The Staggers 1 October 2009 Five of the Best The top five comment pieces from today's papers Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up The Guardian's Seumas Milne writes that Gordon Brown's belated assault on neoliberalism may have come too late to save his premiership: If Labour goes down to defeat next year, it will not be the result of the slow, cautious social democratic moves the government has finally taken in the aftermath of the crisis. It will be because it failed to take so many of them in the previous 11 years - preferring instead the Faustian pact New Labour made with the Murdochs of the financial and corporate ascendancy. In the Times, Tristram Hunt says that the Supreme Court is not an American import but an original English ideal: [I]t marks the welcome return of an idea that first emerged in Britain in the mid-18th century: the separation of powers. And it was the Americans who stole the idea from us, thanks to the writings of an inquisitive French philosopher ... what really impressed Montesquieu was English freedom. In contrast to the fearful royal absolutism of Louis XV's France, the English enjoyed the right to worship, trade and speak their minds. And this was the direct product, Montesquieu thought, of the English constitution's separation of powers. In the American Prospect, Tim Fernholz says that the Democrats won't suffer a repeat of their disastrous 1994 midterm election results: [C]ongressional Republicans are still less popular than Democrats and have yet to offer any kind of platform for another shot at running the show. Worse, they are leaderless: By the end of 1993, Republican Whip Newt Gingrich and his team had already brought ethics charges against a speaker of the House that lead to his resignation, and widely publicized the House banking scandal. Today, the Republican Party remains divided and lacks the ability to attract centrist voters, while the Democrats continue to be a relatively unified majority party, with the capacity to stay that way. In the Independent, Mark Donne calls on David Miliband to halt secretive military aid to Colombia: The Labour government has long supported the Uribe administration, both diplomatically and militarily, and personal ties are strong. Colombia's former defence minister Juan Manuel Santos - who resigned in May and whose arrest has been ordered by an Ecuadorian court after air strikes on Ecuador - co-authored a book called The Third Way For Colombia with one Tony Blair. Under Santos'swatch, the killings of civilians and trade unionists by the security forces increased. In the Times, Bill Emmott argues that if the Irish approve the Lisbon Treaty the Conservatives must not seek to renegotiate it: [T}o provoke a row over a boring institutional treaty, which virtually everyone else has already agreed to, would be folly, grand scale. Indeed, if Messrs Cameron and Hague do hang on to Lisbon as one of their battles, it would raise serious doubts about their fitness for government. › The BBC on the BNP George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!