Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. New friends race to end an old war (Financial Times)

If the Afghan war was ever winnable, it was lost when the US decided to invade Iraq, says Philip Stephens.

2. You can raise spending and balance the budget (Independent)

The balanced budget stimulus presents the Chancellor with an opportunity in next week’s Budget, says Mehdi Hasan.

3. Sticking with Gordon Brown’s flawed policy keeps people in poverty (Daily Telegraph)

Government efforts to tackle deprivation will fail while the Treasury is tied to an old agenda, argues Fraser Nelson.

4. The strife is not o’er. The battle may be lost (Times) (£)

The monarchy has adapted itself well to the modern age, writes Philip Collins. The Church has not - and, sadly, is dying out.

5. Osborne must help the squeezed middle and tax the top (Guardian)

Liberal Democrat priorities are clear - easing the pressure on household budgets and clamping down on tax avoidance, write Tim Farron and David Laws.

6. Why another Tory EU rebellion is now on the cards (Daily Express)

Tory MPs do not want to see taxpayers’ money wasted on a lost cause, says Stewart Jackson.

7. Why quantitative easing is the only game in town (Financial Times)

The right fear has to be that QE will not work well enough, not that it will be damaging, writes Martin Wolf.

8. George Osborne’s budget will mirror Europe’s Ebola economics (Guardian)

From Greece to Germany Europe’s been seized by a collective psychosis - our own government cuts to the bone voluntarily, writes Polly Toynbee.

9. We simply can’t afford to pay for our old age (Daily Telegraph)

Britain must learn to be self-reliant again before the country’s triple-A rating is lost, says Jeremy Warner.

10. Universities need the guts to break this Faustian pact with research (Guardian)

As long as university academics claim privileged public sector status, the agony of their bondage to the state will continue, says Simon Jenkins.