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We don't know whether a Cameron-led government would be any good. We do know that the current government isn't very good.

So it ought to be logical for Conservatives to try and turf this government out.

Only three things wrong with your intro, Ed:

He isn't "getting his message right" whatever that appalling phrase means.

It isn't a defeat in Basra - we've been there three years too long already.

Referenda arn't compatible with parliamentary democracy.

Other than that, good effort.

I've been saying this consistently on this site: The Telegraph is an awful newspaper and I stopped reading it long long ago. Even the millions of free copies at Heathrow are being left in the distribution bins.

"Why is The Telegraph giving Mr Brown so much comfort?"

To encourage him to call an election?

Perhaps the Telegraph is reflecting reality and telling the truth. I know it's an alien concept for most Conservatives.

Perhaps Tim the Telegraph are interested in bigger things than just the next, unwinnable by Cameron, election. Perhaps they, like most of the membership round my way, are more concerned about there being a conservative Conservative party still in existence for the future after the spin merchants have done their worst and gone on to more remunerative things. Perhaps the Telegraph can see that Cameron and his acolytes are so devoid of conservatism as to bring into question the whole future of a once great and principled party.

It must be a difficult choice: choose between the lies of Gordon Brown or the lies of David Cameron. Either way, the country is worse off.

Don't be too hard on The Telegraph. It does have Iain Dale's sycophantic column.

The Telegraph is struggling for circulation. According to insiders its editor is far more interested in its web offerings than the newspaper and as a result little power struggles are breaking out all over the place amongst the journalists on the DT. A total guess but could the Heffer influence be in the ascendancy there at the moment? He appears to dislike the modern Conservative party more than he dislikes Brown.

DC is without doubt the most pathetic inept leader that the Conservatives have ever had the misfortune to have. When will Conservatives have the courage to elect a true blue leader, similar to Margaret Thatcher.

"a true blue leader"

But when somebody's going blue, doesn't that signify that they're suffering from oxygen starvation and in the process of dying ?. That would be about right, as the Tories certainly seem to be dying.

Heffer is undoubtedly working hard for a Labour fourth term.

Are the Telegraph's circulation figures going up or down?

Alan had it.

Tempt Gordo into a calling an election.

As for the rest of its output, clearly its better editors have been on holiday for the last couple of weeks.

A newspaper that gives employment to the asinine Alice Thompson is clearly not worth reading.

Malcolm, there's no doubt that Heffer would be delighted by a fourth Labour term, preferably with a 200 majority.

Taken from the Editor's post:

"The next election is not a referendum on David Cameron. It is a choice. A choice between a Conservative leader who is beginning to get his message right and a Labour Prime Minister who has increased tax to record levels, presided over the defeat in Basra and denied people a vote on the EU Treaty. Why is The Telegraph giving Mr Brown so much comfort?"

Quite right. Will no-one ever learn that fighting amongst ourselves doesn't get us anywhere? Brown is the enemy, not Cameron. He may not be ideal but I'd rather have a Conservative government than a Labour one. After all, the party is more than one man.

The more we criticise each other, the more the Labour Party seem re-electable. We should concentrate our energy showing that they are not.

"A front page splash was accompanied by a two page spread by new political editor, Andrew Porter" When I heard he had joined the team I greeted the news with as much joy as a Heffer column!

As always over recent years the problem at the Telegraph is the personal views of the editorial staff. They are trying to sell their view rather than appealing to the once loyal readership. Hence they are now down to a core right wing readership, sound familiar?
Stopped my daily order for this paper a couple of years ago, sad decline for a once great paper and the signs are that there is real problems behind the scenes with people leaving the sinking ship. It lacks a credible direction or vision, now after villifying Cameron for the last two years we are greeted by a full spread on smiling Gordon the architect of labour domestic policy for the last 10 years! This paper is run by people who are allowing their personal dislike of a party leader dictate the editorial line, neither balanced or objective in any way, shape or form and it shows.
Recently bought it a couple of times but have now changed to the Times regularly instead. Won't always agree with the editorial line there, but it appears more balanced and fair these days.

"A choice between a Conservative leader who is beginning to get his message right and a Labour Prime Minister who has increased tax to record level...."

And a Conservative party that has only just promised to match these levels of taxation and spending.

Frankly is anyone surprised that the much of the Tory press is massively underwhelmed by project Cameron?

