The Daily Telegraph and the UKIP Smear Campaign

by The Editor

Are you one of those people who remember when The Daily Telegraph was owned by Viscount Camrose and the Berry family? The days when it was objective, traditional, and had brilliant journalists writing for it, when common left-wing smears were a taboo and left to the tabloids? Do you remember when it boasted a circulation of over 1,000,000 daily? Today it is half that.

Are you one of those people who remember when The Daily Telegraph was owned by Viscount Camrose and the Berry family? The days when it was objective, traditional, and had brilliant journalists writing for it, when common left-wing smears were a taboo and left to the tabloids? Do you remember when it boasted a circulation of over 1,000,000 daily? Today it is half that.

This newspaper is now the property of the Scottish Barclay Brothers, previous proprietors of The Scotsman at a time when that newspaper was firmly pro-independence and for the break-up of the Union. The Daily Telegraph has today become a non-conservative populist rag, with ‘celebrities’ and meaningless stories littering its pages. Gone are columnists like Michael Wharton (aka Peter Simple) and even Simon Heffer has departed. The Letters page has become puerile. But lately it has slipped firmly into the gutter of press degeneracy with its attacks on the UKIP. So appalling are these that The Daily Mirror, The Guardian and even Tribune must be pleased. After all, the personal smear campaign which the Daily Telegraph is currently engaged in is exactly the kind of filth that these organs publish on a regular basis.

Once upon a time The Daily Telegraph supported traditional Toryism. All criticism of other parties would have been measured and intelligent. But over the last 20 years since Conrad Black & now the Barclays became proprietors we have witnessed a reversal of this, with openly left-wing journalists referring to people as “racists”, “far-right”, “closet nazis” in smear articles only worthy of a left-wing newspaper. Even the old Monday Club, described by Harold Wilson as the “Guardian of the Tory Conscience” has been labelled “far-right” in it. The latest attack on a young UKIP candidate sounds very much like the BBC’s famous libel in 1986 against two Conservative Party MPs who had attended a conference of a right-wing Italian Political Party, with members in the parliament there, as “fascists” who had made joke salutes. The MPs hurled the BBC into court and the corporation lost with £1 million damages. I hope those similarly libelled by The Daily Telegraph will find the means to sue them also. Those of us who have continued to purchase The Daily Telegraph all of our adult lives will doubtless be seriously considering our positions. The UKIP smear campaign could be the last straw.

Gregory Lauder-Frost.
30th April 2013.

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