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Good. We are all part of the same society, including the press. Of course the press have a critical role to play but not a purely negative and reactive role. The quality papers have a particular responsibility to be more forward looking. It seems to me that at last my party are being more open-minded and forward looking and the public are warming to that. Conservatism should not mean resisting change and under Thatcher for example it became a radical engine of change, so we must not allow the right centre-right tradition to be type cast. We now have a new generation who want to look at reforms and DC is a key part of that period of change,

Matt

At times it has seemed that Geoff Randall offered the only coherent opposition to New Labour. I hope that he is not "nobbled". He might not like Mr Cameron, maybe he has grounds not to do so, but the value of his criticism of our unbalanced Chancellor more than offsets the occasional dismissal of David Cameron as inadequate.

After decades as a staunch Times reader, I changed to the Telegraph as a paper better relecting my feelings.It still does so overall, whilst giving credit where credit is due, Cameronwise. However, if the paper moves significantly Cameronwards (as opposed to Cameron moving significantly Telegraphwards) then I would reconsider my choice of daily paper.

I take your point Ken, although funnily I have to say I went the other way. After very many years of buying the Telegraph I started to switch about 6 to 12 months ago and move to the Times because The DT seemed to be stuck in the past when things were changing more rapidly. It does need to get with it and I hope there is change for the better and a more positive forward-looking mindset,

Matt

Just be nice if the papers were a bit more balanced. I don't mind the Daily Mail or any paper giving a politician from any party due credit, just dislike seeing a paper deliberately distorting the facts as the NoW did a couple of weeks ago with their ICM poll.

With Janet Daley and Simon Heffer writing comment as well as the estimable Jeff Randall, there is still plenty of Clear Blue Sense being talked at the Telegraph, even if Heffer is prone to getting personal and less objective. Pity Mark Steyn and Tom Utley are not still centre page writers as well. Quite how the Telegraph allowed the excellent Utley to depart beats me. It'll be Matt Prichett next, after which the Telegraph will be useful only for wrapping haddock.

Ok, the Telegraph and media are moving Tory-ward. All we need now is for David Blameron to move Tory-ward, and we might just have a chance.

Cameron seems able to swing people behind him when he meets them face to face. That's a great skill. He appears to be offering nothing in terms of favours in return for support as he wins backers in the media and elsewhere.

Blair managed to get all behing him but only by agreeing to everything his targets requested. To the EU he promised the Euro. To Bush he promised unconditional support for the Iraq War. To others he promised all kinds of things most of which he failed to deliver - e.g PR to Paddy Ashdown.

Being tradeable for favours, in particular made Blair the all time favourite for Rupert Murdoch. According to Lance Price, Murdoch has more or less controlled Britain's relations with the EU 'under' Blair.

It is pleasing that Murdoch is finding Cameron less of a sucker, and Murdoch is having to learn respect for Cameron, even if that means he is taking the occasional pot shot at him to see if he can bowl him over. Murdoch must be beginning to realise that taking pot shots at Cameron could soon become a highly counterproductive strategy in terms of hanging on to all his meia/sports privileges.

The EU is the fountain of power in Murdoch's mindset, and he imagines that if he keeps the EU sweet, all will flow for him in the UK. But with Turkey's accession now stalled, Italy's ability to remain within the eurozone in doubt, and France/Germany talking of consolidating a central EU bloc, allowing others to choose how far they want to be 'in' the game is opening up a new era of Europe a la carte.

Power could swing quickly back to Westminster under a new Conservatiove government with the EU reaching a period of less certainty as to how to stabilise let alone progress.

Murdoch has seen the light about Gordon Brown. Only Paul Dacre is getting that one completely wrong still. He will have to retract on that front or look pretty foolish befoere long, with the Brown/EU era of big government/centralisation about to crack, with power beginning to swing back the other way. Cameron is the vanguard.

. Pity Mark Steyn and Tom Utley are not still centre page writers as well.
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Agree about the excellent Steyn but for my money Utley was such a pathetic nonentity I didn't even notice he'd gone. Last year's drivel about his wife allegedly becoming a bus driver was more than I could take.

Definitely not a chip off the old block.

Yes, a few superficial anonymous plugs for Jeremy Cardhouse Cameron, but they are more than balanced by the apparent disappearance of the brainless Cameroon chatter of Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson. Good riddance.

And of course the real plus factor with the Telegraph is the weighty wisdom of Simon Heffer, Jeff Randall and Janet Daley. No buying off these heavyweights as they rip Cardhouse apart.

Not difficult to do that though.

Funny about the Telegraph..........The Guardian seems to be moving along too with Ian Cobain joining the BNP as its Central London organiser attempting to establish itself in affluent areas of the capital such as Belgravia, Chelsea and Knightsbridge.