"a Labour Prime Minister who has increased tax to record levels,"

Correction: The overall tax burden was *higher* in Maggie's last year of office.

(1990 tax freedom day was 3rd June, this year it was 1st June)

So is Heffer writing the editorial line just like he did at the Spectator with the Liverpool comments?

Tim is right to question what are the Telegraph up to. What bigger principle is there than Europe? Yet it gives Brown 3 days of support.

I think the Telegraph's approach may be a sign that the Barclays twins meant what they said last year, that the paper will not necessarily back the Tories

The Telegraph stopped being a credible opinion-former several years ago, but this recent Brown love-in is really quite sickening (or just sick?). Who exactly is its constituency these days? Certainly not mainstream Conservative voters.

Or perhaps someone has done something to annoy the Barclay brothers?

I for one am buying newspapers much less often, simply because they all seem to be spouting the same Brown propoganda. They haven't even picked up on the Stalinist-sounding "citizens panels" that Labour are currently and cynically touting.

The Telegraph need to understand that the next election is going to be about the future of our country. If Gordon Brown gets a mandate he will see that as a green light to go ideological. Full steam ahead to statism. Gordon Brown will have each and every one of us stamped and indexed as government property. Does the telegraph want us to become a nation of ID carrying state functionaries?

alex has it in one. SIMON HEFFER!

He positively hates the Tories at the moment and, for some reason, he is 'editiorial' at the Telegraph.

In relation to Ancram. I think he is articulating what most members of the Tory Party - (The ones that do the legwork up and down the country year in year out).
The latest Polls have been good to Cameron but that followed his return to True Tory Values!

The Telegraph does have a useage!

What's going on at The Telegraph?

Just the traditional journalistic activity of building someone up before the demolition crew arrive. And they will.

If you don't big them up you cannot bring them down. Underdogs tend to attract sympathy and this is the current process of role reversal that will soon work in Cameron's favour.

the telegraph should know better. I'm extremely disappointed with them. I hope they make up for it with better headlines the rest of the next few weeks, otherwise it'll be back to the "landslide defeat" polls again. I wonder is Brown somehow behind this, obviously over the interview he is, but more than that? are their labour spies/plants in the telegraph ranks?

As the Barclay brothers don't live on the mainland, they probably wouldn't care if everyone is stamped and indexed, thinking themselves unlikely to be affected. Like so many other people who like to bury their heads in the sand rather than be committed to a definite direction, they will wake up to a totalitarian-type state soon, be shocked and then have to look around for someone else to BLAME!

"they will wake up to a totalitarian-type state soon"

Yes, a totalitarian state where independent political parties (free to speak their mind as they are funded by their supporters) have been replaced with State-funded vehicles (can't bite the hand that feeds you).

But how can we possibly avoid it Patsy when all three of the big parties support this totalitarian change?

What a contrast to the comments re Micheal Ancram. I can't believe my eyes when I see the Telegraph headlines! Yes Heffer is very jaundiced in his attitude. Yellow not Blue I think. The Times headline was a a better reflection of the mood in the country. Talking to our own in such a navel way will never win a election but ensure our defeat. The changes we all long for both hear and in Europe will never happen until WE WIN!

I also stopped reading the DT a year ago. Dissatisfaction with their political line concentrates the mind and makes one realise that the rest of the paper is bloody awful as well

They will look extremely foolish if Murdoch and the BBC start leaning the other way and become isolated supporters with the Mirror and the Guardian.

Yes. The Telegraph is outdoing the Mirror at the moment in its desire to be helpful to Brown and damaging to Cameron. But it's no surprise.

Heffer has spoken from UKIP platforms and a couple of the other opinion people are also idiotic right wing rejectionists and revolutionary defeatists.

Add to that the tendency of editors and owners to suck up to whoever is in power and you have your answer.

In other words, an unholy alliance of ultras and sycophants at the Daily Telegraph is working to stop the election of a Conservative government.

Boycott the rag until until they come to their senses.

There does appear to be a large amount of bloodletting at the Telegraph.


I have found the Telegraph to be very unsatisfactory over several months now, but yesterday's plastering of Brown's smug grin over the front page and the oceans of space he got inside was just too much to bear.
I cancelled my subscription and today I feel quite justified when I see they have given such prominence to Michael Ancrum's comments. Why do they seem so determined to undermine Cameron?
Any suggestions about which paper I can read without being reduced to a state of permanent apoplexy would be kindly received.

