Tag Archives: daily telegraph

LibLink: Danny Alexander – Liberal Democrats have no part in Tory plans for harsh cuts and empty tax promises

The two Coalition parties continue the process of “conscious uncoupling” today. Yesterday, George Osborne said the Lib Dems threatened the economic recovery. Today, it’s a case of straight back atcha from Danny Alexander, as he lays bare the difference between the Lib Dem and Tory economic approach ahead of the May 2015 election in an article in today’s Telegraph:

Last Wednesday, the Coalition delivered another Autumn Statement that stuck to the strategy we’ve had since 2010: clearing up Labour’s mess in the public finances and doing so fairly; reforms to reward work and improve the UK’s long-term growth prospects. This

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Dear Daily Telegraph, Enough already. It’s actually okay for MPs to claim 11p for a ruler.

The_Daily_TelegraphSo the Telegraph is back to its old tricks on expenses. Five years ago, the paper uncovered some serious abuses by MPs at the taxpayers’ expense – along the way, the paper was also (as I wrote at the time) “guilty of flaky fact-checking, unfair distortions and disgraceful smears”.

Yesterday the paper attempted, rather desperately, to re-live past glories by running the story, ‘MPs’ expenses: Ken Clarke bills taxpayer for 11p ruler’. It wasn’t just Ken who attracted the Telegraph’s ire though: ‘Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, was found to …

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++BREAKING: Antidisestablishmentarian Times and Telegraph reveal new danger posed by 150 year-old Liberal pledge for separation of Church and State

times tele disestablishmentIs there no actual news happening today? Sounds a stupid question. I mean, the US has accused Russia of deliberately destabilising Ukraine, affordability tests for new mortgages are going to be toughened, and the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has vetoed big bonuses for staff. All important, interesting stories.

Then I looked at today’s Times and Telegraph, both of which lead on whether the Church of England should remain the established state church.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a diverting issue. A little over five years ago, …

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LibLink: Steve Webb – Issue of pension charges has been neglected for too long

The BBC reports on Steve Webb’s planned “full frontal assault” on the charges that pensions companies levy for management of pensions funds:

Pensions minister Steve Webb told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast that the move was just the start of a much broader review into pensions charges.

He said: “We do have powers to cap a much wider range of charges. The document today looks at banning something called active member discounts. That means when you leave a firm they jack your charges up – we don’t think this is right so we will probably ban those.”

Steve has written an article …

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Norman Lamb is surely right: pensioners who own their own homes and have more than £23,000 savings are ‘quite wealthy’

“If someone as well as their home has substantial other assets, money in the bank, shares or whatever, should they be expected to use those assets to pay for care? Or should we say, we will always defer the costs of selling their home? If you’ve got a vast amount of money in the bank, you’re quite wealthy, it’s desirable that we protect that money but the scheme has to be affordable. If together with owning your own home, you have more than £23,000-odd in the bank, the question is should you be expected to use that money. You are

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Telegraph claims Clegg has ruled out a coalition with Labour. I claim the Telegraph is talking nonsense on stilts.

Last week’s serialisation sensation was all about Damien McBride. This week’s is Matthew d’Ancona’s inside scoop on the Coalition, In It Together.

The Telegraph, doubtless keen to get its money’s worth, has hyped-up the revelations, splashing with the headline, ‘Cameron opens talks with Clegg on second Coalition’. Here’s the key passage, which reads unconvincingly to me, as I’ll explain below:

D’Ancona writes: “From time to time, he would raise the question of a second coalition with Clegg. ‘If we did it again,’ he mused to the Deputy Prime Minister, ‘I’d have to seek collective permission.’ ” It is

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Could the Lib Dems stay in the Coalition in the event the Tories dumped David Cameron?

As my Voice colleague Mary Reid notes, today’s Telegraph was keen to alert readers to the contingency plans drawn up by the Tories to carry on governing in the event that Nick Clegg were defenestrated as party leader.

I assume one of those contingency plans was the laughably blatant attempt by Michael Gove to try and undermine Nick Clegg last month and so distract the media from the Tories’ own ongoing internecine warfare over Europe.

