Tag Archives: daily mail

Should we laugh when the Daily Mail flex their muscles?

I admit it. I laughed at #piggate. But should I have?

Four years ago, a scandal engulfed the newspaper industry. The News of the World was closed down, and News International reporters were arrested.

Before, all politicians knew, if a major tabloid newspaper targeted them, they had good reason to be afraid.

After, I remember the heady celebration of politicians who compared it to liberation from a police state.

“Don’t worry,” one said, when asked if this kind of threat would return. “It’s like when people stop being afraid of the secret police. If no one is afraid, they lose their power.”

Well, if I …

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Daily Mail exposes scandal that isn’t

Daily MailIf you’ve glanced at the front page of the Daily Mail today, you’ll have seen that those scheming, sneaky foreigners are at it again. This time, according to the Daily Mail, “foreigners charge NHS for care in their own country.”

The full report is here, but let me summarise it for you. A Hungarian journalist living in Hungary – and working for the paper – lied and used a forged tenancy agreement to obtain a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), to which she had no legal entitlement. An EHIC allows residents of certain European countries to obtain emergency medical treatment when visiting other European countries. The journalist then visited health providers in Hungary to confirm that they accepted the EHIC. She states in the paper that she did not use the card to obtain any care, but if she had done so the authorities in Hungary would have been entitled to claim the cost of that care back from the UK Government.

Cue outrage at soft touch Britain, etc.

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Nicola Sturgeon faces similar press trashing to Clegg in 2010 – but with added misogyny

I might have some fairly fundamental disagreements with Nicola Sturgeon on the best future for Scotland, but I have a great deal of time for her as a human being and as a politician. She is a much cleverer tactician than Alex Salmond ever was. I am perfectly happy to argue with people on their political outlook, but I’m not struck on the sort of nasty personal mudslinging that we see at PMQs, or in Labour’s deeply misleading personal attack on Nick Clegg last year and I sure as hell am not going to make up my mind how to vote based on how someone eats a bacon sandwich. Nor, I suspect, are the rest of the population.

It appears that after her very good performance in Thursday’s Leaders’ Debate that Nicola Sturgeon is, highly predictably, being done over by the right wing press in much the same way that Nick Clegg was in 2010. Remember Nick Barlow’s wonderful way of dealing with that – the #nickcleggsfault meme on Twitter where Clegg was blamed from everything to the weather to the cat being sick?

Of course, Nicola is getting much different treatment to a man. Her clothes come in to it. The Daily Fail describes her as a “glamorous power-dressing imperatrix.” Wow. A woman goes out wearing smart clothes. How remarkable. Of course, if she rocked up for FMQs in Parliament in her jeans, they’d have something to say about that, too. On appearance, women really can’t win.

The Telegraph’s splash is a bit different. Last night, when I read their account that she’d told the French ambassador that she’d prefer David Cameron to be Prime Minister, it didn’t seem right to me. Apart from anything else, the Nicola Sturgeon I know has more sense than to be so indiscreet. The paper bases its story on a memo written by a UK Government official who wasn’t even at the meeting in question and who actually doubts its veracity. It’s all very third hand and clearly questionable.

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Three reasons why Talk of the Glens is much better than the Daily Mail

Talk of the GlensThe Daily Mail has been casting a critical eye over a publication being delivered to voters across Danny Alexander’s Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency by Danny’s campaign team.

Needless to say, the magazine, Talk of the Glens, does not meet with the Mail’s approval. “Toe curling” and “garish” they call it.

It is very nice of the Mail, however, to reproduce the magazine almost in its entirety. Their readers, who may have inadvertently recycled it, therefore get a second chance to see it.

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Daily Mail tells us a 20 year old story on Jo Swinson’s equalities report

The Daily Mail alights on a Government Equalities Report commissioned by our Jo Swinson and, of course, hones in on the one paragraph in 12 pages that mentions sex.

But just doing the dishes can really spice up a marriage.

