CommentPlus: pick of the papers

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

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1. Labour will never have an heir to Tony Blair (Times)

Daniel Finkelstein looks ahead to the former prime minister's memoirs, out soon. The big question he needs to answer is: why did Blairism die?

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2. As Cameron gets radical, the left dozes on Planet 1945 (Guardian)

The coalition is seeking to redefine the individual's relationship with the state, says Simon Jenkins, yet Labour is entirely absent. The leadership candidates are intellectually barren.

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3. Cameron must heed the lessons of New Labour (Financial Times)

The coalition seems not to have heeded a lesson painfully learned by Tony Blair, writes Matthew Taylor. David Cameron must demand that his ministers check the credibility of their pronouncements.

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4. Why is social housing such a mess? (Independent)

Christina Patterson argues that what started as a much-needed escape route from the slums, which were for decades the working classes' only accommodation option, has become a racket.

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5. Barack Obama is running out of Iraq for all the wrong reasons (Daily Telegraph)

The president is grasping at anything that might hold up his plunging popularity. Con Coughlin says the Iraqis want troops to stay, because their country has not yet made the transition to a functioning democracy.

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6. With Arab opinion like this, Obama needs media advice (Guardian)

Jonathan Steele says that the rhetoric of Barack Obama's passionate Cairo speech last year has soured. Now, the president can only move the debate on with a sea change in US attitudes towards the Middle East.

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7. The irony of the Evening Standard's anti-poverty drive (Guardian)

Lynsey Hanley discusses the London Evening Standard's campaign against poverty. There's an obvious irony in a newspaper owned by a billionaire oligarch in effect subsidising journalism about people who earn less than £7 an hour.

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8. Flood aid will help us as much as the victims (Times)

Helping Pakistan is not only the humane thing to do, says Anatol Lieven, it will also benefit Britain in the fight against terrorism, by showing Pakistanis the benefits of alliance with the west.

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9. A good economist knows the true value of the arts (Financial Times)

John Kay points out that you can't measure the value of a play by how much it costs to clean the theatre. The relevant questions are whether the cultural and commercial value of the performance offsets.

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10. "Fat cats" still have some slimming to do (Independent)

Public pressure for more statutory curbs on high pay will grow if the most highly paid business people in the land don't show more awareness of the national mood, warns the leading article.

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