Still, it should be a very exciting next couple of months for we Lib Dems if the Telegraph is to be believed

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Tory rebels launch their own alternative Queen’s Speech as helpful reminder of why Lib Dems vital to Cameron

It’s enough to make you feel sorry for David Cameron. The Telegraph report gives the highlights:

Conservative MPs launch attempt to bring back death penalty, privatise the BBC and ban burka

Conservative MPs have drawn up an “Alternative Queen’s Speech” with radical policies such as bringing back the death penalty, privatising the BBC and banning the burka in public spaces.
The 42 bills also include legislation to scrap wind farm subsidies, end the ringfence for foreign aid spending and rename the late August Bank Holiday “Margaret Thatcher Day”. Britain’s relationship with Europe features prominently in the action plan, with draft laws setting

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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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How Thatcherite are you?

margaret-thatcher“We are all Thatcherites now,” declared David Cameron on the morning of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. Not so, said Nick Clegg:

“He’s the leader of the Conservative Party he’s perfectly entitled to say that. I certainly wouldn’t call myself a Thatcherite. I’m a Liberal, she wasn’t a Liberal. I’ve always called myself a Liberal, I always will.”

Do you think you’re a Thatcherite? Well, the Daily Telegraph has devised a test to help you find out: you’re 10 questions away from finding out on how much you and The Lady (dis)agreed.

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A reply to Dan Hodges: why it’s not surprising some Tories aren’t bothered about winning in 2015

dan hodgesThe Telegraph’s token Labour blogger Dan Hodges has a typically punchy post today – Do the Tories actually want to win in 2015? – highlighting the fatalism of some Tory MPs who think victory next time is possible but not worth it:

Hardly worth it? What, just managing to scrape a win at the next election, just managing to govern for another five years, just managing to drive through your agenda on health care reform, welfare reform, education reform, etc?

The Conservative Party is currently in the middle of the biggest

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There’s zero chance of Clegg cutting any boundary deal with Tories over party funding

There’s zero chance of Nick Clegg cutting a deal with David Cameron on boundary changes in exchange for party reform — that’s the firm message I’ve got from some of those closest to the Lib Dem leader in response to my post last night, Nick Clegg should say no to any link between state funding and boundary changes.

It’s pretty rare for in-the-know Lib Dems to contact me unprompted about a story and to refute it in no uncertain terms: we’re just not that kind of a top-down party. So when I get various messages with outright denials that there’s …

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David Laws: let’s cut taxes and spending. For once, I’m unconvinced. Here’s why…

David Laws has earned himself a generous write-up in today’s Telegraph, with the paper which triggered his resignation from the cabinet two years ago hailing his ‘radical vision of a liberal state’, and lamenting with crocodile tears that his downfall was ‘a great loss to the Cabinet’.

The cause is an interview David has given to the paper in which he makes the case for further public spending cuts and lower taxes — a case he has outlined in greater depth in an article in the current Institute of Economic Affairs journal, highlighted last week on LibDemVoice. Here’s …

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Vince Cable described as “moral centre of the Coalition”

Praise for the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable comes today from a very surprising source, Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph.

Rebuking Adrian Beecroft for calling Vince a socialist, Oborne heaps praise on him:

I believe that any serious and objective consideration of Mr Cable’s record in office shows that he has been a formidable Cabinet minister, an important ally of enterprise, and, above all, one of the most loyal and supportive members of this Government.

And praises his record on employees’ rights:

Mr Cable is right and Mr Beecroft, along with his Conservative admirers, has taken a very dangerous wrong turning. The

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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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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 …

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In other news… Vince, Telegraph inaccuracy, Lembit, Eastleigh, Boundary Commission, site news

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Vince Cable on that leaked letter to No. 10 (and other matters (The Guardian)

“We’re no longer arguing about fiscal policy – monetary policy’s now taking on most of the heavy lifting anyway,” he says as he notes that Labour has now accepted the need for fiscal discipline. “So the argument has shifted into a debate around how active government should be in promoting the recovery. Is it getting out of the way or is government being proactive and positive? That was the purpose

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Telegraph apologises for false slurs on Huhne and offensive Cristina Odone article

The Daily Telegraph has been forced into a humiliating climbdown after making what it now admits were false claims about Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne.

