Friday, 12 April 2013

Quotes of the Week: Press split on Thatcher's legacy to what Cameron calls the Telegraph

The Guardian in a leader on Margaret Thatcher: "Her legacy is of public division, private selfishness and a cult of greed, which together shackle far more of the human spirit than they ever set free."

The Daily Telegraph in a leader: "Despite the widespread tributes on her passing yesterday, Lady Thatcher, of all people, would not have expected her enemies to wipe the slate clean in death. To paraphrase the words of St Francis of Assisi which she quoted on entering Downing Street, she certainly brought truth where there was error, but to deliver harmony was never her fate."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "She was a giant, beside whom other peacetime politicians of the 20th and 21st centuries look like mere pygmies."

Simon Kelner in the Independent:  "Above anything else, Mrs Thatcher implanted the gene of greed in the British soul. And, in the end, that is the poison of her legacy."

The Sun in a leader: "Sun readers benefited as the Grantham grocer’s daughter slashed taxes and let council tenants buy their houses, a measure that spread prosperity among working families more than any since. Of course Mrs T made enemies. The left-wing BBC sneered.  Rebuilding the clapped-out and strike-torn 1970s economy could not be pain-free. Bitter memories linger. But Britain emerged far stronger."

The Daily Mirror in a leader: "People's minds were made up long ago on Margaret Thatcher. To some she fought for Britain. Many others, including the Daily Mirror, felt she spent 11 years fighting against Britain."

Rupert Murdoch in The Times: "Margaret Thatcher was a risk-taker. When it came to facing down powerful politicians within her own party or strikers on a picket line, she chose the line of most resistance. She believed in doing the right thing, not taking the easy way out. I found her attitude an inspiration in my business life — and never more so than when faced with the recalcitrance of the print unions in the 1980s."

Mail On Sunday: "Britain's police chiefs are drawing up draconian rules under which the identities of people they arrest will be kept secret from the public. The move, which follows a recommendation by Lord Justice Leveson in his report into press standards, has been branded an attack on open justice and has led to comparisons with police states such as North Korea and Zimbabwe."

The Daily Mail in a leader: "Sweeping people off the street and secretly throwing them in a cell is the terrifying hallmark of totalitarian regimes – not mature democracies like Britain. However, the brutal truth is that, post-Leveson, such secrecy is becoming the norm in the state sector. Consider the Home Office edict – certain to deter officers from speaking to the Press – which says that senior police should record all their contacts with journalists in an official log. Or the plan to change the law to make it easier for police to seize confidential material given to reporters and force them to reveal the identity of whistleblowers."

Nick Cohen in The Observer: "The worst of it to my journalist's mind is that the British have not been able to tell their own stories without fear of retribution. Hugh Tomlinson QC, the chairman of Hacked Off, a malign organisation that dumb liberals think is on their side, fought for months to stop the public knowing that Fred Goodwin was having an affair at the very moment when his bank was hurtling toward ruin. The parliamentary commission on banking standards' report on the collapse of HBOS, just published, has many virtues. Its greatest is that parliamentary privilege – a right to free speech Parliament will not extend to the rest of us – allows the commission to speak without authoritarian lawyers and judges blacking out the detail."

Guardian readers' editor Chris Elliott in his Open door column: "Criticism of the Guardian's coverage of parts of the UK that are not England – even parts of England that are not London – is a constant theme in complaints to the office of the readers' editor, often fairly. As the evolution of devolution has continued, London-based reporters and editors have not always been quick to grasp the different roles and responsibilities of the constituent parts of the UK in the not so new order."

Boris Johnson in the New Statesman on how when he was editor of The Spectator he tried and failed to get Polly Toynbee to write for him: "At the end of a harrowing conversation, she said: 'You don’t understand. You think this is all some game, some debating forum for civilised adults. But this is serious. You are on one side and I am on the other.' Shortly afterwards, she vented a volcanic piece, accusing everyone at the Spectator of being effete, slimy, bullying creeps. The article was illustrated by a picture of Auberon Waugh as a human turd about to be flushed down the pan – and the poor chap had only just died."

Dan Hodges on his Telegraph blog: "I think the House of Commons assembled on Wednesday to honour a woman of conviction. And like it or not, a woman of conviction was what it got to see. Am I Glenda Jackson’s son? Yes, I am."

Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher in City University's XCity magazine: "We have been persistent critics of the Government. Not for nothing has David Cameron been heard referring to the 'fucking Telegraph'."

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