That, at least, is the advice from a report backed by Liberal Democrat equalities minister Jo Swinson. It calls on men to do more to support gender equality campaigns – and isn’t coy when it comes to spelling out the potential perks of hoovering.

It claims that everyone in a family becomes ‘happier and healthier’ if men participate ‘fairly in the home’ by sharing childcare duties or household chores.

It goes on to say: ‘Equity in the home is associated with a range of benefits including improved sexual relationships.

‘Where women report an equitable relationship with their partner they are more likely to be having frequent sex.’

The thing is, the research cited in that report is 20 years old. It is, of course, stating the obvious. Let’s face it, if everyone shares the work, there’s bound to be more time for fun.

If the Daily Mail had devoted even half the space it gives over to stories that can be filed under the heading “Woman Goes Out Wearing Clothes” or to having a go at women for working outside the home, or being stay at home mothers, or being too fat, or being obsessed with diets, or being too needy in relationships, or scaring men by being too independent, to promoting this research, they could have driven a really positive cultural change.

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Daily Mail paint Mike Thornton as “Lib Dem Scrooge” in non-story of the year

Mike_ThorntonSo Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton used an agency to send out some Christmas cards on his behalf and some of them were sent out without stamps. He apologises for the error and rightly offers to reimburse what they recipients have had to shell out.

It’s not exactly high drama, is it? It’s hardly worth the space on the Daily Mail website with a headline screaming “Lib Dem Scrooge: Families have to pay £1.53 for letter that arrives with no stamp, only to find it’s their MP’s Christmas card.”

But then a headline saying: “Agency working for MP makes mistake. All those affected reimbursed” wouldn’t have quite the same impact.

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‘Lib Dems record of delivery for lesbians’ #AddForLesbiansToAHeadline

mail lesbiansA couple of weeks ago, Nick Clegg poked fun at the Daily Mail’s everyday sexist approach to reporting the Cabinet reshuffle.

Today the Lib Dem Twitter account has had a pop at the paper’s stablemate the Mail on Sunday for its widely-mocked front page headline, ‘NHS to fund sperm bank for lesbians’ — the new Health department-backed centre is in fact open to everyone (lesbians included) — using the delicious Twitter hashtag #AddForLesbiansToAHeadline:

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Nick Clegg tackles the Daily Mail’s sexism with humour

So, this is the Daily Mail’s sadly predictable response to women being promoted to high or higher office.

Daily Fail catwalk

I guess you can’t really expect better when 7 of the top 10 stories on their sidebar could be easily headlined: “Woman goes out in public wearing clothes.” That’s actually quite low for them.

Nick Clegg responded with humour in a tweet today.


You …

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Daily Mail attacks Nick Clegg for Cyril Smith RIP tribute. Why?

mail cyril smith lib dems‘Squirming of the Lib Dems’ is the Daily Mail’s front page splash today. It’s the second successive day the paper has tried, a bit desperately, to pin blame on Nick Clegg for the extensive abuse allegedly committed by former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith in the 1960s and ’70s.

The basis for the paper’s accusations is that Nick Clegg issued a tribute on his 80th birthday and when Cyril Smith died. As Nick has pointed out, “I would never have dreamed of saying the things …

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Jo Swinson takes on Daily Mail’s Liz Jones, who thinks she shouldn’t be “procreating”

In the faux 1950s rose tinted world of the Daily Mail, lives a columnist called Liz Jones. Her job appears to be to offend as many people as possible on a weekly basis. she’s remarkably good at it.

Today, she’s cast her net particularly wide by writing a column about shared parental leave that is guaranteed to offend all women and any man who isn’t a sexist idiot. As a sub-plot, she’s also creating division between those in society who think that tea towels should be ironed (like former Liberal Democrat co-editor and regular contributor Mark Pack who admits to …

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George Lyon MEP writes… not a single Liberal Democrat voted for extra spending from Brussels

Earlier this year, Nick Clegg said that when we are having to tighten our belts at home it would be wrong for the EU to press ahead with big spending increases. He was right then and he is right now. This is why Liberal Democrats in Brussels backed moves to cut the EU budget by 8bn Euros.

