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No fair minded person would read Liam Fox's words and conclude he thinks Davis has been selfish.

Ms Kite is not of fair mind.

The Telegraph hasn't helped the situation at all.

Private Eye might start calling it the AntiTorygraph

Careful Tim: remember what happened last time you crossed swords with Melissa Kite? She accused you of sexism!

Er, actually it did help somewhat with Simon Heffer's article, but generally it hasn't helped

Focus on civil liberties!

Will Lewis needs to get a grip AND FAST.

I remember the charges of sexism too Jennifer Wells. People losing arguments always hurl charges of sexism, racism, homophobia and by crying wolf they devalue real incidents of prejudice.

The fact is that David Davis is taking a stand on an issue of consicence - good for him, and I agree with him.
David Cameron has been as supportive as he possibly could be. End of story. I don't think this will cause us long term damage. I've blogged on the three heroes of the moment - http://racheljoyce.blogspot.com/2008/06/three-heroes.html

Come on, get real. The translation of "It was a personal decision" is "selfish".

The translation of "courageous", as Andrew Rawnsley points out, is "bonkers".

The Telegraph exists to cut through the political crap and inform its readers, not to make life comfortable for the Conservative party.

The Telegraph's comment pages are very good, David, but that shouldn't stop us pointing out inaccurate news reporting: particularly when it's bigged up on the front page.

I blame the BBC for this.

Lets not forget that the public are full square behind Davis

"The translation of "It was a personal decision" is "selfish"." - Alexander King talking nonsense again.

I can make a personal decision to give all my worldly goods to charity. A personal decision can be entirely selfless.

The Telegraph's news pages are becoming a disgrace.
Thank God for the blogs and the scrutiny they bring.
And not just any blogs but blogs that aren't owned by mainstream meeja -- within which there remains too much cosiness.

"I can make a personal decision to give all my worldly goods to charity. A personal decision can be entirely selfless".

We're talking about the political meaning of these words, not their general meaning. There are a whole host of euphemisms used by politicians and diplomats - "full and frank discussion" is another good one ("bloody great row").

Melissa Kite is a joke. Consistant incompetence that wouldn't be tolerated in the majority of organisations.

What a warped article from Melissa Kite. Even the photo they've used on Telegraph.co.uk seems designed to cause mischief.
Davis has clearly got the media worried - why is the Telegraph trying so hard to undermine Davis? what are they frightened of?

I like the Telegraph. I think they could have been a tiny bit more helpful by reporting things more accurately, but Conservative Home and blogs are there to point out little factual errors, which is wonderful.

I read the political blogs on the telegraph website quite often, great stuff, sorry for hinting otherwise.

I hope the media focus switches to civil liberties. :-)

That's all very well Deborah - but if you gave all of your worldly goods to charity without consulting your husband or children (for example) they may say you made a 'personal decision'.... one that may well help charities, but was selfish with regard to your family.

We can all play semantics but Alexander King and Rachel Joyce are both right: David Cameron et al have supported David Davis as much as they can in this quest, but it was a selfish decision made by David D without regard of his colleagues - but with the greater good in mind.

I like David D and would like to see him playing a role once re-elected... I just hope it's a collegiate one.

No, Alexander King.
You are talking about your own interpretation of these words, nothing more.

Fine, Deborah, but I think you'll find my interpretation bears more resemblance to reality than your own.

Read Andrew Rawnsley's column today for a nice translation of politspeak.

"without regard of his colleagues - but with the greater good in mind."

If he had the greater good in mind, how is he being selfish?
If his colleagues objected because it gave them some short term difficuties, that would indeed be selfish of them but, as it is, Cameron et al have not done any such thing.
Accusations of selfishness are misplaced and serve only to cause trouble.

This is CH at its best: highlighting the sins of MSM and allowing the rest of us a space to comment. It's been obvious for years that the Telegraph hates the Conservative party. There's more intelligent discussion at half three on a Tuesday morning on Commentisfree than you'll find in a month of Telegraph OpEd.

MSM is so obsessed with the micropolitics of personality that it can't raise its eyes from its theorizing about hypothetical Davis motives or hypothetical Cameron reactions. It can't see the comments appearing by the yard on the Guardian and Independent websites. They paraphrase as "I can't believe I'm saying this about a Tory but thank God for David Davis". His actions are the biggest love bomb from the centre right to sensible liberals for a generation. I find it hard to believe that David Cameron will object to this, whatever his short-term misgivings about losing control of his "grid". His no1 tactical objective has been the re-alignmnent of middle-class liberals from LibDem to Tory.

What a shame Mackenzie is having second thoughts. Skewering rabid populism would be a delightful side effect of the by-election, not least for the crisis in tactics it would cause the Labour party.

Add Melissa Kite to the no co-operation list

Once upon a time there were newspapers on the right with principals.

These days there are not.

