Friday, March 19, 2010

The Daily Telegraph Talibgraph

Yesterday, Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome asked if this once great newspaper had ‘gone mad or bad’.

He omitted ‘sad’, but in many respects that is the overwhelming feeling many Conservatives experience when they turn to the tawdry pages and bigoted blogs of this once-great bastion of Tory journalism. It does not quite merit the Burkean prestige of being ranked alongside Parliament, Church and the Monarchy as a revered institution. But it has been one of the finest newspapers in these islands’ history, and, under former proprietors and editors, much treasured and loved.

But no longer.

There are insufficient clichéd metaphors to express the extent to which it has been reduced to a hollow shell; a shadow of its former self; a façade of dramaturgy bleating nothing but synthetic patriotism, the illusion of faith and but an echo of the philosophy of conservatism.

Since the Barclay brothers purchased the newspaper, The Daily Telegraph has ceased being the unofficial house journal of the Conservative Party – or the Torygraph, as it was affectionately known. Perhaps the political shift was purposeful. But it has lost its political moorings to the extent that it is no longer coherent: it does not appear to understand the difference between constructive criticism and outright hostility.

The Barclays terminated the contracts of some of The Telegraph’s finest: one thinks of Craig Brown and AN Wilson, not to mention Patrick Barclay, George Jones, Sam Leith, Andrew McKie, and Mark Steyn. And they phased out the regular columns of Iain Dale and Daniel Hannan MEP. And these have been replaced with a coterie of Labour-leaning, like-minded journalists who criticise the Conservative Party and berate the Church of England at every turn. Many of its articles evidence Labour and Roman Catholic partiality. And those which do not are of the Norman Tebbit / Simon Heffer / UKIP-sympathising strand of conservatism, for whom such terms as ‘One Nation’, ‘Compassionate’ or ‘Progressive’ are nothing but a dissonant heresy.

On the left are those who loathe David Cameron; on the right are those who despise him.

That is The Telegraph’s notion of ‘broad church’. It has not quite lost its voice, but it has become shrill, shallow and girlishly immature.

Witness yesterdays front page (yes, front page) story about Nadine Dorries.

It is quite extraordinary that a ‘quality’ broadsheet should choose to lead with such fabricated smut on the day after two teenage boys die from overdosing on a legal drug, mephedrone; with BA facing crippling strikes at the mercy of UNITE; when Gordon Brown has admitted lying to Parliament and to Chilcot; and when it transpires that UNITE appear to have bought sponsored so many Labour MPs that the Prime Minister dare not criticise the union for ruining the holidays of thousands of people for fear of bankrupting his party on the eve of a General Election.

And with all these rather substantial goings on, The Telegraph serves up tabloid trash and smutty sleaze and innuendo.

The accused and reliable primary sources have stated that the story is simply NOT TRUE.

And His Grace makes no apology for shouting.

It appears that when Telegraph journalists wish to bring to the attention of the world the exaggerations and inaccuracies of their competitors, they stamp their feet and scream and scream and scream.

Or perhaps that is just one.

There is no evidence at all that Nadine Dorries has manipulated a friend of hers to stand against Esther Rantzen in Luton South in a bid to stop the former That's Life presenter becoming an MP.

But why should The Telegraph let the facts get in the way of a good story?

Except, of course, that it isn’t even a good story.

The reality is that The Daily Telegraph has become nothing more than an embittered rag for the pursuit of camp carping, puerile quarrels and childish vendettas.

And if the targets of those vendettas are Conservative and Anglican (or Evangelical or Tablet-reading Roman Catholics), so much the better.

The Church of England may once have been the Tory Party at prayer, but The Daily Telegraph was the Conservative Party in the armchairs of their homes, in the days when those homes were inviolable castles. The news journal was synonymous with the maintenance of the great themes of conservatism and a critical friends (if not unswervingly loyal) to whomever happened to be the Conservative Party leader. It became a natural part of the Establishment because it sought to maintain the Establishment – the United Kingdom, Monarchy, Parliament, and the Church of England.

But then the Barclays descended.

And support for the Established Church was reduced to the token, solitary voice of the neophyte George Pitcher, for whom the XXXIX Articles are but a grotesque ornament of unfortunate ecclesial history. All that passes now for religious reporting is an incessant, hyper-critical but very ‘robust’ carping crusade against everything that is not ‘orthodox’ and Roman Catholic: that is the Protestants, the ‘liberal’ Anglicans, the ‘liberal’ Roman Catholics, the Roman Catholic Bishops of England and Wales (just about all of them). In fact, Christians and their treasured institutions are largely held in utter contempt unless they are Benedict-adoring, Catholic-Herald-reading Roman Catholics or Anglo-Catholics who embrace fully the munificent personal ordinariates described in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus

It now evinces a caustic, intemperate, bitter and fundamentalist Roman Catholicism which is steeped in untruth: it is a creed which is loathed by many British Roman Catholics, derided by many of the bishops of England and Wales, and wept over by archbishops and cardinals.

