Tag Archives: the sun

The Sun calls for a VAT cut on UK holidays

stephen gilbertAfter the energetic debate in these columns over the photo of Nick Clegg holding the free World Cup edition of the Sun, it is, shall we say, interesting to be able to report a Lib Dem MP praising that newspaper for a campaign it is running.

Stephen Gilbert, the MP for St Austell & Newquay, in the holiday county of Cornwall, is quoted as supporting the Sun’s petition to cut VAT on holidays in the UK. He says:

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Phone hacking trial: Coulson found guilty, Cameron apologises

andy-coulsonThe long-awaited trial of David Cameron’s former director of communications, Andy Coulson, concluded today, with the jury finding him guilty of a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails as part of the phone-hacking scandal. All Coulson’s co-defendants, including former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, were all found not guilty of various conspiracy charges.

It’s just over 7 years since Cameron appointed Coulson as the Conservatives’ communications director – we noted in May 2007 his connection to what became known as the phone hacking scandal but which back …

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Nick and The Sun – a missed opportunity

Nick Clegg and the SunI know I am coming late to this, having been out and about for most of the day. It’s only a few minutes since I logged on to Facebook and saw a picture of the leader of my party holding up The Sun. It was not a good idea for him to do this, especially given the renewed pain that relatives of those who died at Hillsborough are going through with the new inquests taking place at the moment. Nick’s picture can only be seen as a support for their unprecedented marketing initiative in delivering a free copy to every home in England at the start of the World Cup.

Now I don’t think for a moment that Nick Clegg has anything to prove when it comes to standing up to Rupert Murdoch. Let’s be clear about that. He instinctively did the right thing on press regulation. He has pandered to nobody unlike some others I could mention. Nothing can take away from that.

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LibLink… Jo Swinson: Our children shouldn’t grow up thinking looks are the most important thing in life

I remember the genuine distress suffered by a teenage friend of ours. Her hair straighteners had broken and we don’t possess such implements. She was actually frightened and anxious at the thought of leaving the house and being seen by her peers with unstraightened, but perfectly tidy, hair. I had to source another set of straighteners before I could get her to school.

That, sadly, is the tip of the iceberg. The pressure on particularly girls to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty, dictated by the likes of Heat magazine and the pornography industry, is excruciating and can lead …

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LibLink…Nick Clegg and the SunEmployment campaign

Nick Clegg has written a piece for the Sun about jobs and helping people finding work. They have a Sunemployment campaign which aims to match people up with jobs in their area through a series of roadshows.

Every year, the Sunemployment campaign helps thousands of people find work. The roadshows that take place in the summer offer a chance to get advice and find out about opportunities.

Since 2010, the Government has helped to create over 1.3 million jobs in the private sector, across all sorts of sectors – from science to IT, communications to manufacturing.

These are jobs that have been created

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The Sun story about Chris Huhne that was a total invention (and which the other papers happily copied)

Remember that front page Sun story from 13 March? On the off-chance Voice readers missed this exclusive, let’s refersh your memory of the splash:

Disgraced MP Chris Huhne was ridiculed on his first day in Wandsworth jail yesterday — after a warder called him to breakfast by yelling “Order! Order!”

Only one small problem with the story: it was a complete fabrication.

sun huhne lie

The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade has the story:

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The Sun refuses to back the Tories, says ‘Vote local’ (Aka: The Sun hedges its bets)

The Sun_Kinnock_1992Does what The Sun says matter?

In its own terms, of course not. Its own self-promoted myth that it was ‘The Sun wot won it’ for the Tories in 1992 with its anti-Kinnock front page belies the reality: it backs the party it thinks is most likely to win.

It’s in that narrow sense that it’s interesting The Sun has declined to back either the Tories or Labour today for the first time in its 44-year history:

Who you choose today must be a local decision, not a national one. Read

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LibLink: Danny Alexander – Bedroom blockers and tax dodgers will pay

Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander has published a robust defence of the Coalition’s welfare reforms in The Sun on Sunday. Here’s how it starts:

Last week a young woman came to talk to me about her housing situation. Her frustration was obvious. She was working hard in a low-paid job and was stuck in an overcrowded home with a young family and desperately needed to move to a bigger home. She couldn’t understand why she had to wait so long to get a home that was the right size for her and her family. It’s a story

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LibLink..Lord Lester QC: Five days to save free speech

Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Lester writes in today’s Sun about amendments which could derail the long awaited reform of England’s libel laws. He says that Labour’s Lord Puttnam is leading attempts to introduce a “draconian version” of the Leveson proposals. He warns that if these amendments are passed, the whole attempt at libel reform could fall when the Bill reaches the Commons.