Depends if you want your prejudices confirmed or not .I quite enjoy the Grauniad even though I disagree with most of what they write and loathe Polly Toynbee with a passion.
If you do want your prejudices confirmed probably the Mail. Telegraph is still the best by a country mile for sports coverage.

I wonder if Heffer will mention this in his column next week ?


I am at a loss to understand just where the Telegraph is going. Having been a long term reader of the paper for more years than I care to remember, I too am starting to question its stance and if it does not buck up its ideas ppretty soon, it will lose my support as well

You know you are in deep doo as a political party when you start attacking the press. Never a good idea and one that always backfires on you...especially when they are on your side of the fence.

On each of the last three weekdays the newspaper formerly known as The Daily Torygraph has been causing big headaches at CCHQ.

Maybe I am out of thre loop but I was not aware that the Telegraph had actually become a department of what I suppose we must now call 'David Cameron's Conservatives'.

The recent articles and features have been excellent, and if they have helped push Cameron into his recent 'lurch to the right' they are having an extremely beneficial effect.

As for the loss of Oberon Houston, 'Scotty' and, allegedly, several other Roons I never heard of before (sock puppets?) I'm sure the Barclay Brothers won't lose any sleep.

Interesting that these people say they are going to The Times. Murdoch is even less likely to back Cameron.

Trad Tory,

True, true and the same can be said for you not voting for Cameron as well.

You won't be missed.

I read The Times although I wish it was the awful Compact size.

True, true and the same can be said for you not voting for Cameron as well.

You've lost me Mike.

I voted for Davis against Cameron but I don't suppose I will have the opportunity to vote for/against Dave ever again.

So your point is..?

Unfortunately, the Daily Telegraph is now terrible. It has nothing at all in it during summer and is only vaguely readable during winter.

I have started reading 'The Guardian' of all newspapers. If you disregard the hot air from Polly Toynbee and a certain subservience to Labour, it's actually quite a good newspaper.

I have started reading 'The Guardian' of all newspapers. If you disregard the hot air from Polly Toynbee and a certain subservience to Labour, it's actually quite a good newspaper.

That's right Sam. Don't you worry about it.

Just you make sure you keep taking the medication.

The FT and the IHT are the papers that all the leaders read. Both are absolutely top-notch in terms of reporting. Unfortunately the FT chose to go for quite a price-hike recently. Quality newspapers are far too expensive.

The Telegraph is utterly wedded to getting AND WINNING a referendum on the EU constitution. This blog's readers are lukewarm on the subject. Ancram has been supportive but his mild criticisms are what so many of us feel about the party's unsure beliefs and principles.

CCHQ is staffed by metro-neo-liberals it would seem. Now this may have contributed to the Tory lead in the marginals which is ENTIRELY due to the fall in LibDem support there. (Even Labour gained from them there.)

In short the Telegraph is being principled and deserves a circulation boost for it.

The Telegraph and indeed the Mail seem a bit schizophrenic at present. On the one hand they will say I want a referendum, tax credits are a dreadful waste, ID cards are a plastic poll tax, and the covenant with the army has disgustingly been broken. Then on the other hand they act towards the architect of all these problems as if they were a teenage girl getting excited by the arctic monkeys.

I really can't understand how a supposed serious paper decides that Gordon Brown is wonderful because he wears blue ties, speaks in an artificially deep voice, and doesn't(can't attractively) smile. I mean they may not like how Cameron comes across but supporting Brown because he looks like a traditional Tory is like supporting Dracula because you are an opera fan and he wears a dinner Jacket.

After that ghastly panegyric on Brown in Monday's edition of The Telegraph, readers were asked to comment online on:
"Has Brown done enough to win over Tory voters?"
I put in my two-penn'orth and noted that 280 people had responded, 95% of whom were hostile to Brown.
Lo and behold, the Telegraph prints five of the responses today. Two are anti-Brown, three are pro-Brown.
The editor of The Daily Telegraph is Will Lewis.
You can write to him at:
The Daily Telegraph
111Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1 ODT

I don't see supporting Brown principled. All this reminds me of the hysterical childish leaders against Major over Europe in the 90s. The Telegraph rarely got at Blair over Europe, just Major. Basically the Telegraph staff are demonstrating what too many right wing people regularly demonstrate, sycophantism, cowardice in attacking their own rather than the oposition and panic at the slightest difficulty. And of course someone else is expected to actually do something (eg. tell the electorate what services are to be cut for tax cuts.) The comments about Simon Heffer must be near the mark, he is mostly childishly incompetant but, above all, comes over as a nasty bit of work. Even if people like our policies they won't vote Conservative if the likes of Heffer keep calling themselves Conservatives.

