The Staggers 19 December 2013 Morning Call: pick of the papers The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up 1. Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system (Independent) Where selection remains, it continues to be largely the preserve of the privileged, writes Owen Jones. 2. IDS isn’t ending social security. He’s saving it (Times) Critics of welfare reform are ignoring the evidence that today’s system is not just a mess but is immoral, says Tim Montgomerie. 3. Syria: how many more times can the Foreign Office get it so wrong? (Daily Telegraph) A total misreading of the situation in Syria is just the latest example of Whitehall blundering, says Peter Oborne. 4. Consumption is not just for Christmas (Financial Times) It is deeply patronising to fret that the little people are buying too much for their own good, writes Chris Giles. 5. We can't rely on Angela Merkel to sort out Europe's problems (Guardian) David Cameron hopes the German chancellor will help him keep Britain in the EU, but she's focused on her own country, writes Martin Kettle. 6. If you’re Biggs, you believe that you’re big (Times) From train robbers to slave owners, people tend to convince themselves that they’re acting morally, writes David Aaronovitch. 7. Six events that shook Asia (Financial Times) As one nation strives to revive its economy, others struggle with poverty and calamity, writes David Pilling. 8. Mission accomplished? Afghanistan is a calamity and our leaders must be held to account (Guardian) British troops haven't accomplished a single one of their missions in Afghanistan, says Seumas Milne. Like Iraq and Libya, it's a disaster. 9. This government is a hotbed of cold feet (Daily Telegraph) Every time ministers funk or farm out difficult decisions, they lose more authority, says Sue Cameron. 10. The 'right school'? No, parents staying together is the best way to help children (Guardian) Children with a stable home life do better at school. Focus less on catchment areas and more on relationship counselling, writes Joanna Moorhead. › Obama snubs the Sochi Games, giving Putin a star spangled middle finger Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!