The Daily Mail throws the kitchen sink at the Coalition
By Tim Montgomerie
Today's Daily Mail is extraordinary. I've warned before about the newspaper's coolness towards the Coalition (although there had been signs of some warming to Cameron) but today I counted more than ten attack pieces. The most prominent being...
A suggestion that people are "dying early" because Cameron isn't delivering on his cancer drugs policy.
"Fury" at Cameron's "historic blunder" on Britain's Second World War role.
A report of Michael Howard's attack on Ken Clarke's "soft" jails policy.
The "stop-start shambles" of Nick Clegg's PMQs appearance.
And "Government by deceit"; where Peter Oborne warns that "not a day goes by without the Coalition breaking election pledges".
Now, it's true that the front page splash is a positive story. James Slack records a "victory for the Mail as ministers pledge to scrap Labour's failed licencing laws". But there are other negative stories too - particularly at the expense of the Liberal Democrats.
Part of the Coalition's problem is that the Right lost out in the post-election reshuffle. Chris Grayling and Nick Herbert, for example, are voices that are now rarely heard but would be useful in reassuring the Mail and the increasingly anxious Sun. Coalition-enthusiasts can point, of course, to the latest YouGov poll which puts the Tories on 44%. Noises off can be ignored, they'll say. But were these the same voices who urged silence when the Tories were 15% ahead of Labour, this time last year? The critiques of the electoral strategy were told to 'shut up' then, too. Cameron needs to love his party and natural supporters now, as protection for the unpopularity that will come when the cuts start to bite.