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