3 to see: Lib Dem #GE2010 campaign coverage (9/4/10)

by Stephen Tall on April 9, 2010

Pushed for time, but want to keep up-to-date with how the campaign’s going? Here are today’s must-reads ….

Cameron adviser discloses cuts detail (FT.com)
Anyone who heard David Cameron’s BBC Radio 4 Today Programme interview today will have heard him squirming when asked to confirm the report in the Financial Times today that the Tories’ tax-cuts could lead to the loss of 40,000 jobs.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Sir Peter Gershon, the former government adviser who has provided the blueprint for the Conservative leader’s efficiency plans, disclosed for the first time how the party’s proposed £12bn savings should be achieved. …

The projected saving implies that at least 20,000 to 40,000 public sector jobs would go during the next 12 months, said experts. … The Tories have consistently refused to disclose how they would make the planned savings.

As Vince Cable has commented:

It is fast becoming clear what Tory efficiency savings actually mean. Claiming that they are the party that will support jobs is entirely undermined when their efficiency chief is looking to immediately slash employment throughout the public sector. The Tories are guilty of the worst type of salami slicing – cutting with no regard for what is useful or wasteful spending.”


Has Calamity Chris been cast into the cold? (Daily Mail)

Another top Tory goes Missing in Action. First it was George Osborne, shunted into the sidelines in case he reminds voters that he might actually run the economy in four weeks time. And now the Tories’ shadow home secretary has been exiled after a string of gaffes left him looking a liability.

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, has been sent into exile for suggesting it is fine for Christian owners of Bed & Breakfasts to turn away gay couples. … Calamity Chris was already on trial after being criticised early this year by the head of the UK Statistics Authority when he claimed that figures for violent crime had soared – a claim the authority said was ‘likely to mislead the public’.

He gaffed again when he compared life in British inner cities to the American TV series The Wire, set in Baltimore, where the crime rate is far higher. He put his foot in his mouth once more when he took great delight in scorning as a ‘political gimmick’ the appointment of the former Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt as a defence advisor to Labour – only to discover that it was actually Cameron who had made the appointment and the Tories that Dannatt was advising.

Exactly what does it say about the weakness of the top Tory team that two of their most senior shadow cabinet members are relegated as far out of sight as possible?

Michael Savage: Does Paxman have a Lib-Dem blind spot? (Independent)

Too big for his boots? Or just lazily groping for the cheap laugh? Either way the Independent puts BBC2 Newsnight’s chief anchor Jeremy Paxman under the spotlight for ignoring and dismissing the Lib Dems by turn:

Next to sit in Paxman’s blind spot was Jeremy Browne, a Treasury spokesman. As Paxo refereed the battle between Ed Miliband and Philip Hammond, Mr Browne sat just out of shot. Four minutes in and he was given his moment. “It’s important what the Lib Dem position is on all these matters,” the presenter quipped, his words dripping with sarcasm. Mr Browne’s agreement provoked a clarification from the host: “That was a joke.”

The Representation of the People Act may have kicked-in, guaranteeing the Lib Dems a slice of the media spotlight. But old habits die hard, and the BBC are much more comfortable pretending it’s still the 1950s, and that this is a two-party election.

They’d do well to remember that in half the country at this election the battle is not between Labour and Tory – and in almost all of them, it’s the Lib Dems who are either the incumbents or the challengers.

These are the three pieces which caught my eye – seen or heard anything else in today’s media to draw LDV readers’ attention to? Let us know in the comments thread.