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Nick Clegg

April 22, 2010

If I was Nick Clegg , opening my newspapers this morning, I’m not really sure how I would feel.

Certainly the all out war declared by our right wing press is a sign that he has arrived. I read the articles that fronted The Telegraph, the Daily Fail, and The Sun. They didn’t make much sense. Didn’t have much in the way of evidence to justify the headlines they ran under -but lets face it-when have these papers ever needed to back things up?

Here is a link to the electoral donations for each party.  It’s difficult to look at a table which shows that the Conservatives have received £1,455,812, in a week where the Liberal Democrats have received £20’000, and take these headlines seriously. Especially, when you start googling the web of city firms, and financial consultancies who make up the Conservative donor list.

Part of me thinks that if those particular shitrags are attacking you, then you are probably doing something right. That same part of me  thinks  people will read those headlines, and possibly even David Yellands fascinating article from earlier this week and see this as a validation of Clegg.

We underestimate the power of these newspapers at our peril. They know that people aren’t necessarily going to read the articles-but three major newspapers screaming about financial irregularity, carelessness, and nazi slurs is fairly powerful.  They assume their readers will just swallow this: and the sad fact is that many will.

This is likely to be the week that Cameron abandons the talk of compassion that he hoped would mask his Thatcherite manifesto. You are likely to hear much about benefit claimants, immigrants, and europe this week from our esteemed Conservative leader, and there are rumours he will be going out to attack Clegg in tomorrow’s leaders debate.

THere is a bit of me, that thinks we are smart enough to see through this. That hopes we will. Then I remember- playing to the worst aspects of our nature has been succesful for the Conservatives in the past. It has kept the Daily Fail circulation figures healthy.  And it plays very well when times are tough.

Here’s hoping this is the first election that can’t be bought by rich donors, and newspapers who want a party who protects their interests. Maybe this will backfire for them and people will see through it? Maybe people will use this as an opportunity, not only to send a message to politicians, but to the newspapers who think they own our political system?

I hope so. Can’t think of many more effective campaign messages than ‘a vote for me, is a vote against Murdoch, and Dacre’.

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4 comments

  1. I think those who read the Fail et al as serious sources of news are lost anyway – they’re as likely to vote LibDem as they are to donate to a charity that helps ‘foreigners’.

    What this hysterical attack does do though is reinforce the motivation of people who would vote LibDem – there’s nothing us liberal Brits hate more than seeing a good guy getting an unfair kicking. I was going to vote Green – it’ll be LibDem now as an anti-Dacre vote. I’m in one of the safest Tory seats in the country, but if anyone can get Billy Bunter out (Soames) it’ll be the LibDem candidate.

    The Fail article about Nick’s “Nazi” slur will backfire. His article in the Observer was a well reasoned piece. Lots of people have read it now and a fair few will actually agree. For all the Conservative talk of “eccentric” policies – I believe in Europe, in integration and even in joining the Euro. I’m not an eccentric fringe character, I’m a senior manager in a blue chip company who is required to use logic and reasoning in all my work and decisions.

    To badly misquote Darth Vader – “if you attack me now I will become stronger than you can possibly imagine…”


  2. The Conservatives and the right wing press have spent so long perpetuating the idea that Europe is the biggest issue on everyones minds, that I think believe it to be true. I don’t know a single person, who is really genuinely anti=europe. Hopefully, Cameron will start about europe and shoot himself in the foot- because all it does, is remind people that the Conservatives have not changed.


  3. I think Cameron is going to try and be as bland about Europe as possible – foreign policy is by far the Conservatives weakest point.

    As to the ridiculous Clegg attacks – they’re so over the top they’ve already backfired on the papers involved. Somehow the internet/social networking, whic I think has aided in pointing this out, is making something about this election different – and I can’t help feeling that it’s for the better.


    • To be honest- the hysteria over it all today- is slightly irritating. I made that post in early hours of this morning, just as saw headlines before bed. Think today has not been overly helpful in terms of healthy political debate. I really do think social networking has changed the way British people engage with politics though- and really am feeling rather encouraged by it(overall). Cleggmania, getting silly now.



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