The Telegraph's coverage over recent weeks, particularly 42 days has been shameful.

- A questionable poll.
- Clear favour for the authoritarian stance over 42 days.
- Clearly anti-Davis.

The worst offender is Kite. She (only civility stops me from using a rather insulting rhyming epithet for her name) is a reprehensible gutter journalist who will use the flimsiest of excuses to sensationalise and spin against the Conservative Party.

Last week she was at Caroline Spelman now David Davis. Does she want a job in Brown's press office or has she already surreptitiously got one?

As for the Davis decision, right or wrong, It's done. Get over it!

Incessant chunterring against him on the sidelines will not turn back time and will only do damage to the cause and in case people have forgotten that is getting rid of the Gordon Brown and his muppets.

Leave us who support his stand to get on with it and the rest stop wasting energy attacking your own (there is no big difference in views is there?) when it can be used to attack Labour.

Let's hope she comes out with another laughable outburst about blogger boys...

This is a useful highlighting by CH of blatant invention by a journalist to fit their own Agenda.

It is of course possible that off the record Liam Fox briefed in a way that fitted her report - but that is not what his actual words said.

Why is Mellisa Kite not challenged to jusify her version when the quotes don't support it.

This early aftermath of DD's bombshell must be carefully handled by the Party HQ. If they stay supportive there is much to be gained - if not they will be sidelined by the public mood.

David Davies - a solution for Labour

Let Labour put up a legitimate candidate at H&H against DD.

At the same time let Jacqui Smith resign her seat and fight it on what Labour believes in.

JS and DD can then debate the issues and let people decide at the two constituencies.

Goodness me, what a terrible invention from la Kite. The very idea that a news story might contain information not solely gleaned from direct, on the record quotes contained therein. That a hack might have written her, or his, piece based also on the stuff a 'senior' Tory politician furiously arslikan his leader, thereby trying to cling on to his job before a shadow cabinet reshuffle, might say only strictly off the record: never. And as for pushing this ridiculous idea that there is something misleading about stating that Davis *wasn't* part of the Roonerbunker - grow up.

Well done Tim. More shite from Kite.

We can just pray that one day sanity returns to the Gordongraph. When will the Telegraph's editor sack her for gross errors?

Laim Fox was the person who Kite said would be kicked out of the shadow cabinet a year ago......

But then in the land of Kite it is always someone else's fault, never hers.

"This is CH at its best: highlighting the sins of MSM and allowing the rest of us a space to comment. It's been obvious for years that the Telegraph hates the Conservative party. There's more intelligent discussion at half three on a Tuesday morning on Commentisfree than you'll find in a month of Telegraph OpEd."

I agree whole heartedly with you Graeme!

I don't care that the Telegraph is no longer the Torygraph, I bought it years ago because I thought it was good broadsheet that was not sycophantically slavish to New Labour - end of. When I stopped buying it, I did so because it became anti Conservative, it was not exactly cornering the market when it went in that direction either! I can buy the Guardian for that purpose!
No, all I wanted was the Telegraph to be balanced in its factual reporting, and it has not been that for a while so I buy something else - usually the Times.
Two days in a row, Tim has highlighted some pretty misleading and shoddy journalism from their team, don't they realise that most politically aware readers also bother to follow a much wider range of views and information on the internet these days? I mean, you can read all the papers and opinion out there from your own home, and it is treating us like idiots when I see some of the wild variations on the same story.
What it has done though, is highlight the very good and the very bad in political journalism.
Judging by the later posts in the comments thread on this article in the Three Line Whip, it appears that the headline had to be changed here because it did not live up to the billing.

Yesterday they trailed that a senior Conservative had come out and criticised David Davis, it was not only extremely misleading, but looking at Liam Fox's actually words as printed here it bears no relation to what he said.
In fact, what is blatantly obvious is that he was extremely careful to follow the official line of the Shadow Cabinet on this issue - no story there that will make a big splash though.
Already last night there was a fair amount of cynicism about whether their trailer for today's story would live up to the hype, looks like we were right to wary.
I get fed up with all the quotes from sources unwilling to put their name to them, but then when you see misleading stories attributed to a named source its just as bad.
Its not just the politicians who need to clean up their act in Westminster, the journalists have a responsibility to do their job properly too. The initial reporting of DD's resignation has to be one of the best examples of how appalling bad the MSM has become over the last few years.
Only compliments going to Mathew Parris, Andrew Rawnsley and Ian McWhirter in the Sunday Herald.
Question DD's decision, report the shocked reaction of colleagues and opponents, but most importantly balance it by looking outside your bubble and with the caveat that his beliefs on this issue are very strong and long held. Let us make up our minds with the accurate facts in front of us.
That poll showing the public's scepticism of his decision is based not on the facts, but the hysterical reaction and opinion of journalists, much of which has proved unfounded, despite that nearly three days later we are still being fed wildly inaccurate rumours from the first few hours of the bombshell going off in Westminster.
And worst of all, DD has been a great pains to explain and deny some of these decisions and rumours repeatedly on TV and on radio - so no excuses.