Recommend reading Rachel Sylvester on the Telegraph centre page. At last, at last, someone has realised what is going on and what Brown is up to.

As for trashing Margaret Thatcher's legacy, I don't follow that saying Margaret Thatcher fixed a broken economy as trashing. However, I remind you that John Rewood pointed out that over the 18 years the spending on the NHS more or less doubled. If that, and other public spending had been publicised starting about 1996 Blair wouldn't have had landslides and Michael Howard might be Prime Minister. Now by never publicising these facts that really was trashing Margaret Thatcher's legacy.

The heading of this article is spot on. What on earth is going on at the DT. Like Oberon I stopped buying it a while back as it seemed to have lost its way. Occasionally I buy one to see where they are heading. It just seems to be neither one thing nor another and the political articles are either wishy washy or backward and reactionary,


"I don't follow that saying Margaret Thatcher fixed a broken economy as trashing"

David, the only one criticism I would make of the Thatcher years is that manufacturing was consciously allowed to die. I know the rationale was to eradicate the union barons but we have paid a heavy price for it in terms of mass unemployment.

"Interesting that these people say they are going to The Times. Murdoch is even less likely to back Cameron."
I don't mind if they back Cameron or not, just prefer a paper that gives a fair and balanced editorial line. These days the likes of Heffer, Daley & Co are just oozing personal animosity towards Cameron, they are about as objective as Kevin Macguire in the Mirror when it comes to Conservative politics. The Sunday Telegraph used to be great when Dominic Lawson was editior, within weeks you could see the downward spiral, it was a real shame.

Bought the Telegraph today to see what all the fuss is about.

Got to say, I can see what the fuss is about!

A load of Red-top style hyperbole about a Tory crisis (crisis? What crisis?) and a terrible leader by (I assume) the editor. It was only he who last week said the Conservatives are more electable than Brown. One interview with Brown in his paper and now the Telegraph is back on the fence.

Shows a lack of conviction, and massive indecision by a paper quickly losing any authority.

What was the most pitiful was the 'Can Brown get Tory votes?' article in which 5 'reader's' letters were featured - 3 saying that Brown was the saviour of the country.

One - "Yes, yes, yes. He gets this Tory's vote."

Quite clearly a quickie mocked up by the staff writers.

There is now no quality daily of any authority left in the country. The death of the newspaper.

Thank God for the web and sites like this.

The Telegraph needs to get a grip regardless of its political sympathies. I never even bother to read it nowadays, I can't put my finger on it but it just seems to lack something it had a few years ago.

As for this pro-Brown bias, I don't see how this helps any brand of conservatism.

The comments here are so hysterical about the Telegraph which is doing no more than enunciating the Conservative views that most Conservatives hold. The Cameroons who lately seem to dominate the blog are in for a nasty shock when Cameron fails - as he MAY well do.

If the trumpet sound an uncertain sound to what shall we rally? That's the dilemma for most of us life-long Tories and the Telegraph speaks well for us most of the time/.

For those who say they've gone to The Times I'd say that I'd keep quiet about that if I were you. Since it went tabloid it has behaved like a tabloid and is totally dumbed down and not just in politics either. It's rubbish.

Well I think the Telegraph is right, Brown has been brilliant. His cabinet reshuffle was inspired , who canot be reassured by Alistair Darlings safe hands at the treasury? To 'review' the Supercasino in Manchester too took grat political courage and foresight. Perhaps best of all was his decision to cancel his holiday to come and gaze at those poor saps whose homes had been flooded.
From there it get's even better, 3 million homes only some of which are greenbelt land or floodplains, victory for our troops in Basra, a complete end to spin and a new politics taking in the finest minds in British politics and Mathew Taylor.
And then sadly I woke up, it had been a nightmare after all.

We all know too well the wicked ways of the dead tree press.

Whilst I've little time for Heffer and no time for Melissa Kite I also have to acknowledge that a successful paper like the Telegraph (or the Sun) often follows its readers rather than leads them.