The paper had splashed on allegations that it was Huhne who had leaked the letter from Michael Gove suggesting taxpayers might make a gift of a new royal yacht to the Queen in order to embarrass the education secretary. It’s unclear what evidence the paper had, if any, because Huhne’s involvement was swiftly denied by the Guardian journalist responsible for exposing Mr Gove’s, erm, politically courageous proposal. Perhaps, perish the thought, they just …

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Opinion: Whisper it, but the press are starting to get it

Whisper it, but it seems they might be starting to get it. It’s only taken them a year and a half.

‘They’ of course are the assorted numpties of the British press and ‘it’ is how coalition government works and just how important and influential Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are within it.

For most of the time since May 2010 a crude and simplistic caricature of our government and the Lib Dems’ role in it has taken hold – that this is really a Tory government and the Lib Dems are either naive puppets being taken for a ride by …

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News International’s William Lewis, BBC’s Robert Peston, and the alleged act of theft which aimed to bring down Vince Cable

Rewind to December 2010, and you will recall the furore which greeted the revelation by the BBC’s Robert Peston that Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable had been secretly taped by undercover Telegraph hacks “declaring war” on Rupert Murdoch and his bid for BSkyB.

Vince was almost forced to resign, responsibility for handling the bid was handed over to a Murdoch-friendly Tory, and the Telegraph was embarrassed by the implication that they had censored the story in order to avoid assisting media rival News International.

A report in today’s New York Times sheds a new and extraordinary light on that sequence of events, and suggests that:

  • The Telegraph was not sitting on the Cable/BSkyB scoop, but was all set to run it as a follow-up to the paper’s initial story focusing on Vince’s forthright views on the Coalition;
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What has the DPM done for us?

Lib Dem blogger Matthew Gibson has blogged Nick Clegg’s achievements as DPM over the past year, as viewed by the mainstream media.

Matthew’s been monitoring the papers for months, noting all the positive stories about the Deputy PM and Lib Dem leader.

He splits these up by the common themes that have emerged: leadership, competence, being principled and standing his ground.

Here’s a taster:

Competence

The Independent praise Nick Clegg’s simple and direct language in his speech at Conference concluding ‘Clegg knows what he is doing – quite unusual for a leader of a party’ (see here).

The Daily Telegraph believe

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Better news for Chris Huhne; more bad news for Guido

Here’s what Guido eagerly reported yesterday:

Hot on the revelation that Vicky Pryce has signed an affidavit confessing to have taken Chris Huhne’s points…

But today comes a complete volte-face:

Guido understands that both the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday have evidence that is not in the form of a “sworn affidavit” as was claimed yesterday by rivals the Telegraph.

I think that’s the closest Guido ever comes to saying, “I was wrong”.

Meanwhile, there appears to be some better news for Chris Huhne in today’s Telegraph, who are reporting that his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, is now refusing to confirm to the police …

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“Chris Huhne has achieved more in a year than most top politicians manage in a lifetime”

High praise from the Telegraph for Chris Huhne, and deservedly so. Environmental correspondent Geoffrey Lean says Huhne “has been playing a blinder” through the introduction of the Green Investment Bank and the fourth Carbon Budget:

Over the last two weeks, as the crisis he faces steadily deepened, he has been the driving force behind two of the most momentous decisions any administration has taken, ones that could shape Britain’s economic development for the rest of the century, and beyond.

Last week the government adopted the world-beating goal of cutting carbon emissions to half 1990 levels by 2025. No other

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PCC rules against Daily Telegraph’s sting operation

Via the BBC:

A newspaper’s decision to secretly tape Liberal Democrat MPs breached press rules on “subterfuge”, a watchdog says.

The Press Complaints Commission said the Daily Telegraph had produced material “in the public interest”.

But it said the paper had not had enough evidence to justify what it called “a fishing expedition”.

Among those taped by reporters posing as constituents was Business Secretary Vince Cable, who was recorded saying he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch…

The PCC ruled the newspaper launched the “disproportionately intrusive attention” without sufficient reasons and said it would issue fresh guidance over the acceptable use of subterfuge.

