Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Labour Day for the Telegraph

Should I encounter young Master Brogan during my sojourn in Brighton, I might give him the benefit of my opinion about something.

In its now seemingly neverending quest to irritate its Tory supporting readers, what does it decide to do on the day the Conservative Spring Conference opens? It goes and gives a simpering interview, not to the leader of the Tory Party, but to the Prime Minister. I ask you.

The interview was conducted by Mary Riddell and Andrew Porter, but the questions had clearly been provided by Piers Morgan.

On top of this, today's edition carries a vicious attack on George Osborne by Simon Heffer. This is, however, counterbalanced by the leader column which contrasts Brown's leadership style unfavourably with that of David Cameron.

As I blogged a few weeks ago, as we near an election, it would be nice to think that the Daily Telegraph might just want to turn its attack on Labour rather than provide Gordon Brown with two pages to tell us untruths which aren't challenged.

51 comments:

Plato said...

I don't bother at all with the DT except for Brooker, and some of the blogs which can be quite amusing.

The rest is pants.

Paddy Briggs said...

No wonder the Telegraph is frustrated!

It is eighteen years since the Conservatives won a General Election in Britain. In that time they have had five leaders and have had policy positions which have swung wildly from fairly extreme Right (Howard) to wishy washy centre (Cameron). Nobody knows who they really are or what they stand for. The "Time for Change" slogan, with its Obama echoes, is facile and shallow.

No wonder the Telegraph is frustrated!

spencer said...

Formerly a 7 days a week Telegraph reader, but now reduced to Saturday only (mainly for the crossword), I might have to consider a further change. What a ranting, vicious attack by Simon Heffer on a Conservative politician. The Tories are in the difficult position of not knowing what "bodies" are buried in the Treasury books and not wanting to scare the voters too much.

cherami said...

The only reason for reading the DT nowadays is to get the bad temper running.

I am all for balance but it is not balanced any more.

Heffer's piece was unforgivable on the first day of the Tory meeting - so was Riddell/Porter's.

And they say the Press is right wing?

I wish.

Fenrir said...

I find the Daily Telegraph useful for putting my seed trays on as it absorbs any excess water quite well, and I enjoy the motoring section on Saturday. Other than that I can't be bothered with it any more. I cancelled my sub about six months ago and get what I need from the net from a variety of sources for free.

John Linford said...

It is becoming more and more the Labourgraph these days. Matt is still good for a laugh though :-)

Right Hon. said...

I expect the heavyweight broadsheets to give a balanced view.

If you want a blinkered pro-Tory then buy the Sun.

jon dee said...

Perhaps they have a new editorial/marketing plan, or the inmates etc., However if ;

* The readership profile has changed and they are adjusting the product accordingly .....

* Or just seeking an expanded market on the left.......

*Or don't feel the need to satisfy core customer requirements any longer......

Please accept that some loyal HD readers have had enough. This family cancelled this morning.

trevorsden said...

The Telegraph is a total waste of space.

Ruined by the Barclay Bros. - who else is there to blame and its appalling editorial team.

Utter bag of shite. Do not buy it any more.

Heffer is an ignorant scumbag - and I speak as a total and traditional die hard right wing Tory who fully recognises that Cameron is to the left of me , like virtually every tory leader in history.

Nayan said...

What amazes me about that lump of idiot called Heffer is that he seems to have little to no ire aimed at the current lot, but masses of vitriol aimed at Cameron and Osborne who have done a lot less to deserve it.

I mean Heffer has been going on about how Osborne should be being a proper conservative and lower taxes, and as soon as it is discovered that Osborne will propose corporation and small business tax cuts to 25% and 20% respectively we get a ridiculous opinion piece full of unwarranted attacks.

Cameron and Osborne could turn water into wine and Heffer would say it's the wrong type of wine. The sooner the Telegraph get rid of this lumbering oaf the better off the paper will be, him and Mary Ridel. Benedict Brogan is quite reasonable but the star of their opinion columns is clearly James Delingpole.

JJ said...

How about your thoughts on Nick Hogan being jailed for six months for not paying his smoking ban fine?

DeeDee99 said...

Not only is The Telegraph turning towards Labour, so is the Politics Home site. Since the remodelling of the site, the content of the blog feed has switched noticeably from right-wing posters to those from the left.

I am starting to get the impression that 'the powers that be' have decided Gordon should be allowed to just about win this election - so he has to deal with the consequences of the policies he has persued and the appalling Debt he has landed us with.

JJ said...