It is an embarrassment to Pope Benedict himself, devoid, as it is, of the love, humility and the fragrance of Christ of which he a veritable incarnation.

Politically, The Telegraph has transmogrified into the Labourgraph.

But theologically it has transubstantiated into the Talibgraph.

Its pretentious political tone is as narrow, hollow and insular as its self-righteous religiosity.

The once-discerning and magisterial Telegraph has become suffused with the malice and trivia of the tabloid.

Charles Moore and Peregrine Worsthorne must be in mourning. Certainly, very many Tories long for their return, or at least a return to their journalistic principles. The Barclay brothers know little and care even less about journalism. They are notoriously touchy about any criticism. They have been happy to use laws that inhibit press freedom. They want their papers to be mouthpieces for their own reactionary opinions and clamp down – through intermediaries – on anything that runs counter to their personal views. They are utterly intolerant of voices raised in protest – religiously or politically.

But it looks as though the are here to stay, so we might as well get used to dealing with their Talibgraph.

But God help you if you happen to upset them or irritate the disciples who kiss their feet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any broadsheet that can be called Tory anymore ? Your description of the Telegraph is what I have thought of late too. The Times seems to be just a megaphone for News Corps commercial best interests. The Mail is too brash and not broadsheet enough. The Express is just down the tubes.

Iain Dale mentioned in a blog posting recently that the Independent could - if it so wishes to re-position itself away from LibDem-land - have an open goal to ramp up readership by filling this vacuum.

Someone has to take this spot.

19 March 2010 at 08:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's much to agree with here, your usual RC paranoia notwithstanding - at the same time, the paper articulates a view that many may feel. Or, to put that a little better, one can hardly mourn the fact that the paper can no longer be considered 'the Torygraph' when PRDave has done much to fillet his party of what many people feel are fundamental tenets of conservatism. The paper may have changed, but then so has the party it was traditionally associated with - chicken and egg? Equally with the Established church, which has become little more than an attempted theological endorsement of sociological trends, ordaining priestesses and whatnot, and has pretty much capitulated to the 'liberal' wing against which many social conservatives will naturally bray - one can hardly feign surprise if this is greeted with derision, or that the Telegraph should seek to articulate that position.

Even so, I think your overall point is sound enough, and the tone does often swing between the sanctimonious and the downright sinister. Fundamentally, it is about a lack of class - though this would hardly be confined to the Telegraph.

19 March 2010 at 08:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is there any broadsheet that can be called Tory anymore ? "

Is there a political party that can be called Tory anymore?

19 March 2010 at 09:07  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Spot on again Y.G.!

I only continue with the paper because there is no alternative. I've tried the Independent (too liberal, right-on, greeny, woolly) when the Telegraph shrilly supported the invasion of Iraq, but if there was anything resembling a Tory newspaper I'd switch straight away, as I believe would hundreds of thousands of others.

What's the answer? Is there one?

19 March 2010 at 09:15  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

The world is changing, the media is changing, your own blog is testament to that. Society has fragmented into interest groups, there is no right and left any more, that the Telegraph should reflect this (with or without the Barclay’s) is inevitable.

Cranmer you are “guilty” of nostalgia. You yearn for a time when the old order held sway. The Church of England, the monarchy, the traditional conservative party, ladies in hats serving tea maybe even cricket on the green. This Betjemanesque scene was so reassuring; people had a place and knew it. Politicians deserved respect, teachers “taught” our children and doctors knew best.

A degree of nostalgia is inevitable after one reaches a certain age but the future is always more exciting than the past. Uncertainty is the natural state, to deny it is pointless. I can clearly remember the first time I heard Bob Dylan singing “The Times They Are A Changing” way back in the sixties, as a sixteen year old the verse that began “Your Sons And Your Daughter’s Are Beyond Your Command” sent a shockwave of excitement through my being (and it still does).

We British have always tried to impose order but in the post war period (with the exception of popular culture) our society became hidebound and stultified. Thatcher put an end to all that and we suddenly felt invigorated. After her departure we drifted until Tony came to our “rescue”. In the shadow of the financial calamity we are now about to enter a new phase of uncertainty with the possibility of a hung parliament and with the largest cohort of virgin MPs ever seen.

This will be an exciting time so lets look forward and not back

19 March 2010 at 09:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Church of England, the monarchy, the traditional conservative party, ladies in hats serving tea maybe even cricket on the green. This Betjemanesque scene was so reassuring; people had a place and knew it. Politicians deserved respect, teachers “taught” our children and doctors knew best."

Totally agree with that,it is the way the country should be. But then you came to adulthood in the 1960s- the selfish baby boomer generation, from which other generations are paying the price.