Sorry to say, but could it be that the Torygraph is still the Torygraph and has noted a sizeable degree of scepticism amongst its readership towards the Leadership? Who truly denies such scepticism toward the leadership exists in the electorate?

Therein lies the rub, if the Conservative leadership cannot take its traditional allies in the media along the journey of reform and recovery, is the journey headed in the appropriate direction?

Somehow I cannot see the liberal minded readers of the Independent filling the gap left by sceptical Telegraph readers.

Lesson one in winning an election, get your own supporters out to vote, then worry about the floaters. We cannot ignore the signs from the Telegraph even if we dislike some of the writers and distrust their motives.

If we attract grassroots support for our policies (hint) then the likes of Heffer and Kite will have to write a different sort of editorial or puff piece.

Is that frightful spoilsport Simon Heffer holding the editor at gunpoint? His hatred of David Cameron has made me treat his articles as an irrelevance.

"Therein lies the rub, if the Conservative leadership cannot take its traditional allies in the media along the journey of reform and recovery, is the journey headed in the appropriate direction?"

Look at the circulation figures for the Telegraph over recent years, they show that the paper has gone on a journey in completely the wrong direction!!

Old Hack "Who truly denies such scepticism toward the leadership exists in the electorate?"

I think it is entirely reasonable to be sceptical, but what I can't understand is what they think they will achieve by doing dishonest puff pieces about Brown. It is 10 years of his actions and policies(Let's never forget this main was in charge of domestic policy - this was what was leaked by Labour constantly) that the telegraph truly despises so for them to turn around and effectively say Gordon has not been deceiving you for all these years, he hasn't taxed you to the hilt, he isn't a control freak is frankly laughable, and whilst they may not like Cameron, They need to truthfully explain why they think that Brown who is truly the king of spin will be better for this country given the fact that they rip apart his record on a daily basis.

Personally, I've moved from the Telegraph to the Sun. Very good today, actually - displaying remarkably clear views on Bercow and Mercer and I'm hoping for some enlightening thoughts tomorrow on Ancram. Highly recommend it. After all, that's the paper that we really need to get on our side... and the tougher line on crime in the last few weeks seems to be helping.

Happy Tory, when 'The Sun' puts the boot in you can guarentee that whoever is on the receiving end will get a real kicking! I read once that 'Cherie' won't allow a copy of 'The Sun' in the Blair home. Her pretentions won't allow it. I rate 'The Sun' and its ability to influence large numbers of people. David Cameron should work overtime to get 'The Sun' on board.

I must be a real moderniser after all. I gave up the Telegraph a year ago, after a lifetime of daily purchase. I hope their ever-reducing circulation figures give them some form of comfort to make up for all the buckets of hatred they have to endure from Heffer every week.

Christina @ 20.19 - 'The comments here are so hysterical about the Telegraph which is doing no more than enunciating the Conservative views that most Conservatives hold'.

You mean that that two page spread on Brown yesterday, with photos that the Guardian would have been proud of, reflects what most Conservatives are interested in! I know you do not have much time for DC, to put it mildly, but I am astounded that you feel that a two page spread plus front cover, (almost a kind of paean) is appropriate at the moment in the Telegraph, and it has nothing to do with whether DC is considered by some not to be effective enough, the article is not appropriate! It almost suggests that the Barclay brothers have decided that we should all be encouraged to unite in 'harmony' behind our glorious PM, which of course is just what he would like!

Perhaps someone should start an online 'Sack Heffer' campaign?

The Daily Mailograph has been going generally downhill for years: more and more "human interest" and "celeb" stories mysteriously appear in the "news" sections and Private Eye has had fun for years over the annual photos of "fruity girls" celebrating exam success. Briorny Gordon's column is outstandingly vacuous but she's not alone. Like the "Hate" Mail it even hates doctors these days - well it does overpaid, incompetent GPs if not downtrodden juniors. Increasingly I find Christopher Howse and of course the obits the best. Probably sums up one of the major problems that Dave has. To be elected we must love, or at least accept, modern Britain. The Telegraph is trying perhaps too hard to do so. I hate it...but Matt makes it worth buying. If he moved to another paper, so would I.

Sunday Telegraph seems to be loyal to Cameron and anti-Brown. Daily Telegraph is keen to hang on to advertising revenues and understands the requirement to arse-lick the government.