How about your thoughts on Nick Hogan being jailed for six months for not paying his smoking ban fine?

JJ said...

How about your thoughts on Nick Hogan being jailed for six months for not paying his smoking ban fine?

Glyn H said...

Mary Riddell is a woman of quite remarkably silly views and one of the several reasons I now only buy the Telegraph on Saturday and that for the GK crossword!

Tim Hedges said...

I agree. Whatever happened to the Telegraph. I have read it since I was at school but I hardly bother now. And whatever possessed them to hire Simon Heffer? It really needs a change of editor sharpish

Martin said...

Iain, stuff the DT, just don't buy it and let them go out of business, I doubt many wet liberals buy it so if Tory voters boycott it they will go bust.

The real problem is with the BBC and their one sided reporting. I'd suggest most of the slippage in the polls is due to the total hammering the BBC gives every Tory announcement.

For example the BBC have been bigging up the latest recovery figures. RECOVERY!!! The pound is falling faster than a tarts knickers in a night club, the deficit is getting worse day by day, Brown is going to try to claim he saved the economy yet denies creating the mess in the first place, he's fallen out with Darling but the BBC ignores all of this.

Simon Lewis said...

Fraid to say Osborne is the weak link. I think the Tories know it. they are just looking for an excuse to get rid of him. look at his ideas for PAYE, getting the Revenue to tell employers how much to pay instead of the employers doing it. Chaos will ensure. He has no idea i'm afraid.
In addition his plans to reform business taxation will reduce the incentive to invest in new plant equipment. No idea..sorry..

Andrew said...

I have never voted Conservative in my life, but I cringe when I see/hear so-called Con newspapers/magazines (and also Con ex-ministers etc) give succour to the enemy like this.
Surely the most important aim should be to get rid of Brown/ Labour after what they've done to this country?
Get a grip or you'll get what you deserve---another 5 years of Brown(who will be insufferable).

Dan Sullivan said...

Maybe, just maybe, this is all a plot to ensure core Labour supporters are turned off turning out for their own party by its embrace by what was after all once called the Torygraph.

It's all part of plan of some cunning.

sinosimon said...

it is quite apparent that heffer has some frenzied psychotic problem with cameron and osborne. Perhaps it simply the fact that they are younger than he, and are actually doing something about their beliefs, instead of carping vitriolically from the sidelines......i feel mr heffer is closer to gordon brown thsan he might care to admit....someone whose grip on reality is so twisted by unwarranted self-regard that the sight of others achieving brings on inchoate rage. best to ignore him until he cries himself out i feel.

strapworld said...

I cancelled my Telegraph subscription a month ago as well as the Times. The Daily Mail will be next and I will be left with The Sun.

Horshamite said...

What are you expecting Iain? It is surely impossible for even your supporters to find to say anything positive about Osborne. He is simply not up to the job. As I have said before he is going to lose the election for the Tories. Too late to do anything about it now but you can't say that it hasn't been clear for months.

simonh said...

There's no reason why the DT should be uncritically Conservative. The Independent gives house room to Bruce Anderson and Dominic Lawson; the Guardian regularly publishes attacks on Gordon Brown and has published a number of pretty uncritical pieces on Cameron et al. Personally I'd sooner buy a paper with a plurality of voices than a propaganda sheet.

And 'young master Brogan'? Could you be any more patronising? Are you going to ask him if his parents are proud of him?

Adrian said...

Heffer is a pompous buffoon who is not worth reading even on the rare occasions that he isn't obsessed with jealousy of the Tory leadership.

Fortunately the Telegraph has a decent website, so one can read the good bits without having to pay. And they have Matt, of course.

sarah said...

Iain, the Telegraph are tapping into the national mood - which has changed dramatically in just a few months.

It seems nothing will stick to Brown - and for whatever reason, him, and his wretched party, have stopped being scrutinised.

I hate to say this - the Tories could have really blown their chances - and it's got nothing to do with Labour. The damage has been entirely self-inflicted.

If the gap closes any further, I think the Tories are finished - maybe permanently.

BNPELECTIONRESULTS said...

http://bnpelectionresults.blogspot.com/2010/02/back-to-future.html

Interested in your thoughts concerning no platform for the BNP, the above link has a you tube video concerning the 80s dubbing of Sinn Fein.
It's makes for interesting viewing as the NUJ which has told its members not to report on the BNP if it will show them in a good light, marched on behalf of the terrorists in the 80s.
Then you have Tony Benn saying" We would be living in a dictatorship, if parties didn't have the right to advocate different policies."
I of course will be surprised if this post is even posted. As it seems that any BNP voter and there is over a million of us. Have no rights what so ever to be heard or to be allowed an opportunity to debate.
Is this right ?

tory boys never grow up said...

