Too busy to read all the ‘Get Clegg’ smears in the rightwing press? Here they all are in one handy digest

by Stephen Tall on April 22, 2010

Look, we have two choices today as Liberal Democrats. We can either get frustrated and depressed at the rightwing media’s decision to fling every possible smear at Nick Clegg and the party – or we can regard it as a massive compliment that, perhaps for the first time ever, the Lib Dems have got the vested interests of the Tory newspapers genuinely frightened that their cosy world is about to be disrupted.

We looked at the Torygraph’s desperate smears in a post last night. But even that weak story looks credible when placed beside the Mail’s attempt to link the words ‘Clegg’ and ‘Nazi’ in a single sentence (in seeming contempt of Godwin’s law). Quite how convoluted is the smear is hinted at by the complexity of the headline:

Clegg’s Nazi slur on Britain: Lib Dem says ‘our delusions of grandeur’ at winning the war are greater cross to bear than German guilt

I’ve read that headline three times, and I’m still none the wiser what it actually means, or how it’s supposed to discredit Nick.

You’d have thought the Mail would have some humility in linking others to the Nazis given its proprietor Lord Rothermere “sent a series of supportive and congratulatory telegrams to Nazi Germany’s leaders, including Hitler, just months before the second world war”. The two of them are pictured here in happier days.

The Express has the self-explanatory headline, NICK CLEGG’S CRAZY IMMIGRATION POLICY – which, to be fair, at least focuses on policy, an unusual trait in today’s newspapers.

And finally the Murdoch-owned Sun wraps all the stories up together in one convenient compendium of smear.

I stand by my view last night: the rightwing press’s attempts to target Nick Clegg will – deservedly – backfire. It’s no real surprise that the tabloids should gun for Nick. I am surprised that the Torygraph should be so willing to junk its news credibility in their desperation to ‘Get Nick’.

Lib Dem Voice has had its differences over the years with Tory blogger Iain Dale. But credit where it’s due. His post today – These Shameful Attacks on Clegg Will Backfire – is entirely fair-minded. I suspect it’s too much to hope that Tim Montgomerie’s strictly on-message ConservativeHome will follow suit.