Does anyone else think that Ahem@14:18 is Melissa herself?

Westminster Wolf (love the name!), are you part of that journalistic cabal there?
I wondered after reading Ahem@14:18 talk about the Roonerbunker, what the hell is that when it is at home, and is it a glaring clue to some secret journalistic jargon?

editor, are you sure that the author of the article is responsible for its headline, and not a sub?

I wrote a piece for the Sunday Times when the priority list was announced about my Tory childhood and the suberitor headlined it "I can't believe I'm a Tory" - something I never said or wrote, and don't believe.

I have to wonder if Ms. Kite is responsible for the headline.

Fair point about the headline Louise but the word selfish appears in her article too: "Liam Fox broke ranks yesterday to suggest that David Davis was selfish for resigning his Commons seat..."

Westminster Wolf: I'm not sure it's helpful to speculate as to the person behind "Ahem".

The link below suggests that "La Kite" knows where to find us...


It is quite possible that Melissa Kite was not consulted about the headline. If so, I look forward to her complaining about it publically. We shall see. She has a poor reputation already, I wonder if she's prepared to see it sink lower.
Alexander King, recently I tried to defend you from your many critics on this blog. But you're making a fool of yourself today.
Leave talking bollocks to someone like David Lindsay.

"Alexander King, recently I tried to defend you from your many critics on this blog. But you're making a fool of yourself today.
Leave talking bollocks to someone like David Lindsay".

What a remarkably intemperate outburst.

A few too many shandies down at the village pub, Malcolm?

The headline does not represent Fox's view. Its all very to decode Dr Fox's choice of words but I suggest that that is not Ms Kite's job. Leave the comments to commentators like Mr King and Mr Rawnsley.

Tim, you are going to love this priceless piece of spin from the Three Line Whip.
When in a hole, just jump out of it and start digging another one in a completely different place!
David Cameron's morning meetings
Despite having linked it, it deserves to be copied and pasted here in all its glory!

"After the Telegraph wrote about the morning meetings held by David Cameron some shadow cabinet ministers have been calling to put their hands up and say they go too. These meetings take place at 9.15, Monday to Thursday.

This is the cast list (so far):

David Cameron, William Hague, George Osborne, Oliver Letwin, Caroline Spelman, Francis Maude, Liam Fox, Patrick McLaughlin, Chris Grayling, Lord Strathclyde, Andrew Mackay, Andy Coulson, James O'Shaugnessy.

On the issue of David Davis they say he came and he sometimes chaired the meetings when Cameron or Hague were absent.

There were of course other strategy meetings that Davis did not attend. It is those, more private affairs, that seem to have irked some of his allies."

Found this a very disingenuous, graceless and sarcastic attempt by Andrew Porter to put the record straight - not!

Thanks ChrisD. I've been speaking to folk at The Telegraph today and I think they are aware of their error on the morning meetings.


It matters because it left the impression that DD was sidelined from such an important meeting. As it happens, I do actually think DD could and should have been consulted more often but The Telegraph made a specific accusation and it was untrue.

Westminster Wolf: I'm not sure it's helpful to speculate as to the person behind "Ahem".

Posted by: Editor | June 15, 2008 at 15:42

--- surely this is the most beautifully surreal comment on Conservative Home, ever?

The Person Behind 'Ahem' should be the title of a novel. In it we follow the labyrinthine journey of a young man just down from Oxford, who enters first the murky world of the Secret Service, but who later learns not to trust his new masters, alerted, as he is, to their ulterior motives by overhearing a muffled conversation, emanating from behind a heavy curtain, while he assists the wife of the Dean of his former college to recover from a coughing fit, during the fish course of a Gaudy. "The John Le Carre of the 21st century" say Richard and Judy's scriptwriter. "The Person Behind Ahem has all of the cold war chill of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold with none of the latter's casual sexism". Judy's stylist later remarked that "The revelation of 'Ahem' comes with a real twist. Not like a lemon twist in a martini, but a sort of narrative type thing. So not a 'real' twist at all," she paused, gazing wild-eyed for the nearest exit, "if by 'real' I meant to refer to something physical". Continued on p94

The Telegraph simply sees this as a chance to destabilise Cameron; they've never liked him, and have been trying to do so since the start.

A few different David's here ;-)

er, without the apostrophe

I hope those of you on this site who moan about the Daily and Sunday Telegraph aren't still buying the bloody rags. You can, after all, read them online if you want to confirm their continuing duplicity and support for the Labour Party.
I bought the Sunday Times and Observer today. They were both sympathetic to the Tories. I generally opt for the Times during the week.

This is Rosa Prince's blog today:

"Green David Cameron undermined by George W Bush meeting"

She is remorselessly anti-Tory!


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