Weird the things Guardian employees get up to..........still chacun a son gout

This may never happen again, but I have to write that I am in complete agreement with Tory Loyalist about the relative merits of Mark Steyn and Tom Utley. Mark Steyn was one of those writers who could lay out a robust right-wing point of view in such a warm and human way that I nearly always ended up nodding away going "yes yes yes" under my breath like some demented dog in a car's back window. He had such a breadth of knowledge too, able to write with insight about things I knew nothing about, like the theatre, and still somehow produce a coherent message. I really miss reading him and think the Spectator also suffers without him.

It's nearly Christmas so won't say exactly what I thought about Tom Utley (but see Tory Loyalist above). I also didn't notice when he'd left and had got heartily sick of reading his twee pieces about how hard life was for him as a smoker on a national newspaper salary with a bus-driving wife and 18 children at public school to support. Obviously he had some effect as I can still remember the detail.

Anyway he went to the Mail and I went to the Times, after a Telegraph life, because I can't bear Simon Heffer's vitriol. Life's too short. But it's not all great news there either. You get the fantastic Daniel Finkelstein of course, but you also get the views of Mary-Ann Bighead (Private Eye v accurate wrt Mary-Ann I think), and someone really dreadful who writes with I think the most intellectually impoverished views of anyone in a quality paper, called Alice Miles. (Physician heal thyself, kettle-pot-black, I know, I know).

And Libby Purves! Is there anything that can get you out the bath and to the radio's "off" switch quicker than the voice announcing "and now on Radio4, it's Midweek with Libby Purves". I had a friend at university, now a Met sergeant, who claimed to have knowledge that her first name was "Liberator". I don't know if that's true but it ought to be.

Mark Steyn - a good journo obviously but his pro war posturing in the early 00's has cost him a lot of credibility. One of the smartest things Matthew D'Accona has done since taking over at the Speccy has been to get rid of Steyn and the Neocons. It makes it a much pleasanter read and Deborah Ross is much better at the film reviews too.

There is no doubt the Telegraph went through a very bad patch just after Charles Moore left as editor, which I do not think it has yet fully come out of, although I have stuck with it. The worst aspect was stupid and biased main headlines rather than any lack of commitment to the cause. After all, a very good period of recent D Tel history was in the mid-90s when it was the in-house opposition to a Conservative PM.

Although Heffer's vitriol is occasionally amusing, and fills a vacuum left by some other good writers leaving, I am on the side of those who find him a bit much. It's not so much the anti-Cameron stuff (has he even moderated that recently, or at least found other things to write about?), but the sort of dumbing down semi-tabloid style, particularly on Saturdays - DailyMailesk is the only way to describe it.

But I am surprised no-one has mentioned Charles Moore's Saturday column. Although I disagree with him on foreign policy - he is very pro-Bush and almost obsessively worried about the Islamic threat, not just to security but to our whole civilisation - he always writes intelligently, elegantly and from a firm Conservative, but (possibly Islam apart) balanced perspective. He may have lost browny points with the right by having backed Cameron from early on, but I rather take that as a point in favour of Cameron than a point against Moore. Am I the only Moore admirer? I was a bit surprised that in Iain Dale's recent poll on Conservative press commentators he didn't feature as one of the 20 to choose from.

I would agree with you that Moore is a perceptive writer but disagree with you about Heffer.Mark Steyn great skill was to be able to make me laugh even when I profoundly disagreed with him.Heffer on the other hand is so unremittingly gloomy about the state of the world and this country that even when he is right one feels reluctant to endorse him.

Mark Steyn is the kind of writer the centre-right so badly needs in the UK: funny, polemical, clever and well-informed. A vivid contrast to the humourless crypto-Puritan ravings of the Guardianistas (Madame Mao aka Toynbee, Mrs Andrew Marr, George Moonbat). Heffer often says the right things but I agree with Malcolm that he is far too gloomy. I find Jeff Randall a much better read: well-informed, funny and incisive which is no doubt why Cameron finds him much harder to dismiss. Graeme Archer's comments about the dreaded MaryAnn are spot on.....though I think he is a bit harsh (not like you, Graeme) on Alice Miles and Libby Purves.

There's usually half an hour's reading in the Telegraph. In the Times it's a good day when there's more than 5 minutes worth attending - even the letters and cartoons are weak.

The Telegraph is the only newspaper worth reading, as far as i'm concerned. It is serious and deals with proper news in an intelligent and (relatively) balanced way. I agree that it is still stuck in the past a little, but it is a valuable counter-balance to the outpourings of unprincipled 'socialist-liberalism' coming from the likes of the BBC.

Having said that, I haven't picked up a copy of the Times for a while. I get the impression that it's a bit trendy and metropolitan for me, but I suppose I should buy a couple of copies to make sure.

Mark Steyn is the kind of writer the centre-right so badly needs in the UK: funny, polemical, clever and well-informed. A vivid contrast to the humourless crypto-Puritan ravings of the Guardianistas

Agreed. There is so much that is parochial in our press without the sweep and flavour that Steyn can bring, the mockery and the content. Too much of the literary output here is like woodworm constantly boring in the same piece of wood.

