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What has happened at The Telegraph?

with 2 comments

It used to be lampooned as “The Torygraph”

A broadsheet serious newspaper which used to be considered essential reading for supporters of Conservative principles has in recent years moved inexorably away from the narrative that it’s readers hungered for, and since the election of David Cameron as Leader of the Opposition has given some very confused and mixed signals which, when taken at face value, appear to have been bt Gordon Brown’s henchmen. This weekend when other newspapers are more concerned about who is running the country (Mandelson or Harperson) the “Labourgraph” serves up some really odd material.

On the issue of NHS patients records it ties up a proposal to privatise data collection and gives a long critique of the ideas, which have yet to be firmed up, before attempting to suggest that the whole idea was dreamed up simply because David Cameron’s adviser Steve Hilton is married to Rachel Whetstone, Google’s vice president of global communications and public affairs. Yet at the very end of the piece it concedes that people would be offered a choice of systems run by the private sector, not just Google, and lets us know that we can keep our records with our GP if we are happy to.

In another scare story they tell us that the Tories are seriously thinking about hiking VAT to 20% within a matter of weeks of winning the next general election, even though both David Cameron and George Osborne have repeatedly stated that tax and spending proposals cannot be properly identified and calculated until after they have a comprehensive investigation of the state of the nation’s finances after taking office. They devote a whole page to the story and bring in the name of former Prime Minister Sir John Major, then end it with this :

Last night, a Conservative spokesman said: “There are no plans for a VAT increase and there have been no discussions about it.”

Then there is an article apparently about Gordon Brown’s poor eating habits and his propensity for microwaved ready meals, as though it were something that we really ought to be interested in, but because the quotes came from Clare Latimer who was responsible for providing food to No. 10 when Sir John Major was Prime Minister there comes an opportunity for ridicule and innuendo.

With Major she had sued the satiricial magazine Scallywag when it had suggested that he had had an extra-marital affair with her. Of course, we now know that it had picked the wrong woman. It was Edwina Currie that Major had involved himself with before he had entered the portals of Number 10.

It’s quite amazing how you can move from 4 minutes on high power, stir once, then 2 minutes on high power,  to a full blown affair between Major and Curry isn’t it?

Yes, as someone who used to read the Telegraph, and buy it, regularly since the age of sixteen, I have joined the thousands who no longer do, I will look at and reference it’s stories online now and then, but it is clear that it no longer represents Conservative opinion in the way that it once did. However, we are blessed in the UK with a variety of newspapers and a variety of other sources of opinion which seem to be broadening their appeal almost daily , plus taking your news and politics from just one source cannot be seen as healthy either. It saddens me that the Telegraph has trodden the path that it has, but I’m not going to get that dispirited by it’s editorial stance, it really is not that big of a deal. After all some politicians in South Shields get really paranoid about the newspapers!

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Written by curly

August 9, 2009 at 10:31 am

2 Responses

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  1. It has been very mixed-up for a long time, I’ve noticed, which presumably why so many stopped buying it quite some time ago.

    I think the best thing they did to try to correct their long, slow drift was the online TV programme “Right On”, but that died after a dozen or so weekly programmes, and even the link to those already produced suddenly vanished from the Telegraph’s online pages.

    It does appear that they have now more-or-less completely given up their traditional reason for existence. I still find the occasional item worth reading, and sometimes linking to, but overall it isn’t of all that great worth nowadays — which is a real shame.

    John Ward

    August 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm

  2. I thought people didn’t read it because it was shit.


    August 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm

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