First, he set out  what the Bill is trying to do:

The Bill creates a Serious Harm Test to prevent frivolous claims. It makes user-friendly the defences of honest opinion, truth and qualified privilege, and introduces an important public interest

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Nick Clegg: Time to rethink drugs policy

The Sun running a story about the attitude of politicians to drugs reform is fairly commonplace. A Liberal Democrat politician calling for the drugs laws to be reviewed is fairly commonplace. What is however rather less common – and so all the more significant – is for the former to feature the latter in a positive light as LDV mentioned earlier today:

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Nick Clegg is The Sun’s Hero of the Week… again

Perhaps it’s a pre-Leveson softening up exercise. Or perhaps we’ve activated a Lib Dem sleeper agent at the heart of Wapping. Whatever the explanation, Nick Clegg has been awarded the accolade — for the second time in three weeks — of being The Sun’s Hero of the Week. I’m not sure the reasons for which the paper has saluted him will do him many favours with all Lib Dems, but (simply in the spirit of sharing) here goes anyway…

The Sun, 12th October, 2012

Notwithstanding the fact that he was our Hero of the Week just three weeks

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Opinion: “The Lib Dems will be crushed at the next election” – Busting the biggest lie in British politics

We’ve all seen poll after poll regularly showing a massive drop in support for our party since the general election – most have us on 8-12% (with the exception of ICM suggesting 14-15%). The president of YouGov claims 10% would reduce us from over 50 MPs to just 10 in 2015. Many of us (myself included) have accepted this as fact – it makes sense. It’s what the polls say. It’s true.

Except, it isn’t.

Last week I heard a new “Wisdom Index” ICM poll had us at 18% and I was stunned. Such levels of support have been unheard of …

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Featherstone and Crockart slam Page 3

A petition calling on the editor of the Sun to withdraw the Page 3 feature has gained more than 13,000 signatures in the last 2 days. I’m supporting this campaign because I strongly believe that a national newspaper showing half clothed women is a significant background note in the cultural melody which stops women from being treated as equal citizens.  How am I supposed to convince my daughter that she’s an equal member of society when she sees women portrayed as little more than window dressing for the express entertainment of men?

Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West Mike Crockart …

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Opinion: The Sun has clearly boobed on this issue of free speech

I’m frankly disgusted that The Sun has decreed that I have a right to see Prince Harry’s penis, but not Kate Middleton’s nipples. I fail to understand how my being unable to see Prince Harry naked is somehow a disgusting breach of the freedom of speech of the UK press but my being unable to see Kate Middleton naked is completely correct because this is a hideous invasion of her privacy.

Let us briefly review. Prince Harry was happily naked in a hotel room where he had a reasonable expectation of privacy, someone took photos of him from a short distance …

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Liblink: Danny Alexander to tax dodgers – we are coming to get you!

Following all the publicity about Jimmy Carr’s tax arrangements for his multi million pound fortune which means that he pays just a fraction of the amount the rest of us have to shell out, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has written for the Sun newspaper about Government measures to clamp down on those who avoid tax.

Frankly, I think people who dodge the tax system are the moral equivalent of benefit cheats.

Both sets of people think they can bend the rules everyone else lives by for their own benefit.

The Coalition are already cutting income tax for

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LDV Caption Competition: Ed Miliband “Basking in The Sun” Edition

There’s no prize at stake – just the opportunity to prove you’re wittier than any other LDV reader…

Ed Miliband The Sun

Here’s Labour leader Ed Miliband proudly bathing in the reflected glory of The Sun (before Rupert Murdoch’s fall from grace, natch) — what do you think might be being said or thought by or about him?

And the winner of our last caption comp is…

Some fantastic entries for our most recent caption competition, Clegg, Cam & Lansley “You can hear the white coats flapping” Edition.

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News International tried to bully the Lib Dems, says Observer. It didn’t work.

News International ‘bullied Liberal Democrats over BSkyB bid’ is the headline in today’s Observer, with the paper reporting:

Rupert Murdoch’s News International launched a campaign of bullying against senior Liberal Democrats in an attempt to force through the company’s bid for BSkyB, high-level sources have told the Observer.

