nick clegg smeared by tories

23/04/2010

i know i said i wouldn’t do this, but after seeing the newspaper headlines yesterday i feel some clear up is needed on the way politicians use the press
here’s a list of what’s gone on in the past few days:

speaking in a bbc interview yesterday, lord mandelson, labour mp, commented on how a series of anti-lib dem headlines in this morning’s newspapers bore the typical hallmark of tory communications director andy coulson. tory links with the papers have been exposed before in similar smears against labour, it’s no secret
the daily express branded clegg’s immigration policies “crazy”, ignoring the fact that they have been used effectively for years in various other countries, australia for one example
the sun accused him of “wobbling” + refused to publish two yougov polls showing that voters fear a lib-dem government less than a tory or a labour one + that the lib-dems policies are the most liked
the daily mail revived comments he made about anglo-german relations in 2002 under the headline “nick clegg in nazi slur on britain”, twisting nick cleggs quote that at the time there seemed to be political tension between britain + germany over a handful of eu policies. hardly a nazi slur
the daily telegraph claimed that fundings to the lib-dem party by private investors had been criminal + for personal gain. nick clegg published all his bank papers which proved otherwise, exposing the smear as exactly that
more interestingly, the bbc’s political editor jick robinson found that the daily telegraph actually called in tory mps one by one to discuss how the papers would deal with the sudden increased lib-dem popularity, trying to gather information which could be used to smear nick clegg

lord mandelson said the sort of smear tactics which the tories had used against labour in past elections were now being turned on the lib dems, as the upsurge in their support threatened the conservatives’ chances of an outright victory
“i think the coverage is frankly disgusting,” he told bbc radio 4’s ‘the world at one’. “the press stories we have seen today are straight out of the tory party dirty tricks manual. these things do not happen at the drop of a hat. this is pure andy coulson-style news of the world territory turned into political form. this is borne of tory panic, the tories pushing the smear button in the hope that this will damage clegg. well, in my opinion, the tories are wrong. i think people will see this exercise for what it is.
it is cheap and frankly rather squalid with no place in this election.”

on a brighter note, the lib-dems have called for the digital economy act to be repealed + the issues debated by a full parliament. this is the bill that was forced through government despite criticism from google, o2 + heavy petitioning from the public. this is the bill that lets the government cut you off from the internet
the lib-dems did oppose the bill however, + speaking at the ‘the student room’ nick clegg insisted that they would call for the act’s repeal should lib-dems be involved in the next government

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