Friday, December 24, 2010

Vince Cable agrees with me!

Thank you to Niklas Smith whose comment on my earlier post draws my attention to Vince Cable's comments on his recent difficulties. As the Richmond and Twickenham Times reports:

The Business Secretary said the Daily Telegraph's tactics had "completely undermined" the work of local MPs and he would need to be “more guarded” in the future.

What is most worrying is Vince's comment that:

I did preface what I was saying by saying if they want to have a conversation about a political matter as well as a personal matter it is confidential, and you do expect people to behave in a trustworthy way, which these people from the Daily Telegraph didn’t.

If Vince is correct, then in future there can be no such thing as an off-the-record or informal conversation between politicians and journalists. If an MP or minister asks for something to be confidential then there can be no guarantee that journalists won't record or quote them anyway. And it is disappointing that those ministers who have been 'caught out' by the Telegraph have apologised and backed down rather than come out fighting.

I write this with some sadness. I grew up reading the Telegraph and continued reading it long after knowing I was out of sympathy with its politics, because there seemed to be integrity both to its reportage and editorial analysis. These days it is in the gutter and I wouldn't stoop to pick it up.

No comments: