Telegraph smears Clegg. Again. (Y’know, I’ve a sneaky feeling they don’t like him.)

Here’s today’s comically skewed headline from the Torygraph:

Nick Clegg wants to let MPs keep family fortunes under wraps

Though you wouldn’t guess it from the headline or the story, what Nick Clegg was actually saying was simple enough: he thinks MPs as public servants should have to be transparent about their financial affairs, but he doesn’t think their family members, as private citizens, should have to publish details of their salaries and any other wealth. Which seems fair enough to me.

But then the Telegraph has a proven track record when it comes to having a pop at the Lib Dem leader. Indeed today’s paper refers to Nick having ‘faced financial scrutiny during the last general election in 2010’… without mentioning that it was the Telegraph’s own smear story that was proven to be false. And then there was this story, with its shabbily inaccurate insinuations that Nick somehow couldn’t cope with the stresses and strains of being Deputy Prime Minister.

In its defence, the Telegraph doesn’t always target Nick Clegg — sometimes it has to apologise to oher Lib Dems for telling porkies as well.

Still, playing the man not the ball is always more fun, and very much in the tradition of British journalism.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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7 Comments

  • Indeed the torygraph doesn’t seem to like hom much. Initially i agreed with Nick however on reflection I do feel that this could potentially be an exploitable loophole whereby an individuals wealth /property can be placed in a partners name and thus avoid scrutiny.

  • So the Telegraph doesnt like Clegg? You surprise me!

    I dont think they are particularly fond of Cameron or Osborne either so at least its not personal: its a general dislike of this coalition government that it not right wing enough for them

  • What? The Telegraph having biased, inaccurate, misrepresented, and/or just plain wrong stories, trying to smear Nick Clegg. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

  • Will Barter 12th Apr '12 - 6:08pm

    This whole field is a massive opportunity for the party:

    Why don’t the lib dem cabinet members just go ahead and publish their tax returns. What is stopping them? This information is going to come out anyway, so let’s get ours out first – this way we control the timing, and set the agenda. And are seen to set the agenda. There may be a few initial stories about how much certain ministers make, but the attention would then surely shift to the Tories and Labour – and people will start to ask why they haven’t released their returns? If the Tories release their information, then people will see any tax avoidance there. And if they don’t, then it fits the general picture that they have something to hide. So what’s stopping our ministers? Misplaced loyalty to their Tory colleagues? We saw how much such loyalty counts for in the AV referendum last year. This is a place where the Tories are weak, and this is an ideal place to hit them.

  • No surprise that the Torygraph behaves like the Torygraph. Sadly no surprise that Nick Clegg has to be the one who provides the opportunity!

  • John Carlisle 13th Apr '12 - 8:41am

    I think the Telegraph dislikes the Tories intensely; especially Cameron and boy George. I think they are giving us, including Nick, a fair crack of the whip now. Time to test your assumptions?

  • Paul McKeown 13th Apr '12 - 2:43pm

    It isn’t just The Telegraph smearing Nick Clegg, it’s also some Lib Dems, vid. http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-why-are-we-waiting-2-28043.html

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