Despite this fact, this week our friends at the Daily Mail reported that Lib Dem MEPs voted for an increase in the EU budget. The truth is that not a single Liberal Democrat voted for more spending from Brussels.

Liberal Democrats are committed to …

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Jo Swinson: “About to get on tube. Seat offers welcome….but I was happier standing yesterday”

The febrile world of Twitter has been a little obsessed with the fact that Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson, who is 7 months’ pregnant, was standing throughout Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, with concerned political correspondents expressing outrage that nobody had offered her a seat.

Then the Daily Mail got in on the act.  Their attitude to women generally can be summed up as patriarchal nonsense. That’s not the word, I confess, I used earlier in a private LDV team discussion, but this is a family site.  I’ve written before about that awful phrase they tend to use about any pregnant …

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Clegg on the Daily Mail: “Overflowing with bile about modern Britain”

call cleggI noted earlier this week that the Daily Mail’s attacks on Ed Miliband’s father have echoes of the smears the paper has peddled about Nick Clegg and his family over the years.

And on his ‘Call Clegg’ radio phone-in today the Lib Dem leader didn’t shy away from mounting a full-frontal assault on the Mail pointing out that what it represents is utterly opposed to the British values of decency, tolerance and fair play. Here’s how the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow reports it:

Wow. That was striking. Nick Clegg has got

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Of course, the Daily Mail has form when it comes to smearing party leaders’ families

My colleague Andy Boddington has already (rightly) laid into the Daily Mail for its gratuitous insults against Ed Miliband’s father, Marxist historian Ralph.

The paper has form when it comes to smearing the families of party leaders. Let’s turn back the pages of history to… well, 10 days ago when the Mail tried to link Nick Clegg to fascism through his father-in-law:

clegg father in law daily mail - sept 2013

Or we could roll back to December 2012 when the Mail splash on a desperately thin story implying some …

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Liberal Democrat MPs may be bound by the Coalition Agreement, but that shouldn’t stop us campaigning against judgemental Tory marriage tax break

Wedding ringsWay back in May 2010, I divided the Coalition Agreement into The Good, The Meh and the “Bring me the gin now.” What do you think the very first item on the “lock me in a cupboard with a bottle of gin when they vote on this list” was?

“We also agree that provision will be made for Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain on budget resolutions to introduce transferable tax allowances for married couples without prejudice to this coalition agreement.”

Ok, it’s tokenistic but the principle is so plain wrong that

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How should the Liberal Democrats deal with everyday sexism?

Today’s Daily Mail has an article making various allegations of sexist attitudes towards women within the Liberal Democrats. They’ve been running similar stories all week following the Rock the Boat fringe meeting earlier. One particular woman candidate says that she was told by someone in her local party not to get pregnant because “we don’t want a baby hanging of your t**s.”

The Daily Mail is an unlikely feminist champion, but that shouldn’t detract from the need to tackle such behaviour, which includes inappropriate questions to female candidates during the selection process about their relationships or their plans to have …

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Joan Edwards’ solicitors state her wishes were “specifically checked”: she wanted bequest to go to parties

Another twist to add to the tale of Joan Edwards’ bequest. After the furore whipped-up by today’s Daily Mail, the Lib Dems and Conservatives had little choice but to renounce the cash. But it turns out that, by doing so, the donor’s actual wishes may well have been denied. Here’s the statement from her solicitors, Davis Woods, executors of Miss Edwards’ estate:

We confirm that we act as executors of the late Joan Edwards.

The Will was drafted by a solicitor at Davis Wood in 2001.