Patsy @ 2158- It is quite normal for newspapers to give room to people they disagree with early on so that they can show how broadminded they are and then get on with rubbishing them later. It's happened with most newspapers I know over every election I've experienced. Why on earth is everyone being so hysterical about it.

As for the Telegraph's circulation I haven't looked in the last 6 months or so but they were doing better on the whole than anybody else then. The Indie is massively loss-making, so is the Times and the Guardian is kept afloat by a car trading mag (?Autotrader?)

And Heffer? He is just the most read column (Wed + Sat) in the whole paper both in the paper version and the online one.

What worries me here is that people are trotting out prejudices as though they were facts.

The fact is that the Telegraph stands on its own feet, is not losing out competitively and is appreciated by its readers. Traditional Tories like it and one of the reasons is Heffer. It has done enough to make someone like me realise that though I despise Cameron we're stuck with him and we'd better back him!

Just seen the update.
Sorry to hear that Patience Wheatcroft is going from the S.Telegraph. She was a voice of sanity on it - and brilliant on economics - compared with the political editor d'Ancona who was a Blairite and now a somewhat unenthusiastic Cameroon. (d'A has wrecked The Spectator which was thriving under Boris)

Cameron does not need such support - he needs supportive and constructive criticism.

"And Heffer? He is just the most read column (Wed + Sat) in the whole paper both in the paper version and the online one.

What worries me here is that people are trotting out prejudices as though they were facts."

Christina, the irony of those two sentences together made me chuckle.

BTW, Cameron receives neither supportive or constructive criticism from Heffer & Co, instead he gets a weekly dose of personalised venom. A few weeks back Heffer crossed the line in IMHO with an article that finished with a particularly nasty broadside at Cameron. That kind of abuse has no place in a broadsheet purporting to be serious about political coverage.

It's not so much Heffer's views, although I don't share most of them, it's the sheer tabloid style of, particularly, his Saturday column. It reminds me of a down market John Junor from the old Sunday Express but without the humour and deliberate self-parody. The problem is that that is the one day when the paper is definitely worth buying - for Charles Moore, the pleasure of having the City section in the main paper and the "fluffy" bits, such as Xanthe Clay on cooking etc. (although sadly no longer Frank Johnson, the previous absolute highlight of the week). Re Heffer it's easy to say that you can just turn the page, but it lowers the tone of the whole paper, as well as taking up space when there should be something a lot better. And others have commented about his seeming influence in the editorial line, at least at times.

Why does the editor so lack profile? With Charles Moore as editor, and Bill Deedes before him for that matter, you knew who was shaping the thing and could often hear their authentic voices in the editorials. It is now a pudding without a theme, and far too few good columnists. I even miss Utley junior, who although often trivial, was amusing and reflected the struggles of middle class life in London rather well - BTY where does he write now?

But to switch you only have to list the alternatives to see the problem. I am close to it but can't quite do it. I have long regarded the Times as a tabloid in all but name but having picked it up a few times recently it is now no more tabloidesque than the Telegraph and still has some good columnists like Matthew Parris and Rees Mogg senior. But major downsides are that it's Murdock and there's too much exercise turning all those pages. I agree that the Guardian is a surprisingly good and serious read and its mid-size is better than the Times & Indy; I am seriously thinking of trying it for a week or two. The FT is excellent, and I do see it at work, but it does not cover UK non-financial news in the depth I want so cannot be ones main paper.

So all very dispiriting really.

As a Guardian reader I am normally no admirer of the Telegraph.

However the in-depth interview with our Prime Minister did the Telegraph great credit and showed that under its present management it is at least prepared to rase above party politics.

This is something it would never have done while Charles "Lord Snooty" Moore was wrecking the paper or when the pathetic far right snob Frank Johnson was filling its columns with asinine bile. Those were the days when the paper was widely referred to as the "Trashograph"

Ive lately been reading the Telegraph on-line and there's much to enjoy. Simon Heffer is effective because he recognises the faults of Cameron and goes for the jugular.

Yes Heffer is far-right like Cameron but he prefers principle to power-grabbing. He wants to pull Cameron down and wreck his chances of seizing power and inflicting his repugnant neo-Thatcherite policies on the decent majority.

And that's good news for everybody who cares about Britain.

Cameroon supporters frequently trumpet their self-proclaimed modernity. But their reaction
to criticism is too often reactionary.