Lib Dem insiders say NI officials took their lobbying campaign well beyond acceptable limits and even threatened, last autumn, to persecute the party if Vince Cable, the business secretary, did not advance its case.

According to one account from a senior party figure, a cabinet minister was told that, if the government did not

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Hughes, Farron and Foster write to Rupert Murdoch – full text of letter

Simon Hughes, Tim Farron and Don Foster have written to Rupert Murdoch about the proposed take-over of BSkyB by News International.

They ask Murdoch to respond to public opinion by changing his commercial strategy in the UK: withdrawing his News Corporation bid for BSkyB and concentrating all his efforts on cleaning up News International.

The letter in full:

Proposed take-over of BSkyB by News International

Ever since the report of our Information Commissioner ‘What Price Freedom?’ and the conviction and imprisonment of Goodman and Mulcaire in 2006, there has been growing concern about the policy and practices of UK newspaper titles owned

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Has Nick detected the emergence of ‘shy Cleggites’?

‘Shy Tories’ — the term applied to those planning to vote Conservative, but too embarrassed to admit it publicly — was a phrase used to help explain the pollsters’ failure to predict John Major’s 1992 election victory. An anecdote told by Nick Clegg in his interview in today’s Sun suggests the Lib Dems might also have our own share of abashed admirers:

Mr Clegg said: “Of course some people come up to me and say, ‘Oh we don’t like the Government doing this and doing that’. But more people come up to me and say, ‘I think you are doing

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Positive coverage in The Sun for anti-airbrushing campaign

Over the weekend The Sun ran this:

KAYA Cheshire may have only recently turned 18, but she’s got far bigger things to worry about than boyfriends, make-up and A-levels.

The aspiring journalist has turned her compassionate personality and hard working skills to a global issue in the fashion industry – whether airbrushing in magazines is really right.

The student from South Wales used London Fashion Week this week to promote her Natural Beauty: Keeping It Real campaign that she launched via Battlefront, a Channel 4 funded project that helps 14-21-year-olds platform charity campaigns…

She says: “When I started studying media at school, my eyes

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The Press Complaints Commission: dealing with individuals or dealing with journalism?

A common thread running through the Press Complaints Commission’s defence of its work is that it has been primarily created to deal with individual complaints, rather than being a regulator whose role is to improve the press overall. That’s why, for example, the PCC emphasises the proportion of complaints made to it which are concluded with the complainant happy with the outcome rather than, for example, focusing on how widespread certain practices are and whether they are increasing or decreasing.

To give an example: if a blogger were to complain to the PCC about a newspaper taking their work and reusing …

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It’s The Sun what made us snort with laughter

Yes, folks, truly this is The Sun’s election day front page …

It is, to put it politely, woeful. Not only does it make the assumption that Sun readers will instantly recognise the Obama imagery – by no means a certainty – but it fails the crucial credibility test.

The famous Kinnock light-bulb front page of 1992 captured, cruelly but brilliantly, the nation’s last minute doubts that the Labour leader was prime ministerial. But is there anyone who really looks at David Cameron and thinks, “There’s our Obama”? No.

I was fully expecting a full-tilt Sun attack on either/both Clegg and/or Brown: as they showed 18 years ago, going negative can work. I guess I should be grateful that Murdoch’s rag has thrown away the opportunity to lash out at their opponents in a way which might inflict damage.

By drawing the ludicrously hyperbolic Obama/Cameron comparison, it does almost seem as if The Sun is over-compensating: this arty-farty front page invites derision. Indeed it’s already started …

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What the public thinks should happen in a hung Parliament

Only one in five voters think David Cameron should try to form a minority government if his party is the largest but short of an overall majority after Thursday’s general election.

The finding comes in a YouGov poll for The Sun which finds that 37% think in such circumstances Cameron should try to form a “grand coalition” with Labour and Lib Dems and a further 24% think he should “seek to work with the Liberal Democrats”. Only 20% said he should “seek to form a minority government, without doing any deals with any other party”.

Although The Sun has previously …

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Well fancy that! Two other poll results The Sun paid for but didn’t report

There’s this:

All the main parties have promised to cut the government’s deficit after the election. Which party do you think is being the most honest about what spending cuts they would make to deliver this?