At the time of the instructions received from the late Miss Edwards, the solicitor specifically

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Daily Mail accuses “grasping politicians of pocketing spinster’s £500,000 legacy”. Let’s have some facts first, please.

mail grasping politicians front page - 14 aug 13This morning’s Mail Online has a shocking headline: Grasping politicians pocket spinster’s £500,000 legacy she bequeathed to government to spend ‘as they may think fit’. The newspaper’s front page also splashes on the story (right).

This follows the story we reported here yesterday of Miss Joan Edwards, who had apparently bequeathed £520k to the two Coalition partners as the current governing parties. This was divided 80:20 between them, with the Lib Dems getting almost £100k.

The Mail disputes that interpretation, asserting instead that she intended to leave the money as a bequest to the nation. They say the will’s wording was not (as claimed in newspaper reports yesterday) for the money to be passed “to whoever was the party of government of the day” but that it should be passed to “whichever Government is in office at the date of my death”. On that basis, the paper accuses the Conservatives and Lib Dems of deception bordering on fraud.

My Twitter timeline today suggests two things. First, everyone believes the Daily Mail when it suits them. Secondly, that there are a surprising number of people who think they’re experts on legacy bequests.

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The Daily Mail gets it wrong again

Parents and child - Some rights reserved by Ed YourtonThe Daily Mail still doesn’t ‘get’ the Liberal Democrats, although many of us take that as evidence that we must be doing something right.

According to the headline today Clegg tells new dads they must take a month off or get nothing: Deputy PM wants to follow Scandinavia’s lead to make sure fathers play a bigger role in childcare, Nick Clegg and the party have  apparently already adopted a policy that is to be debated in Glasgow next month.

So this presents us with another opportunity to explain how policy making works, or is supposed to work, in the Liberal Democrats.  A year or so ago the Federal Policy Committee set up a policy working group, chaired by the inestimable Claire Tyler, to look at work/life balance. They took evidence from a wide range of experts and organisations and have now published their policy paper entitled A Balanced Working Life: Policies for Low and Middle Income Households (pdf).

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How the papers viewed Nick Clegg’s comments on MPs’ pay

A snapshot of some of today’s headlines on Nick Clegg’s comments on MPs’ Pay is quite revealing. To refresh your memories, yesterday he told journalists at his new monthly press conference that he wouldn’t take the proposed rise himself, that he couldn’t control what other MPs so, but:

But I think all MPs, whatever status they hold, whatever position they hold, will know from their own constituents that there are millions of people in the United Kingdom at the moment who’ve had a remorseless squeeze on their living standards for some years now and that we’re asking millions of public sector

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Praise for Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats from both sides – should we be worried?

I remember hearing Nick Clegg saying that if he was being attacked from both left and right, then he felt reassured that he was doing something right. He may be feeling slightly worried now, as there have been a couple of not entirely unpleasant pieces in the New Statesman and Daily Telegraph in the last few days.

From the left, we have Rafael Behr, the political editor of the New Statesman, arguing that it’s Nick Clegg, not Nigel Farage, who has shaken up Westminster:

For Lib Dems, the distinction is between two styles of politics. There is the managerial one, laden with

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Surely the ultimate Daily Mail headline?

I think it’s fair to say that Mail Online has excelled itself:

daily mail

Though it may look like something from the Daily Mail-omatic website, this is genuine. Really. I guess I’m only disappointed that they couldn’t fit in ‘Outrage at BBC/welfare/immigrants’ as well.

(Hat-tip: Alex Massie.)

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The welfare debate and the age of the trollemic

I decided to invent a new word yesterday:

It’s the welfare debate that’s prompted it, but it could be any other topic on a given week.

daily mail philpott front pageYesterday saw the Daily Mail publish a typically sensationalist front page blaming the welfare state for the tragedy of six children being killed by their parents. On Monday the Mirror shouted ‘Shameful’, with a cartoon showing Thatcher, Cameron, Osorne and Clegg banging in the final nail of a coffin marked ‘RIP Welfare’.