"But their reaction
to criticism is too often reactionary"

I suspect the humour of that is lost on you.

No Gareth, the humour is not lost on me at all. I was pointing out the irony for those who can see it.

Alistair @ 6.57 = wind-up/joke. There is nothing wrong per se with an interview with the PM: it is the surrounding distortion and flip-flop of the editorial line that I complain about. The paper gave a very fair wind to Cameron originally, effectively a supporter.

"Heffer is far-right like Cameron" - ho, ho Alistair. Labour HQ does get up early these days doesn't it.

Londoner, "Alistair" (not his real name) blames Margaret Thatcher for everything that's gone wrong in his rather sad life, and his comments have to be interpreted in that light. He's quite obsessively bitter towards the Conservative Party, of which he was once a member.

Your article makes a good point. After 10 years as Chancellor, it is bizzare to see how The Telegraph and Mail can have such admiration for Brown. They seem to have swallowed the whole 'new man' spin, without stopping to consider his record to date. With the last two Tory papers turning to Brown, sites such as this are becoming a welcome oasis during this dreadful honeymoon period.

Scotty @ 0025, It baffles me why you see irony in the FACT that Heffer is the most read column in the paper . You may not like it but it's true.

Reading him today should make you understand why.

I for one think the Telegraph is a jolly good read. No other paper sticks up for the right to hunt like the Telegraph, and Cameron's Conservatives will repeal the most illiberal Act ever to have been passed when they win the next election.

At least the Telegraph and the Conservatives are singing from the same hymn sheet on this most important issue.

"DC is without doubt the most pathetic inept leader that the Conservatives have ever had the misfortune to have."

The National Association of Ted Heath Burners would disagree...

It is not The Telegraph that has changed but the Conservative Party.

As a Conservative Telegraph reader I see a party that is pushing for green taxes, is against an overall reduction in taxes and public spending, against grammar schools, has a leader who is silent (for obvious reasons) about drugs and is a representative of an urban professional-politician class and who has described many former Conservatives who are against the EU as loonies and racists. So frankly I prefer Brown!

Re Gospel of Enoch a little above: Surely the National Association of Ted Heath Burners has now been disbanded, having achieved its aim at a crematorium somewhere near Salisbury? If, on the other hand, there is a grave somewhere available for stamping on, there may be an opening for the National Association of Heath Stamping (NHS).

There's also much work still going on under the auspices of the Major Disaster Recovery plan - ask any Facilities Department (or failed Tory politician since 1993), and they will confirm this. The Hardly Any Gains Utterly Endemic society (H.A.G.U.E.) should also not be overlooked; and nor should we forget the support for the present leader lent by the ABC club (Anyone But Clarke), at present suspended after three successful campaigns, despite the obvious danger of a takeover of the acronym by the nursery school branch of the Heffer Appreciation Society (HAS been).

It is not The Telegraph that has changed but the Conservative Party.

Maurice Green was editor when I first started to read the paper and it was then excellent. The paper was anti-Heath and pro-British.

Under Deedes, for whom I had very little time, the paper degenerated into a comic. Deedes was a right-of-centre Tory, but one with no backbone whatsoever. Last week's pull-out hagiography went straight into the bin.

Hastings was an out-and-out leftist, but at least he made the paper worth reading again. About Moore the least said the better.

Since then the editors seem to have been a succession of empty suits, but now at last the paper is improving significantly.

Perhaps after all it is now very much Heffer's paper and that's great news.

Perhaps after all it is now very much Heffer's paper and that's great news.

If Heffer (avowed opposition supporter) is indeed pulling the strings to help spew his own usual "right wing plus" bile and vitriol, it might alone be enough to make me change my weekday order to the Times...

'Under Deedes the paper degenerated into a comic'-Traditional Tory. You get more ludicrous by the day.No wonder you've got no friends.

I watched a programme on Bill Deedes on the television the other night. He came across as an amiable toff and "old buffer" but with little intellectual substance.

Deedes married wealth rather than earning it through business. His ugly wife looked like a man after a failed sex change.

All Deedes' jobs were obtained through the family or Old Boy network. Like that old Wet Julian Critchley, he made my flesh creep.

My wife and I cringed throughout throughout the programme. Give me Simon Heffer and Andrew Neil any day!

'Under Deedes the paper degenerated into a comic'-Traditional Tory. You get more ludicrous by the day.No wonder you've got no friends.