Liberal Democrats 29%
Conservatives 26%
Labour 21%

… and then there’s this:

Gordon Brown was challenged on Wednesday morning by Gillian Duffy, a 65-year-old voter in Rochdale. Mrs Duffy complained about taxation for pensioners, immigration from eastern Europe and students’ tuition fees. At the end of the televised encounter, Mr Brown told her ‘it was very nice to meet you’. But when he got into his car, Mr

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Exclusive poll: newspaper hostility makes voters more likely to back Lib Dems

A poll carried out exclusively for Lib Dem Voice shows that opposition from the Daily Mail, The Sun and Daily Telegraph to the Liberal Democrats actually makes people more likely to vote for the party.

Asked the impact on their voting intention of those papers opposing Nick Clegg becoming Prime Minister, 15% said it made them more likely to vote Liberal Democrat and only 4% said it made them less likely, making for a net +11% saying they are more likely to vote Liberal Democrat.

Of the rest, 19% would vote Liberal Democrat regardless, 35% would not vote Liberal Democrat anyway and …

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“It is my job to see that Cameron f****** well gets into Downing Street” – Sun’s political editor

Full marks for frankness if not for political independence:

“It is my job to see that Cameron f****** well gets into Downing Street,” proclaimed Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of the Sun, to a group of journalists from rival papers, recently.

Newswer has more.

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LibLink: David Yelland – “Clegg’s rise could lock Murdoch and the media elite out of UK politics”

There are, of course many good reasons why the Lib Dems in power would be in the interests of our nation, but some of the most intriguing yet have been outlined by David Yelland in a piece for the Guardian’s Comment is Free.

The piece has many telling details of how journalism works in this country these days, but the chilling conclusion of the piece is this:

Over the years the relationships between the media elite and the two main political parties have become closer and closer to the point where, now, one is indistinguishable from the other. Indeed, it is

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Daily Mail: big boost for Lib Dems in poll – but editorial line even more striking

There’s straight-forward good news for the Liberal Democrats in today’s Daily Mail:

A Harris poll for the Daily Mail, the first in-depth survey of the public response, showed him decisively ahead of David Cameron and Gordon Brown on measures of energy, honesty and strength.

The survey of over 1,000 people who watched the clash found 32 per cent intended to back Mr Clegg’s LibDems – level with the Tories – and just 26 per cent Labour.

Those poll results are dramatic – and reflect what we’ve seen in other polls too. But most striking is the Daily Mail’s …

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Well fancy that! Another unreported poll finding

Continuing my occasional series of opinion poll results that newspapers have paid for but then not published (all for reasons of space you understand, nothing to do with editorial lines and not liking the result, oh no of course not) we have the latest YouGov poll for The Sun:

Do you think the following will or will not happen if the Conservatives win the coming election?

The number of crimes committed each year will fall: 22% will, 47% will not – net -25%
The quality of education in state schools will improve: 25% will, 46% will not – net -21%
Britain’s economy will …

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The weirdest criticism of Gordon Brown, ever – FACT

Weirdness is in the eye of the beholder of course. But I think I’m on safe ground on this one.

Cast your mind over the many things Gordon Brown has and hasn’t done. Plenty to criticise. Plenty of criticisms made.

But what did The Sun wheel out yesterday? In amongst the story about his letter-with-spelling-mistakes to a dead soldier’s mother was this:

He also wrote the letter “i” incorrectly 18 times – mostly by leaving the dots off them.

Yes, verily – The Sun decided to criticise Gordon Brown for not dotting all his i’s. Let’s hope he crosses his t’s or we are all …

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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 28th Jul - 10:58pm
    @ T-J - "Supporters of the Commonwealth need to explain how these nebulous ideas of ‘shared common law and regulatory traditions’ can be made into...
  • User AvatarMichael 28th Jul - 10:26pm
    Should have googled more - see there is a Wikipedia entry on shortest serving MPs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_MPs_with_the_shortest_service which gives James Annand as the shortest serving Liberal!
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 28th Jul - 10:21pm
    I am sure by the way many other names can be added to the list above, but they are just some that come to mind,...
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 28th Jul - 10:20pm
    We do have a number of decent principled MPs. Liberal Democrat - Julian Huppert, Simon Hughes, John Pugh, Tim Farron Labour - John McDonnell, Dennis...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 28th Jul - 10:18pm
    A good article Tony and hopefully people with the power over these matters will do something about it.
  • User AvatarMichael 28th Jul - 10:06pm
    I think and according to Wikipedia as well and as most here will know Alan Beith is the longest serving current Lib Dem MP -...