I feel very bad now about being unpleasant about Libby Purves and Alice Miles. Apologies. Michael quite right to pick me up on it. Next time I post something about the unpleasantness of Heffer I will feel the prick of conscience.

NONE of us get a right wing read that really pleases us though ... is there a gap? Which CH is filling for free? If I were Tim I'd charge and become a millionaire.

Graeme, I only said you were a little bit harsh on them.....!!

Normally I read the Guardian because views that oppose mine are more informative and provide perspective. Very occasionally I find they have a point.

The Telegraph has not been worth buying regularly since Charles Moore ceased as editor.

I agree with bring back Steyn. Jeff Randall is good value. Alice Thomson, Rachel Sylvester and Vicki Woods bore me.

Whilst I do not agree with everything Heffer writes, nor do I disagree with it all and the strong objection some have to him strikes me as a bit inflated, almost a pose.

It also helps the Telegraph to be pro-conservative when one of their newest Assistant Editors is the Terrier investigative journalist,the scourge of politicians,Andrew Pierce formerly of the Times.He is proud to have been listed as one of the countrys most prominent and influential Gays in the Country.Naturally he and the Telegraph are on Home Ground with the Tory Party.

Well done Lucy for your observation on the Gay Issue.
It looks like the continuation of the takeover of the Tory Party by the Gay Community, as they now have the influential pro conservative paper called the Daily Torygaygraph.

I'm always pleasantly pleased to find news on this site about yet another homosexual tentacle winding its way round the heart of the Establishment! Surely we control everything in this country now? Certainly, some of the writers here seem to think we control the Conservative Party, the Telegraph, presumably we had Labour in our pocket from the moment Peter Mandelson was born (not sure whether it's supposed to be the gay or the Scottish mafia controlling the socialists, to be honest ... or both?!), the BBC, every servant employed by the Royal Family (it sometimes feels) &c &c. It's funny but I never feel any of this apparent influence having any effect in my own life ... am I doing something wrong? Ought I to invest in a pin stripe suit? Or could it be that some people just happen to be gay and also work for newspapers, political parties and so on? Prosaic and dull to be sure. I vote for the conspiracy theory. And publicly ask for lessons in how to become one of these influential gays at the heart of everything.

Graeme Archer says:

"If I were Tim I'd charge and become a millionaire."

ConHome is definitely the best source of Conservative Party news, much better than any press undoubtedly. It's amusing how often one sees items picked up from here (usually about 36 hrs later) from lazy print journalists. The (London) Evening Standard being a prime example.

I'm sure a good business manager could in due course get a lot more advertising on the site. But being open access, the quality of what appears is not uniform, which would make it difficult to charge for access, I suggest. For instance the posts a little above from Lucy Cross and Dominic Pincher surely demonstrate that one Cannot Recommend A Purchase (the Crap factor for short).

Normally I read the Guardian because views that oppose mine are more informative and provide perspective. Very occasionally I find they have a point.
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Don't you mean, Mark, that very occasionally you find they have views that oppose yours.

Not often, I would guess.

Gay he may be, but Andrew Pierce's recent big piece on Jeremy Cardhouse was excellent. Little cheer for Mr Camera-on there.

Nor in today's searing analysis by Anthony King of the latest YouGov poll.

The Gay Testacles(errata)Tentacles are creeping all around the establishment, and I did not know you were part of this scenario Graeme.

Ah, Peter, another C.R.A.P. poster. From Londoner (who is not gay, but not subject to extraordinary paranoid delusions either).

So some one (renny)thinks d'Ancona has improved the Spectator. I don't. Deborah Ross writes about herself rather than the films she is supposed to watch; the utterly useless Toby Young has the same approach. The cartoons are unremittingly bad, whereas you used to be able to count on there being several that would make you laugh out loud (several years ago, admittedly, so not d'Ancona's fault). Steyn was brilliant on films and politics. Charles Moore is still always good, however.
As for the Telegraph there is still too much me-me writing by the silly Cristina Odone and others (though NOT, of course by Janet Daley). The blogs seem to be the best place to find Conservative writing at the moment, except perhaps for the Salisbury Review.

The Spectator is a disaster - I may have to start reading the New Statesman instead.

Steyn was amusing and informative but I find only articles by Stephen Schwartz to be of interest nowadays and find the rest fluff. I cannot read D'Ancona because he reminds me of Timothy Garton-Ash earnestly trying to assure me the moon is made of green cheese

God! Watching Andrew Pierce on SKY tonight I thought "he's gay" just as I thought about BBC journo Evan Davis a few years' ago! A quick google in both cases confirmed my assumptions! Are we really so obvious? I miss my old Torygraph which I read from the mid-70s at school - Geffory Fletcher's London, Peterborough, Way of the World, parliamentary reports, pro-Rhodesia and South Africa reports etc - plus the sheer volume of copy that was included in each issue that I so readilly absorbed!

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