19 March 2010 at 09:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Graham - you seem to have swallowed the nostalgia you think Cranmer to be guilty of, and upon the basis of that straw man built an eqaully crude philosophy to oppose it - with little more than a few slogans to substantiate it.

19 March 2010 at 09:28  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Your Grace

Perhaps this vacuum is being filled by august blogs of intelligent and erudite comment. I do hope so.

Certainly the Telegraph web-site is resembling more that of a collection of blogs than a newspaper presence on the interweb.

19 March 2010 at 09:38  
Anonymous Hans Wildebeeste said...

Quite so. Stopped buying the printed version some time ago. Difficult to see who it appeals to now - presumably those who have nowhere else to go.

Only the business section is still worth reading, and fortunately that's available online.

Strangely, the Telegraph has always had a salacious page 3. I remember it from childhood. That's not changed.

19 March 2010 at 09:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Yesterday I read the story, in The telegraph, on Nadine Dorries and concluded it was shallow but wondered why the Telegraph ran such a story. Having read Montgomerie’s piece it does appear that whoever criticises the Barclay brothers is ostracised by them through their instruments such as The Telegraph.

The Telegraph’s best writers are found on its sub-sites such as ‘Political Blog’. I noticed that A. N. Wilson had departed some time ago and that the brilliant Charles Moore was re-directed to write pieces on literature rather than on the major issues of the day (however I do enjoy his pieces in The Spectator).

It seems to me that the Barclay brothers do use the Telegraph as an instrument of vengeance but I am unconvinced that it is hostile to orthodox Christianity and the Conservative Party.

The Paper does retain solid conservatives as you point out, such as Lord Tebbit, Simon Heffer and others and is sympathetic to Anglicanorum Coetibus (which I find attractive).

What then am I to make of Montgomerie’s and Your Grace’s assessment?

I argue that it is not so much that the Telegraph has lost its moorings or the Vatican; it is the gay Conservative Party and the Church of England headed by that Trappist monk: both increasingly resemble the Made in Blair stamp. Both institutions have abandoned their orthodoxy.

I am a member of both institutions and seeing it from this perspective saddens me. Where is the Party of William Pitt (the Younger), Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher?

I see a city dismally lit. And in that city there are many Conservative and Anglican souls going to and fro: in search of their ‘selves’.

In my own quest for intellectual satisfaction I have turned to His Grace’s writings; American Spectator; Conservative Intellectual; Brussels Journal and Civitas.

19 March 2010 at 09:58  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Lord Lavendon

Yes the baby boomers were the first “me” generation but this was a reaction to that which had gone before, post war austerity and a generation of young men whose ambition it was to be like their father, pipe smoking, raincoat-wearing, colourless individuals whose vital spark had been removed by almost continuous monotony.

That the ideals of that generation floundered is for another blog but many have benefited from generous pensions (not me) and substantial assets. I don’t see that hedonism continuing, many baby boomers are supporting offspring way beyond their sell-by date whilst others help them with otherwise impossible house purchase. So we are not quite as bad as you make out.

19 March 2010 at 10:04  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Phillip Walling said of the dilemma on finding no Tory representative newspaper:
What's the answer? Is there one?

If every frustrated Torygraph readers stopped buying it, it would send an immediate and powerful message to the Editor that its pitch was seriously flawed. Papers depend on circulation and advertising.

I suggest that you will find a rich vein of political comment, articles, discussion of vital political issues and more - on the Internet. Have a look at the Blogs - say Lord Tebbits for example, and many others.

Do we need the MSM in its present newspaper form? I think not with such an abundance of alternatives.

19 March 2010 at 10:14  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Your Grace,

I have bought this paper every day for 10 years. IT has indeed gone drastically downhill. Only the lack of decent alternatives has kept me buying it. (and the Boris Johnson/Brian Moore articles)

The moment for me when I realised how dump it is was when they decided that the front cover would be a large close up of a grieving granddaughter of John Mortimer at his funeral. She happened to be very pretty.

Its like Heat magazine trying to get a seat at the top table by wearing dark glasses and a beard.

What a shame.

PS: Mark Steyn is as good as any journalist/commentator alive.

19 March 2010 at 10:31  
Blogger English Viking said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 March 2010 at 11:01  
Blogger English Viking said...

It is not a strange thing that a once Tory newspaper is now so insipid in it's politics that it turns the stomach to read it when one considers how insipid Cameron and co are.

PS It would be more than a small mercy to be spared the expertise of Esther Rantzen as an MP.

19 March 2010 at 11:13  
Anonymous Danko said...

D. Singh - "Where is the Party of William Pitt (the Younger)"

With all respect, Pitt (the Younger was a Whig).

I stopped buying the Telegraph whilst at University. Since the dreadful Barclay Brothers have taken over it has gone from bad to worse. The paper is now vindictive and without nuance. The writers live up to the name of "Hacks" with positive glee as the stories the Telegraph now publishes are worthy of the Daily Mirror.

