CommentPlus: pick of the papers

The ten must read pieces from the Sunday papers.

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1. Lovers of political paradox, I give you the upcoming referendum (Observer)

The battle over electoral reform will present all three main parties and their leaders with extraordinary dilemmas, says Andrew Rawnsley. David Cameron's position is exceptionally awkward.

2. Voting reform is bad news for the Tories, whatever the result (Daily Telegraph)

David Cameron was right to offer a vote on AV, says Matthew d'Ancona -- but it is an irritation he could certainly do without. A "No" that humiliates Clegg so badly that his own party turns upon him could spell the end of the coalition.

3. Cameron fancies a long stay at No 10 (Independent on Sunday)

John Rentoul points out that a referendum on the electoral system fits the Tory leader's plan for a permanent, winning coalition. Cameron views the coalition as a chance for a permanent change in favour of liberal conservatism.

4. Without any fear for the future, boys have given up their ambition (Observer)

Unemployment is rising much faster among male graduates than female. Will Hutton suggests that celebrity culture and the huge salaries in football or banking have undermined boys' motivation to study or work.

5. It was a supersize gaffe to diss Jamie, minister (Sunday Times)

Janice Turner argues that the TV chef, with his hard-won nutritional minimums for school meals, embodies the "big society". The coalition should either back him or come up with a better idea. Personal responsibility may be alluring because it is the cheapest.

6. Young men thrive on opportunity, not jail (Independent on Sunday)

Peter Stanford endorses penal reform, which is the intelligent way to save money and improve the future of the thousands of male offenders who make up 95 per cent of the prison population.

7. Empty our prisons but pay for the consequences (Observer)

Kenneth Clarke's desire for prison reform is welcome, says Nick Cohen, but change will come only if we provide an alternative to incarceration. We need drug rehabilitation programmes and empowered probation officers.

8. Start the double-dip propaganda machine (Sunday Times)

Matthew Parris asks what the coalition will do by way of public explanation if it turns out that Britain is heading for a double-dip recession. It must prepare to defend its economic policies.

9. The issue that could blow the coalition apart (Mail on Sunday)

William Rees-Mogg discusses Lords reform, for which the coalition has no specific plans. Reform of the upper chamber is not a real electoral issue, but amid tensions over spending and tax, House of Lords reform is a potential detonator, as it divides all parties and groups.

10. Can you hear that squeaking? It must be a woman (Independent on Sunday)

There is an obvious difference between Radio 5's new Men's Hour and its Radio 4 well-established counterpart, Woman's Hour, says Sarah Sands -- men are already vigorously represented by the media, while women previously had no voice in broadcasting.

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