Clearly Malcolm you do not remember the degeneration of the Telegraph under Deedes - finally confirmed when the Berry family had to sell the titles to Black, and Hastings was put in.

As you were probably reading the Beano at the time, that's not surprising, but I gritted my teeth and took the paper every day from the beginning to the end of Deedes's reign. Most of the decent writers departed but Deedes had a brainwave and altered the front page title from 'The Daily Telegraph' to 'The Telegraph', a ridiculous change for the sake of change which was promptly reversed by Hastings.

Under Hastings the paper improved immensely. I have no time for his politics, but he knew how to run a newspaper.

As for my friends - well you wouldn't really know would you - but last year I managed to fill a very large space for my silver wedding anniversary.

Something I doubt you will be doing.

"Moral Minority" - obviously your moral compunctions do not extend to restraining from speaking ill of the deceased who cannot answer back, on blogs or elsewhere. Please think again about your antics before posting them on a Conservative blog?

Thankfully, Deedes's tenure is now such a long time ago that my meory is clouding fast.

He actually changed the masthead to 'Daily Telegraph' which was even more pointless and looked amazingly unappealing in print. It seemed to unbalance the page.

Talking about print, the Deedes paper began to look as if the ink had been thoroughly watered down. One began to wonder when a sheaf of totally blank pages would tumble through the letterbox.

Black may have been a villain but he saved the Telegraph (only to wreck it again - but that's another story)

Tradtory, come on Black was far worse than that! Tom Bower, the brilliant biographer who brought us 'Gordon Brown', also did the same for Conrad Black. Apparently once he read his Bower biography, he never questioed the facts in print, but complained that he thought it was awful that it made him out to be 'some sort of criminal'. Yes the FT said, it did.

The telegraph is a terrible waste. There is a crying market for a right-wing broadsheet with the quality news-section of the Telegraph. However, such a paper needs less Blacks and more talented editors. As it is it has one too many of both. Pulp rubbish.

Bill Deedes saw his paper rise to circulation levels and market share that none of his successors came near to achieving and yes I remember it well TT I was working for the Times when Hartwell sold to Black. Bill Deedes was a great editor who built a superb stable of journalists during his time there. He was also a very decebt man,no doubt a quality TT with which you're entirely unfamiliar.
I had meant to say that you've got no friends on this blog.

You may well have worked for The Times Malcolm dear, but as a loyal Telegraph reader for around 35 years, I beg to differ. It would be interesting to know how long you have taken the Telegraph, if at all.

Other than the heavy-handed centre-left rantings of Edward Pearce I can't recall much about this allegedly fantastic stable of journalists assembled/retained by Deedes, but please do enlighten us. Please also remember that I was just a regular reader and did not have the detailed inside knowledge of one who worked on...The Times.

BTW, I assume you were actually a journalist, being as you profess such detailed knowledge about the second-oldest profession.

Deedes ran the paper into the ground, which is the main reason why Black and Hastings took over and Deedes vacated the editorial chair - not before time.

As to your other, totally fatuous, observation, while it does not concern me unduly whether or not I have any friends 'on this blog', I clearly have a number of sympathisers, fellow-travellers or whatever you want to call them among the large number of contributors who do not care for Mr Cameron and his works.

Given your Stalinist lack of humour I very much doubt you have many friends, period.

Never mind, Malcolm. I'm sure your dog loves you.

Why does Simon Heffer have such visceral dislike of Cameron which appears to go well beyond politics.I understand he is closely related to the late uber left wing tyro Eric Heffer M.P.but surely that cannot be the reason.Has some old etonian insulted or has he a huge chip mounted on his shoulder.

Heffer regards Cameron as a lightweight with no worthwhile or even sincere ideas. Don't forget that Heffer reveres thinkers. He wrote what are probably the best modern biographies of Powell and Carlyle.

There is also a particular incident which rankles with Heffer, At the time of Black Wednesday Cameron was Lamont's bag-carrier. He was deputed to beg Heffer to write something nice about Lamont and was sent away with a flea in his ear. It was a monkey and organ grinder moment.

That;s the gist of it. Simon tells the story often so I'm sure a more detailed version is out there on the web.

Jeff Randall also witnessed Cameron in a less than flattering light when he worked for Carlton Communications, as did a contact of mine.

But I'm sworn to secrecy on that one.

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