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 form for criticising the Daily Mail – the Lib Dems have never worried particularly about what the Mail says about them, and Clegg has been bolder in the past than other party leaders in having a go at it – but today he surpassed himself. Here’s his broadside in full. It came, of course, when he was asked about the Daily Mail’s coverage of Ed Miliband’s father.

My honest reaction was that when I heard the Daily Mail accusing someone of saying that they did not like Britain, I’m not a regular reader of this newspaper but every time I do open it, it just seems to be overflowing with bile about modern Britain. They don’t like working mothers, they don’t like the BBC, they don’t like members of the royal family, they don’t like teachers, they don’t like the English football team. The list goes on. So talk about kettles and pots … It seems to me that if anyone excels in denigrating and often vilifying a lot about modern Britain, it’s the Daily Mail.

All together now: I agree with Nick

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • +1

  • nuclear cockroach 3rd Oct '13 - 11:23am

    About time to the Vile was put back in its box, so, bravo and well said, Nick Clegg. Also timely for NC to make it clearer to the public that although he’s having to work with a conservative government, he remains a liberal.

  • nuclear cockroach 3rd Oct '13 - 11:23am

    About time the Vile was put back in its box, so, bravo and well said, Nick Clegg. Also timely for NC to make it clearer to the public that although he’s having to work with a conservative government, he remains a liberal.

  • Well done Nick, good stuff.

  • Richard Shaw 3rd Oct '13 - 1:20pm

    Surely Stephen, that should read ‘full frontal-assault’ rather than, ahem, ‘full-frontal assault’?

    Other than that, I must say that I fully concur with the honourable gentleman in question. 😉

  • Well said Nick Clegg….

  • Now have images of Clegg doing his radio show full-frontal.

    *reaches wearily for the brain bleach*

  • Interesting to note that the Sunday Mail sent reporters to a private memorial service to attempt to dig up more dirt. They really are amongst the lowest of the low, our press may may some good investigative elements and some proud traditions, but too often they act in this way.

  • The Mail is the newspaper wing of the Tory party most of the time.
    Does Clegg not feel uncomfortable being part of a government that embodies the Mail’s values ?

    Significant too that so many Tory Cabinet ministers have ‘not read’ the articles or parrot ‘a child’s entitled to stand up for their father’,
    Old Tories including two who served under Thatcher have been very strong in their condemnation of the Mail.

  • Martin Gentles 3rd Oct '13 - 7:59pm

    Nice one Nick. Good calling them out.

  • I am pleased Cleggy has said what he has and been so forthright but isn’t Milliband the one who has really stood up to the Mail and taken them on?

  • For once I truly agree with Nick!

  • nigel quinton 4th Oct '13 - 10:11am

    Very glad to be able to say for the first time in a long time – I AGREE WITH NICK!

    Well said that man.

  • Richard Boyd OBE DL 4th Oct '13 - 10:28am

    The saddest bit is that my experience of the The Mail is that most readers do not believe what is written
    in it, but they want to believe it because it chimes with their views. The seek confirmation not clarification.

  • Andrew Colman 4th Oct '13 - 12:46pm

    First they came for public sector workers but I was not a public sector worker so I did nothing, then they came for the benefit claimants, but I do not claim benefits so I did nothing, then they came for immigrants ….

    Why am I not surprised to hear the Mail supported Hitler before the war!

    The British empire was built on tolerance, partnership, hard working and honest business whilst the Mail and similar promote intolerance, predjudice, selfishness and rip off business. It is not the Millibands who hate Britain. It is the Daily Mail and similar publications.

    Newspapers exist to report news , not spread predjudice. I hope the Mail goes the same way as the News of the World and is quickly joined in the same fate by the Express.

  • The one good thing about this business is that it is beginning to shine a light on the secretive Rothermere, not to mention his loyal sidekick, Dacre. I note that neither has been out defending their rag – they leave that to the juniors.

  • David White 4th Oct '13 - 2:58pm

    Rarely can I find good things to say about The Dear Leader. However, I send heartiest congratulations and warmest thanks to Mr Clegg for his sound and wise words about the vile, anti-British Daily Wail.

  • R Uduwerage-Perera 4th Oct '13 - 5:05pm

    Do I sense that some politicians may well be willing to pound rather than pander to the gutter press as is the usual state of affairs.

  • rogerroberts 5th Oct '13 - 11:33am

    Daily Mail 1938 “GERMAN JEWS POURING INTO THIS COUNTRY” – The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage. I intend to enforce the law to the fullest” In these words Mr Herbert Metcalfe, the Old Street magistrate yesterday referred to the number of aliens entering this country through the “back door” – a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.
    The Daily Mail is a threat to everything that is compassionate and humanitarian – always negative and destructive.

  • Max Wilkinson 5th Oct '13 - 1:07pm

    If you haven’t yet posted that graphic on your Facebook page, then get it up ASAP. I put it up on Thursday morning and it got a cracking response. Lots of likes from non-LDs and a couple of people even shared it on their own timeline.

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