Liberal Democrat …

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Would an infinite number of monkeys be able to write an accurate story for the Telegraph?

To be honest, I’m starting to feel sorry for the Telegraph’s political journalists. It must get quite tricky week after week coming up with new half-truths to try and stretch into a story that even their Coalition-hating editors won’t spike for being too thin.

This weekend brought new ‘revelations’ from the reliably inaccurate Melissa Kite and Patrick Hennessy that the Lib Dems are (in any order you like) about to: change our name; no-con Nick Clegg; install Chris Huhne as leader; trigger a general election; insist Col Gadaffi is brought into the cabinet. Okay, I made that last one …

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Olly Grender

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Olly Grender, who blogs at http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/olly-grender.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
A toss up between my Mum voting in favour of joining Europe in the referendum and my Dad feeling agitated about and improving workers rights in industry.

2. When did you start blogging?
In January, so please be gentle with me! (though all constructive feedback from fellow LibDems welcome).

3. Why did you start blogging?
Have been thinking of doing it for some time, as occasionally you need a few more words than Twitter or broadcasting allows – plus the New Statesman asked me!

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Politics, liberalism, media, coalition, punditry.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Liberal – that is all.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
As a total novice there is little to choose from. However I enjoyed having a pop at the Daily Telegraph in this one about Nick Clegg’s Red Box.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I thought this was the most astounding blog of 2010. It’s by Peter Watt, former General Secretary to the Labour Party, and it summed up in so many ways why working with Labour right now would be such a challenge because, as Peter describes, they currently have an inability to listen and struggle to believe that others in politics wish to do good.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
God would love to do something political but I LOVE this Virgin Atlantic ad soooooooooo beautifully done I could watch it over and over. Enjoy!

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Farron triggers PCC probe into Telegraph’s Lib Dem MPs undercover sting

The BBC reports:

The press watchdog is investigating the Daily Telegraph’s use of undercover reporters to record Lib Dem ministers’ thoughts on the coalition government. It reported comments made by Business Secretary Vince Cable in a meeting with people he thought were constituents.

Lib Dem President Tim Farron asked the Press Complaints Commission to investigate. The PCC said 200 people contacted them over the story. The Telegraph said it was satisfied it acted within the PCC’s rules. …

A PCC spokesman said: “We have now received a letter from the Liberal Democrats asking us formally to investigate. We will do so under

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Meanwhile, in other news…

Let’s start with some updates on stories we’ve previously covered here on The Voice.

Conservative London Assembly member Brian Coleman has backed down from his attempt to ban questions to him at London Fire Authority meetings.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is to investigate the Daily Telegraph, following complaints from Tim Farron and others that the newspaper had gone on a fishing expedition rather than having the sort of public interest case which justifies journalistic subterfuge. On the substantive policy issue at stake, Ofcom look set to recommend that the Sky bid should be referred to the Competition …

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Opinion: for the want of a nail

Joining the traditional Nativity story of revelation followed by deliverance, this festive season we have been able to enjoy even more revealed truths about our world courtesy of Wikileaks, the Daily Telegraph and more or less any senior Army officer near a microphone.

Although there are moral and technical differences between these sources of information, they have each attempted to lift the veil to reveal the ‘truth’ behind the public face of diplomacy, coalition governance and military strategy. But have we liberals been consistent in our responses to these revelations?

With the diplomatic cables released through Wikileaks, there’s been a strong …

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Telegraph names its ‘Top 50 most influential Lib Dems’ (Part I: Nos 50-26)

Iain Dale and Brian Brivati have once again compiled for the Telegraph the list of 50 most influential Lib Dems, and today saw the publication of part one, covering numbers 26 to 50.

At 50 is leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, Kirsty Williams; while propping up today’s list — just outside the top 25 — is Nick Clegg’s special advisor, Richard Reeves, the former head of think-tank Demos. There are a number of new entries, many of them MPs who now find themselves government ministers, including Andrew Stunell (28), Nick Harvey (32), David Heath (33), Tim Farron (34), Lord …

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