All I want is a good paper to read.

The Indy has gone the way of Bedlam inmates, The Mail was a paper I never cared for, the Guardian.... just no, and The Times is so without a spine that it rather makes me weep. The only things I read in print any more are The Economist and Foreign Affairs. What I would give for a good broadsheet with actual news and a moral backbone.

19 March 2010 at 11:37  
Blogger Recusant said...


With all respect Pitt might have been a Whig but that doesn't stop him being an ancestor of the modern Conservative party.

You cannot cite 18th Century party divisions as if there were a straight continuity of politics from 1780 to present. Modern political parties have a messy inheritance. The Conservative Party has co-opted (in reverse order) National Liberals, Liberal Unionists, and Pittites. Interestingly, one party that does not form part of the Conservatives’ intellectual inheritance is the Tories of the 17th and 18th centuries. The term ‘Tory’ as used to describe what we would now refer to as the Conservative Party was not widespread until about 1812 – the two ‘Tory’ parties are entirely separate.

19 March 2010 at 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Begging your pardon; can anyone recommend a book on the history of the Conservative Party and a book on how the ‘modern’ Church of England ‘works’?


19 March 2010 at 11:56  
Blogger English Viking said...

Mr D. Singh,

For the politics try 'The theory and practice of oligarchical collectivism' by Emmanuel Goldstein. It is, apparently, very hard to get hold of, but is well worth the trouble.

For the correct manner in which a modern assembly of saints should conduct themselves, The Bible is most informative. This is not so hard to get hold of, although it may be soon.

19 March 2010 at 12:17  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

D Singh

I think you will find all religions are amply covered in the Harry Potter books, lots of magic and men with long white beards.

19 March 2010 at 12:17  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Why all the outpouring of angst against the Telegraph when the real targets of your attention should be the Conservative Party and the Church of England themselves.
A newspaper, a Michael points out is less important now than it was during this paper’s elitist hay-day due to the power of the Blogosphere.

The reason the Telegraph appears to have dumbed down is because society itself has dumbed down. No more evident than in the composition of the present Shadow Cabinet of Michael Ashcroft’s New Conservative Party. Harking back to the days when the Telegraph was considered to be the Conservative Party at prayer will never return. The power of Fleet Street to exert the owners influence on politics has rightly gone but they still have to return a dividend to the share-holders and unfortunately, tat sells papers.

If the new look Telegraph is ruffling Your Grace's gaudy feathers then I can only posit that that is a good thing. Those of us old enough to remember the bumbling conservatism of McMillan, Heath, Hulme, Major and Duncan bloody Smith, not to mention the divisive St Margaret, can also the remember the slavishness of editors to toe the Party line, rather than speak the unthinkable.

If the Tories win at the next election we are guaranteed to see more of the same with this new lot of upper class twits – hardly the sort of talent that would inspire us to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood and do battle with the PC dominated establishment of today.

The Conservatives would wipe the board if they addressed what really matter to the people of Britain and showed some genuine desire to rebuild this nation. If they had any balls they could start with:-

Fund political Parties from the State purse
Make voting compulsory
Allow referendums on major contentious issues
Scrap the existing Human Rights Legislation in its present form
Take back our sovereignty from the EU
Address the spread of Islam in the UK and the West
Scrap State funding of ‘faith schools’
Make social security benefits available only after 10 years of contribution.
End family allowance payments after the second child.
Create a State sponsored work programmes for the unemployed.
Make prison something to be feared
Re-introduce corporal punishment, rather than custodial sentences for young offenders.

Now something like this I suggest would shake up the nation from its complacency and even rejuvenate circulation figures even if only a few of the issues came to pass.
But in all honesty I cant see any of the aforementioned even being discussed. Venting your anger at the Telegraph Your Grace is really only shooting at the messenger - Anyone seen Norman lately?

19 March 2010 at 12:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr English Viking – thank you.

Mr Davis – shut yer gob.

19 March 2010 at 12:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Dreadnought, agree with you on one point, tat does sell papers.

On the other hand, I would be more minded to accept your judgment on past leaders of the party, and therefore by extension the parties that they led, were you to demonstrate an ability to spell their names correctly- Macmillan and Home.

Dr Edward Bouverie Pusey

19 March 2010 at 12:34  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

I've been reading the Guardian for decades but it's gone pretty poo of late (okay, I expect most of you thought it always was).

The particular bugbear os a lot of graceless stuff by shouty secularist jornalists - and no I don't particularly mean Poly Toynbee. She can grate but somethimes has something relevant to say unlike Tanya Gold for example who is just a rolling sneerfest as regards faith and seems to assume that everyone else is of the same opinion.

19 March 2010 at 12:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I’ve just been had by Mr English Viking. He recommended 'The theory and practice of oligarchical collectivism' by Emmanuel Goldstein as a good book on the Conservative Party.