So what? Do you think that the Telegraph's readers haven't the intelligence to deal with with those who express and possibly challenge the normal Tory viewpoint, and then form their own opinions?

Personally, I believe in the freedom of the Press and it is up to the editor to decide what he wants to print in his paper. If you disagree by all means challenge the content rather than paper's right to produce contrarian views. How are you any different from a member of the Politburo trying to make sure that Pravda toed the line?


If you want to criticise the Telegraph you may want to have a go at their prying into Cameron's personal life aged 10 - but then of course that would point your hypocrisy when Labour politicians and their families are the target of similar abuses.

Perhaps if the Tories were putting forward something other meaninglees sloagans and mantras then the Press might have something more meaningful to say?

Do intelligent people realy get much satisfaction from reading something that doen't challenge their viewpoints?

Pogo said...

Something must be terribly wrong... I've just found myself in complete agreement with Paddy Briggs (10:59am).

Perdix said...

What do you expect? Editor Will Lewis's brother works for Brown, Andrew Porter is a mate of Damien McBride and ex-Observer Mary Riddell was hired when Brown was ahead in the polls in 2007.

Hawkeye said...

"How about your thoughts on Nick Hogan being jailed for six months for not paying his smoking ban fine?"

I applaud Mr Hogan for taking a stand on a point of principle. As a life-long non-smoker I have to say that the legislation is overly draconian IMO. As a former barman, I often worked in pubs in which good ventilation ensured a current of air towards the smokers so that their "output" did not have an effect in the rest of the bar.

As to the jail sentence, Mr Hogan knew what he was doing and what the penalties where. I still applaud him for standing up for something believes in.

DespairingLiberal said...

I hope the Telegraph will soon be covering today's interesting science news that Liberals have a higher IQ!

More here...

DespairingLiberal said...

If it's any consolation Andrew, the Guardian/Observer frequently make people in the Labour and LibDem parties flinch with their stories, which often seem to be about bashing people on the home front.

My theory is that some journalists get bored of the party line operating on their paper and do their best to undermine it. Bolshie lot, journos.

MoK said...

This blogpost sounds like a "How dare the free press criticise the Tory party" complaint.

Unworthy of you.

John R said...

The MSM's own stupidity is what's driving internet growth. Why would you allow something like Heffer to foul the pages of your paper when your readers can so easily go somewhere else?

After many years as a subscriber I dont read the printed Telegraph any more, I use their website. The result, they dont get any money from me now and I choose which bits I read and where/when to read it.

As to Heffer, I dont see anything other than his name.

George Mainwaring said...

I emailed The Telegraph editor in midweek expressing my intention to stop buying it after its latest Crash Gordon hagiographical piece by La Piddle.

I received an anodyne two line response hoping I'd continue with the DT.

Then this morning I see they've got the former Glenda Slagg of The Sunday People to conduct an easy interview with the self-styled Son of the Manse.

Game over, Telegraph. No more purchases

BNPELECTIONRESULTS said...

Suitably surprised...

But why couldn't the Tory PPC for Chippenham face a debate with the BNP candidate Michael Simpkins?

Richard said...

I agree with Heffer and I'm a Conservative voter. Whilst my MP, Jeremy Hunt wil get my vote because he's an excellent constituency MP, I dispair of the Conservative leadership. They have no policies other than political correctness. They can't lay a glove on Brown who has done more damage to Britain than Hitler. And no one in the City has time for George Osborne. Heffer is correct. Lord Tebbit is correct. Natural Conservative voters simply won't vote for Cameron. No surprise then that the Conservatives will lose the election. Quite simply, Cameron led Conservative are a waste of space

The Random Punter said...

Iain, I agree with you on the Telegraph and on Heffer - awful and awfuller!!

However, I'd be interested in your views on the following:

1. There are a lot of comments suggesting Osborne is a weak link. I would agree with that - the Conservative announcements on the economy are both inconsistent and unconvincing. Do you think Osborne, or, if you like, the public perception of Osborne, is damaging the conservative election chances? Should he be replaced by Ken Clarke?

2. A couple of major talking points on the BBC this week. Firstly, what was your opinion on the audience for Question Time at Cardiff? And secondly, what do you think of the changes made to Have Your Say, and in particular, the removal of the recommendation system, which continually produced a public view far removed from the BBC narrative?