Each is exaggerating to make their own point. Both are gross over-statements: trollemics.

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Daily Mail reports one poll which Nick Clegg does top

A Bank Holiday snippet from the Daily Mail today. It shows both good news and bad news for Nick Clegg:

Poor, benighted Nick Clegg. According to the Lib Dem Voice website, his approval rating is minus 2 per cent. Not that David Cameron can take much comfort from the figure. The BBC1 quiz Pointless gave 100 people 100 seconds to name a Cabinet minister. Clegg was top with 32 per cent compared with 22 per cent for Cameron and Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Business Secretary. No one mentioned George Osborne.

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6 out of 10 places with happiest residents have high Liberal Democrat inflluence

Photo by Alex FosterSomething to cheer us on a cold, wintry Spring afternoon.

I’m rarely comfortable about linking to the Daily Mail, but for once it has some good news for Liberal Democrats, although, of course, it doesn’t realise it.

Today, it points to a survey which shows the 10 places in Britain with the happiest residents – and six of them are run, or have recently been run by Liberal Democrats.

Harrogate tops the poll with Stockport, St Albans, Kingston upon Thames, Bath and Truro also in the top ten.

Clearly, as Ben …

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116 Liberal Democrats write to the Daily Mail opposing secret courts

Today’s Daily Mail contains a letter from 116 Liberal Democrats asking MPs to vote down Part 2 of the Justice and Security Bill. The signatories include a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, an MEP, 5 members of the Federal Executive, 2 members of the Federal Policy Committee, 6 past and present members of the Liberal Democrat Voice editorial team and a number of parliamentary candidates. The letter says:

We are writing to urge all MPs to do the right thing by voting against Part II of the Justice and Security Bill when it has its Report stage in

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What on earth is the Mail up to?

Defence Minister: Clegg axed me because I won’t support attack on Iran – was the headline of a Mail story yesterday, which began:

A Liberal Democrat Defence Minister has claimed he was sacked to avoid a damaging Coalition split over a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

Former Armed Forces Minister Sir Nick Harvey told friends that he was fired in the reshuffle to allow Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to sign Britain up to

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Tom Brake MP writes… Justice and Security Bill – a good result for the Lib Dems and Civil Liberties

Back in April, the Guardian, the Daily Mail and others reported that Nick Clegg, unhappy with the breadth and scope of the Justice and Security Green Paper, and having read the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report into it, had written to Ministerial colleagues setting out his red lines for any Bill to be introduced in the second session.

These red lines, as reported at the time, were:

  • That any use of Closed Material Procedures (CMPs) should be restricted to exceptional cases of national security only
  • That they complement, not replace, the current system of Public Interest Immunity (PII)

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We must be doing something right – Mail rails at ‘Commie Clegg’, Telegraph blasts ‘Socialist Vince’

There’s a measure in marketing known as Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE) — it’s used to assess the impact of coverage in the media. Glancing at today’s right-wing press, the Lib Dems have won headlines money can’t buy…

Nick Clegg’s push for increased social mobility, to equalise opportunities for the poorest in society, has earned him the tag ‘Commie Clegg’ in today’s Mail. This is of course the same paper that only two years ago splashed on the bizarre headline ‘Clegg’s Nazi slur on Britain’.

Meanwhile …

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Another Mail headline to savour… Lynne ‘slaps down’ Tory minister for opposing Coalition support for equal marriage

At this rate the Daily Mail will soon become Lib Dems’ favourite reading… A few days after its front page proclaiming David Cameron’s lament ‘I’d govern like a true Tory if it wasn’t for the Lib Dems’, the paper reports:

Tory Minister is slapped down by Lib Dems after criticising gay marriage

Two Ministers in the Coalition clashed last night over David Cameron’s plan to allow gay marriages.
Tim Loughton, Tory Minister for Children and Families, came under fire from Liberal Democrat partners after he said he was totally opposed to same-sex marriage and that the Prime Minister would do better

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