And may I draw your attention to that wretch Ms Dreadnaught? She is now trying to weasel her way into our trust by attempting to pass herself off as a conservative and yesterday she was almost in tears and appealed for your assistance - which you gave.

Again, Mr Davis and Ms Dreadnaught are the chief trouble-makers here.

19 March 2010 at 12:57  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Mr Singh

I am entertained!

19 March 2010 at 13:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr Anonymous said:-

...idemonstrate an ability to spell their names correctly- Macmillan and Home...

Agreed. It was rather remiss of me to tell it as it is(was),just goes to show what an impression they made in my mind.

19 March 2010 at 13:22  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

D. Singh said...
Your Grace

I’ve just been had by Mr English Viking.

Should you really be telling us this? I know the proprietor doesn't approve of that sort of thing

19 March 2010 at 13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

That socialist wretch, Ms Dreadnaught, is doing it again. Now she is saying ‘look how intellectually honest I am!’

In her previous post she writes ‘society itself is dumbed down’ when the truth is the Socialists dumbed it down along with assistance from the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation and the Marxist National Union of Teachers.

She says that ‘the telegraph was the Conservative Party at prayer’ – it was nothing of the sort – it was the Church of England that was the Conservative Party at prayer.

She is outrageous she refers to IDS as ‘Duncan bloody Smith’.

She describes Cameron’s team as ‘upper class twits’ and then has the temerity to use language from Shakespeare’s Henry V: ‘inspire us to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood and do battle’ – my favourite play.

Mark my words Your Grace – she – that creature – that thing from the bowels of the Kremlin – will ruin this site.

19 March 2010 at 13:41  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Mr Singh. With regard to your request. I will not deceive you.
I can vouch 100% for the following:
It is called 'Pagan Christianity' co-authored George Barna and Frank Viola.

Its content is excellent if not hair raising, but thoroughly researched. Whilst not specific to the C of E per it is a comment on all Episcopal churches in principle.

Available via Amazon for £9 delivered in the UK.
ISBN 10:1-4143-1485-x

Be prepared to be surprised and alarmed. It is highly faithful to Scripture IMO.
Graham Wood

19 March 2010 at 13:52  
Blogger English Viking said...

Mr D. Singh,

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Mr Jeremy Hyatt,

Very droll.

19 March 2010 at 14:10  
Blogger Prodicus said...

I am starting a Prayer Circle whose Intention is that someone of goodwill and sound Smith-Burkean principles will make the horrible Barclays, who have no interest in publishing, only in money, an offer they cannot refuse for the Graph and the Spectator. We also pray that this philanthropist, guaranteed a peerage of course, will restore both journals to Conservative sanity, to the great comfort of the English (sic) people.

In the event that our prayers are answered, Boris Johnson will be Editor in Chief of the Telegraph, Tim Worstall its Economics Editor and Jeff Randall its Business Editor. The new proprietor will encourage Hennessy and Riddell to follow their lodestone and defect to the Guardian.

Fraser Nelson is on probation with us for the retention of his present chair. After a promising start, he is not doing as well as one hoped. At least he has youth on his side as well as potential and may, in time, learn.

19 March 2010 at 14:12  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

It became a natural part of the Establishment because it sought to maintain the Establishment – the United Kingdom, Monarchy, Parliament, and the Church of England.

Your Grace, you talk of the Establishment as though it were beneficial. I’m quite willing to believe that the Establishment did, once, have the best interests of Britain at heart but those days are long gone. From the beginning of its love affair with Europe, the Establishment has systematically betrayed the British people. Much as I admire the Queen, even she is guilty.

As for the Telegraph, it’s not all gloom. Andrew Gilligan and Douglas Murray bash Islam, Christopher Booker has been biting the EU’s ankles for years, both Booker and James Delingpole have battled against the global warming scam, and Gerald Warner writes exquisite prose. Lord Tebbit’s blog has even attracted comments from a dead archbishop. Spooky.

19 March 2010 at 14:15  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Mr Dreadnaught. Whilst I agree with your comments about the Tory party needing to adopt strong principles for political and social reform, I thoroughly disagree with your suggestion:
"Fund political Parties from the State purse"

I suggest this is wrong in principle, and would never be tolerated by the electorate.
Firstly there is no such thing as "State funding", only taxpayer's money.
Secondly, it would be grossly discriminatory against any number of small political parties. Where do you start and end with subsidies? It would be the thin end of an ever growing wedge - in effect another tax to maintain the three main parties at the expense of others.
Thirdly. If these parties find support and funds short - that is their lookout, not the taxpayers !
In such cases it is a signal that they may have come to the end of their useful political life.
In which case turn it in!
If such parties are pressed - let the grass roots, activists, and above all MPs stump up for themselves. If they believe in their cause sufficiently then it is no hardship.
Fourth. Such a tax would be a total denial of the voluntary system. If people wish to start or perpetuate a political party, then they and their supports must needs be willing to sustain it - instead or running with begging bowl to the taxpayer.
I will certainly never pay for a political party and would oppose it tooth and nail.
There is nothing intrinsically meritorious in any political party that warrants yet another imposed tax. What about those who strongly support NONE OF THE ABOVE?
Why should they pay a penny towards a political consensus in the form of parties?

