaronovitch.

8. The Jo Shuter saga shows that even heroes need scrutiny (Guardian)

The swindling super-head has demonstrated the folly of giving local leaders freedom over their budgets, says Steve Richards.

9. Little Hannah gets her first taste of immigration red tape (Daily Telegraph)

Trying to get a passport for a baby highlights the absurdities of our passports system, says Sue Cameron. 

10. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney parks rate bus (Daily Mail)

Fear of a rise in rates in the early months of next year looks to have retreated into the middle distance, writes Alex Brummer. 
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Inside a shaken city: "I just want to be anywhere that’s not Manchester”

The morning after the bombing of the Manchester Arena has left the city's residents jumpy.

On Tuesday morning, the streets in Manchester city centre were eerily silent.

The commuter hub of Victoria Station - which backs onto the arena - was closed as police combed the area for clues, and despite Mayor Andy Burnham’s line of "business as usual", it looked like people were staying away.

Manchester Arena is the second largest indoor concert venue in Europe. With a capacity crowd of 18,000, on Monday night the venue was packed with young people from around the country - at least 22 of whom will never come home. At around 10.33pm, a suicide bomber detonated his device near the exit. Among the dead was an eight-year-old girl. Many more victims remain in hospital. 

Those Mancunians who were not alerted by the sirens woke to the news of their city's worst terrorist attack. Still, as the day went on, the city’s hubbub soon returned and, by lunchtime, there were shoppers and workers milling around Exchange Square and the town hall.

Tourists snapped images of the Albert Square building in the sunshine, and some even asked police for photographs like any other day.

But throughout the morning there were rumours and speculation about further incidents - the Arndale Centre was closed for a period after 11.40am while swathes of police descended, shutting off the main city centre thoroughfare of Market Street.

Corporation Street - closed off at Exchange Square - was at the centre of the city’s IRA blast. A postbox which survived the 1996 bombing stood in the foreground while officers stood guard, police tape fluttering around cordoned-off spaces.

It’s true that the streets of Manchester have known horror before, but not like this.

I spoke to students Beth and Melissa who were in the bustling centre when they saw people running from two different directions.

They vanished and ducked into River Island, when an alert came over the tannoy, and a staff member herded them through the back door onto the street.

“There were so many police stood outside the Arndale, it was so frightening,” Melissa told me.

“We thought it will be fine, it’ll be safe after last night. There were police everywhere walking in, and we felt like it would be fine.”

Beth said that they had planned a day of shopping, and weren’t put off by the attack.

“We heard about the arena this morning but we decided to come into the city, we were watching it all these morning, but you can’t let this stop you.”

They remembered the 1996 Arndale bombing, but added: “we were too young to really understand”.

And even now they’re older, they still did not really understand what had happened to the city.

“Theres nowhere to go, where’s safe? I just want to go home,” Melissa said. “I just want to be anywhere that’s not Manchester.”

Manchester has seen this sort of thing before - but so long ago that the stunned city dwellers are at a loss. In a city which feels under siege, no one is quite sure how anyone can keep us safe from an unknown threat

“We saw armed police on the streets - there were loads just then," Melissa said. "I trust them to keep us safe.”

But other observers were less comforted by the sign of firearms.

Ben, who I encountered standing outside an office block on Corporation Street watching the police, was not too forthcoming, except to say “They don’t know what they’re looking for, do they?” as I passed.

The spirit of the city is often invoked, and ahead of a vigil tonight in Albert Square, there will be solidarity and strength from the capital of the North.

But the community values which Mancunians hold dear are shaken to the core by what has happened here.

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