Embarrassed at having failed to predict the Clegg surge, the Tory press are monstering him before tonight’s debate. Has nobody told them that when in a hole stop digging? This is setting up Clegg nicely for the second half of the campaign. Most attention is focused on the Lib Dem leader, some on Cameron, precious little on Brown. This is probably just as well from Labour’s point of view.
The comment on the MSM bullies is mostly negative, not least from their own. Two of the stars of the Tory commentariat speak more in sorrow than in anger on the state of the Cameron campaign. The frantic efforts to dig for dirt on Nick Clegg are a “a terrible indictment of the British press”, says Iain Dale, Tory archblogger. He wants Cameron to win ” but not like this.” Ben Brogan of the Daily Telegraph, always partisan but normally the calmest of souls says it’s too early to talk about an existential crisis .. but… “the situation is perilous, changeable, and recoverable – but only just. Brogan talks of Ken Clarke’s ” master class” yesterday when the supposedly wise old man of the Tory campaign raised the bogey of an IMF crisis in the event of the ” disaster” of a hung parliament. If that’s the best the Conservatives can come up with, it is too late.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London