19 March 2010 at 14:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I must admit that Ms Dreadnaught has some good ideas.

She suggests that State funding of ‘faith schools’ ought to be scrapped; State funding of all schools should be scrapped to liberate the children, and communities could decide for themselves what kind of schools they wish to establish (Faith schools would proliferate).

She suggests the reintroduction of corporal punishment which I think introduces the next step: capital punishment. I am sure all socialists will agree to that in order to remain consistent and logical to their thought processes which brook no contradiction (un-dialectical). A compromise on the method of termination (let’s not call it death and borrow a term from the abortion lobby) could be advanced to induce agreement.

The compromise could be the introduction of the Electric Chair. I accept the socialists will say that is a shocking idea – but the compromise is this: we’ll lower the voltage, causing less pain; and those on the distant Right could watch the Terminee fry more slowly.

19 March 2010 at 14:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr G Wood

Of course State Funding is taxpayers money and why should it not be used to fund political parties and rescue this failing 'democracy'- we spend enough of out taxes underwriting all sorts of politics abroad so why not at home. I cant be beyond a nation of innovators to come up with a system that addresses the of the electorate that is dependent on the deep pockets of the likes of Ashcroft or the Unions.

We need only to look at what a debauched political scene has developed in the US where opinion polls are influenced by how much is in the political kitties of the R&D.

I think we are ideally placed in the UK to do some radical restructuring of the current circus that passes for democracy. It could be based on registered voters indicating in a mid term referendum where a pre-vote a single agreed amount to go to a Party or Independent candidate of choice. This would remove the inequalities that stop some of the sleaze that blights us today. I offer this as a suggestion for openers.

19 March 2010 at 15:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Typo alert 'and' instead of 'that' -last line.

(Mr Singh' endorsement has just given my suggestions the kiss of death)

19 March 2010 at 15:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU are winding me up. Sooner or later you are going to post something and I'm going to tear it apart!

Your cards are marked.

19 March 2010 at 15:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,
How very true. The only pleasure I derive from the Telegraph these days is the odd telephone call from their subscription department, which gives me the opportunity to tell some hapless youth why I will no longer buy a paper I have loyally followed for 30 years. As you say, they lost writers of megisterial stature and have replaced them with what? Boris Johnson, whose cod Wooster vacuous tripe can elicit admiration only for the vast sums of money he receives for his shallow scribblings.
The paper, both in print and on line is an extraordinary amalgam of the infantile, viz Johnson and the downright weird such as Damien - Mabel - Thomson and his foam-flecked acolytes.

19 March 2010 at 16:34  
Anonymous Chris C said...

The Daily Telegraph died along with Bill Deedes.

19 March 2010 at 16:36  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Pawn of Islamism? One Tory has a big decision to make..

Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph.

19 March 2010 at 16:55  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Dreadnaught wrote
"Of course State Funding is taxpayers money and why should it not be used to fund political parties?"

Answer: IMO for the reasons I have given. What if one cannot support any of the three main partys?
The disillusionment of the electorate expresses itself in the popular NONE OF THE ABOVE mark on the ballot paper.
The principle apply in this as it does in another area of policy, namely why should we be compelled to pay about £45 million a day to the "EU party"?
"No taxation without representation" is the best expression of the voluntary element which should govern financial support.
For example, as regards the EU we know that we have a one party state as far as the electorate are concerned, which is virtually disenfranchised since all three main parties support our membership. Under a State imposed party support system this obviously negates choice and freedom of action.
That is not democracy, and of course why people vote with their feet - away from the polling booth.

19 March 2010 at 17:03  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

The media being pro-Catholic?

Are you mad?

Perhaps you consider the Telegraph pro-Catholic because they are not quite as overtly hostile towards Catholicism as yourself.

19 March 2010 at 17:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr Graham

I'm only suggesting that something better than the present system has to be found. What price Democracy?

19 March 2010 at 17:55  
Blogger Ray said...

You say that "they are here to stay" You make it sound like a viral disease, it's not, it's a simple thing that can be cured, and will be cured when even the Barclays get fed up with funding a loss maker, which it will be if sales fall.

19 March 2010 at 18:43  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Dreadnaught. Agree with you there.

What price democracy? Have a look at the Taxpayer's Alliance site and their 'manifesto'. These people seem to have the right idea about all sorts of things.

19 March 2010 at 19:45  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis, if you are a baby-boomer I trust that you will be lighting a candle and offering a prayer in memory of the late Fess Parker.