3. Following on from 2, what was your view on Farage's performance and treatment on QT?

Charles said...

The worst thing about Heffer's column this week was his criticism of the EU Parliament's response to Farage's comments on the EU President.

Whether you like/agree with Farage or not, to describe someone as "looking like a junior bank clerk" and "having the personality of a damp rag" isn't political debate. It's just offensive - he shouldn't have said it, and he should of course apologise.

Heffer has lost his grip on reality.

Sean Haffey said...

Possibly the DT is reflecting the fact that the Tories have not been very good at communicating their policies.

Unsworth said...

@ tory boys

"Personally, I believe in the freedom of the Press and it is up to the editor to decide what he wants to print in his paper."

a) Yes you probably do believe that.

b) No one in their right minds believes we have a free press. You choose to ignore the desires and influences of proprietors and advertisers.

c) If you believe editors are actually independent of their paymasters you have seriously misunderstood the realities.

But perhaps this is what you might hope for - and that is an entirely different matter.

longrun2 said...

Despairing Liberal is quoting a piece of analysis by a LSE academic (oh, so neutral) on US data where "conservative" generally means far to the right of Nigel Farage and "liberal" includes SuperMac and all his cabinet, as well as Cameron, Clegg and Blair, but would not include the left-wing of the British Liberal Democrat Party. So the conclusion he/she draws is invalid.
It also shows it "modernist" bias when claiming that atheism is a sign of intelligence - a clear majority of significant scientific, mathematical and engineering advances in the last thousand years have been achieved by believing Christians and Muslims (even excluding other faiths).
Why does a LSE academic analyse American data rather than British? Could it be that a survey that suggests the Cameroons are more intelligent than Sarah Palin can be misrepresented to suggest that LSE pseudo-intellectuals and Cleggites are more intelligent than Cameron who won an Exhibition to Oxford?

Jimmy said...

If you want uncritical tory propaganda then that's what the Daily Mail is for.

tory boys never grow up said...

Unsworth

I don't disagree with your points b) and c) either.

I don't see how you can avoid a system where the proprietors have some editorial input, and actually getting the balance right is difficult to achieve. Perhaps the Guardian Trust model is the best we have - but you could imagine the fuss if someone tried to implement it!

Although the press is not entirely free in the UK, it is still pretty free and I don't see many viewpoints that don't get out somewhere. Dale's objection is against pluralism and hearing non Tory views in what he thinks should be something near to a Tory version of Pravda. Objecting to differing views from your own on the basis of where they appear rather than on the grounds of their content is fundamentally undemocratic.

Christopher said...

Mary Riddell and Simon Heffer are secret socialists, they should be writing for the Daily Mirror or The Morning Star.
May one say 'Scum sucking pigs'

tomandclaire said...

Wonderful example of the people of the UK being bought with their own money. How much advertising revenue does the Telegraph get from the government?

Me said...

Heffer is an idiot, he does not live in the modern world. Like Peter Hitchens he lives in 1950s Britain and cannot accept all the changes that have taken place. These deluded men think they represent a majority of voters but they actually represent a tiny, tiny minority.
And the pair of them are good examples of the bizarre faction in the media who delight in taking pot shots at the Conservatives rather than this horrendous, bankrupt government.

DespairingLiberal said...

I think it shows how totally absurd some Tory backwoodspeople truly are that they think Simon Heffer is a Socialist!

Tory Boys has it about right - the Telegraph, to give it credit, has always featured articles by writers of "other" persuasions. I recall years and years ago that it used to have regular pieces by Tony Benn and Michael Foot during the Thatcher years. Similarly, the Guardian often features pieces from Tory politicos.

Some of you really really need to think about taking the blinkers off.

DespairingLiberal said...

Longrun2, I don't know about Cameron's intellect (although I'm sure it's a healthy one) but I know that I myself as a leading liberal am possessed of an extraordinarily high IQ. Which is why as a mere trifling amusement I devote one zillionth of my available brain power daily to controlling discussion on this blog. Whilst stroking my white cat in my mountain retreat. And reading LSE boffinish prognostications.

Sterling said...

Heffer is a self opinionated journalist gone well past his sell-by date. Nobody really bothers reading his column. He must have cost the DT hundreds of thousands in lost revenue. Journalists like him should seek alternative employment at the Mirror(if they would have him?). Perhaps the Editor in Chief may wish to think on this advice.