19 March 2010 at 20:16  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr G

Staggering figures indeed.

..... £25 billion a year can be saved through restructuring public sector procurement.... source TPA

More than enough here in these savings alone to build a fairer political structure I would have thought.

19 March 2010 at 20:22  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Your Grace

I have some excellent news for all your Telegraph fans who may also love Johnny Dep. There are two free Johnny Dep movies free inside the Telegraph this weekend!

I can't wait for mine! Super fabulous!!!!

19 March 2010 at 20:50  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Graham Wood @ 1703 - I agree.
@19.45 - though I'll never feel comfortable with people who issue foreign, communist sounding things like "manifestos." What's wrong with "declarations," for example?

The speccie is, of course, the other publication the bros. have taken for a Burton; some people over on CH claim that these bozos live in luxury in Monaco, and in some 'castle' in the Channel Islands. So just more euro aristos, then. It's hard to believe their 'strongholds' can maintain power, however; their foundations are insubstantial, and people don't buy enough of their stuff to support the superstructure.

Where freedom still exists, the answer would surely be to develop our own publications. The market's there, and so is the hiatus in politics. How far our masters would let the project progress is another question. But at least their actions would highlight the need for revolution - and this time not by druggies and other weaklings.

The blogosphere's a good testing ground though; here, for example, we elicit the low-mindedness and low tactics of the opposition ... from overgrown hippies to ignorant, aggressive, mis-treated babes. Oh yes, they show us how much, and what, the Lacanian types and other admirers of fulminating froggie students have to answer for. Looking back at the time, I know I had no idea what we were dealing with - even though mini-skirts and wigs were always suspect; and someone told me, "Those French aren't very nice; you don't want to know what it's really about." Soon, I realized I could no longer listen to the noises (or sentiments) emanating from the radio.

Now, though, we all know clearly, what we're dealing with; even though in my case it took a Korean communist trying to indoctrinate American college students - to make it clear. So we should be able to find ways... even though the onset of the rot has been insidious and it has eaten in deeply.

19 March 2010 at 21:14  
Blogger greeneight said...

I have bought this paper for over twenty years. Enough. The rare gems still hidden in there can be accessed elsewhere, and even if they couldn't be the thing really just is not worth a quid a day.

19 March 2010 at 21:35  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Your Grace

Ms Dorries should sue.

19 March 2010 at 21:56  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Wood, its a matter of judgement but I believe that the British electorate would welcome state/taxpayer funding of political parties.

Dreadnaught is right to suggest that there is something hideously corrupt in the Tory party being owned by a non-resident unelected life-peer like Ashcroft. Let's face it, if he was not a peer, and I am not suggesting for a minute that he bought his peerage, as a non-resdent, Ashcroft may not be entitled to vote. Yet he virtually owns a major UK political party. Labour is no better with Unite.

Think ahead to the possibility of a British Islamic Party financed by the Wahabists of Saudi arabia or the Islamo-fascists in the Turkish Justice and Truth Party. When it comes to that you will change your mind and rush for the cover of state funding.

19 March 2010 at 22:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Telegraph will follow Sunday Business and the European down the Swanee...dead-tree media is at an end, replaced by Blogging.

Your Grace has far more erudition than The Telegraph; Richard North has far, far better researched articles than The Telegraph; and Pajamas Media can replace most of its output.

The Barclays are not the Berry family, nor even Conrad Black - they are hopeless proprietors

19 March 2010 at 22:37  
Anonymous Happyness Stan said...

So the conclusion of all this is What exactly?

I congratulate your grace on your accurate observations, but wonder as to why you do not speculate as to WHY the Telegraph has gone the way it seems to have.

Could it be that The Barclay Bothers are part of a conspiracy that involves the entire mass media, very much including the BBC?

I strongly contend that they are, and that the proof of this mass media conspiracy is publicly available for anyone wishing to find it.

So what is the name of their game?

The game is called MONOPOLY.

Or more expansively, a secretive corporatist take over of most if not the entire planet.

The relevant part to this particular post, is the SECRETIVE bit.

For in world changing times such as these, the establishment knows only too well that information is power, as well as an excellent method of making a fast buck or this case several trillion fast bucks.

We are about to witness the coming of a post democratic age, or what is more commonly known as a New World Order. Which is why you can watch every BBC and Sky news broadcast, and read every news-paper from cover to cover, and yet still not know anything of any real importance.

Which is also WHY the pathetically patronising nonsense propagated by the entire press and broadcast media and every day reality, are forever more further apart from each other.

The media is only talking to itself, or to people who have already lost control of their minds to a life time of left-right type corporatist propaganda.

The Telegraph, The BBC, The Daily Mirror, The Guardian, or The Daily Mail, it makes no difference. It ultimately makes no positive difference because they are all up to the same game. Which is straight forward lies, disinformation, or subtle or less subtle potentially horrific divisive propaganda. Working in close harmony with exactly the same very small group of extremely powerful people, and with exactly the same Common Purpose.

The job of the collective mass media is much the same as parliament itself. Which is to dishonestly sustain the illusion of dialectic democracy, until such a time when even this long established con-trick, will be permanently dispensed with.

Everything else, with the ONLY possible exception of the sporting results, and the date at the top, is smoke and mirrors imperfectly orchestrated to ever more darken almost infinitely more then it ever intended to illuminate.

So now you all know WHY the media seems to no longer be representative of your reality. Perhaps you are now in a better position to take the following advice always assuming you have not long since sussed this BS out for yourself.

When reading or listening to the mass media, ask yourself not is this true, or do I agree. Ask yourself WHY are they telling me this, and WHY now. Then ask yourself the only rational question worth the asking.

Which is: What are the F-ing bastards up to this time?

19 March 2010 at 23:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The conclusion to my mind is that the tory rags, like the labour rags are good for nothing but wiping your arse on.

But the Kings of this Realm, with the Advice and Consent of both

Houses of Parliament, have Power to make New Laws, or to alter,
repeal, or enforce the Old. And this has been done in all
succession of Ages.

By right minded reason and custom we shall not be moved!

20 March 2010 at 00:44  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Bred in the bone @ 00.44, the Kings of this Realm have no power at all. HM Queen shows every sign of being a rabbit caught in the head-lights, not knowing which way to run. If the Queen had power we would by now have seen it exercised to prevent the continuing abolition of Britain. But since Blair culled the hereditaries within the House of Lords in 1997, the Queen has clearly done her sums and realised that there, but for the grace of God, go the Windsors. She is, after all, the Head hereditary.

The British PM is the unchallenged power in the land and the British constitution is his/hers to command and dispose of as he/she wishes. This terrible state of affairs explains the plight of the UK today, and if Dave gets in he should start by calling a constitutional convention. The 1911 settlement has been discarded and over-ridden by the Scottish Marxists of this Labour government. As Dreadnaught says, it should not be possible to change the Constitution without a referendum.

Actually I don't think that the DT is half as bad as His Grace declares it to be. The financial section is first class and in Ambrose Evans-Pritchard the DT has a journalist of the very highest quality and integrity. AEP is continually ahead of the game and is consistly correct in his judgement of matters relating to the EU. I commend his column to His Grace.

20 March 2010 at 08:30  
Anonymous penlan said...

I'm afraid that the DT is irredeemably awful these days.The closing chapters of Stephen Robinson's biography of the late Lord Deedes is instructive.Deedes described the Barclays as a"stinking mob"and lamented the ruination they brought to the paper.

20 March 2010 at 08:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tripartite Indenture is a requirement to pass any statute into law, otherwise it is not a law.

Tony Blair is nothing more than a crook, hoodwinking a sheeple following orders without applying right reason

"And the law, that is the perfection of reason, cannot suffer anything that is inconvenient. Section 97b."
From Sir Edward Cokes commentary on Littleton.

20 March 2010 at 09:04  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Bred in the bone @ 0904, I have no doubt that your quote reflects the constitutional theory.

However in matters constitutional the British executive commands the law without review. For example, there is neither a court nor power in the land that can reverse devolution or restore the hereditaries. The unitary state has gone, so have the hereditaries, and neither will return.

The only hope is a Conservative victory and a Constitutional Convention that will review every aspect of British governance. In theory I am in favour of an elected upper house to curb the power of the executive. However the Jack Straw proposals that broke cover in last week's ST have one wondering as Happiness Stan says, 'What are the f****g bastards up to this time'.

If Straw's proposal for an elected upper house had been explicitly based on a Dominion model wherein the monarch is head of state, there would be no cause for concern. As it is, the Straw proposal is explicitly based on the US Senate and the United States is neither a parliamentary democracy nor a monarchy.

So what does Straw really have in mind for the UK?

20 March 2010 at 09:53  
Anonymous lenko said...

"...the fragrance of Christ"? I believe that baths and bathing were in short supply in those far-off times. Jesus probably wasn't what you'd call fragrant.

Still... hope you feel better now. It's good to get things off your chest.

20 March 2010 at 10:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So what does Straw really have in mind for the UK?"

As we know their actions are about tweeking things in favour of our becoming an EU State rather than Sovereign Nation.

Yet the very emblem of Soveriegnty is the sceptre they hold and anyone by decleration can keep the staff in their own hand Imperium in Imperio and thus retain their rights, for a right cannot die, it can merely be given up.

Right must get off, attending the EDL rally in Bolton this aft, for the right reason, nay the Empire of Reason!

20 March 2010 at 11:04  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Thank you, Bred in the bone; I checked it all out, and I'm proud of them. Thank Goodness ...

21 March 2010 at 09:11  

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