Stephen Glover: The real casualties of The Telegraph's war

Media Studies: The paper should recalibrate its attitude towards politicians, which has become excessively confrontational

Will Tony Gallagher, editor of The Daily Telegraph, survive the furore created by its recent entrapment of Vince Cable? And, if he does, will the affair affect the way he edits the paper?

For the moment the matter is in the hands of the Press Complaints Commission, which has received numerous complaints. The paper will argue vigorously that its entrapment of the Business Secretary was justified on public interest grounds. It may succeed. I would have thought that its entrapments of other Lib Dem ministers by its two winsome female reporters posing as constituents may be more difficult to defend, since these "revelations" were of pretty marginal importance.

Any ruling against the Telegraph would not be good for Mr Gallagher. Whether he would survive would depend on the views of the paper's owners, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, its chairman Aidan Barclay (Sir David's son), and its chief executive, Murdoch MacLennan. Though no doubt gratified by Mr Gallagher's ability to keep the paper in the public eye, they cannot be untroubled about the controversy. Guy Black, executive director of the Telegraph who recently took the Tory whip in the Lords as a newly created life peer, is said not to be overjoyed by the turn of events.

Six editors on the daily and Sunday Telegraph have been "let go" since the Barclay brothers acquired the titles in 2004, which is something of a record, and Mr Gallagher could end up being just another statistic. That would be a pity, since he is evidently a talented news man who as deputy editor and then editor brilliantly supervised the Telegraph's coverage of the MPs' expenses scandal.

Mr Gallagher also has critics at a high level within his paper, one of whom leaked the story about Vince Cable covertly opposing Rupert Murdoch's attempt to acquire the whole of BskyB to the BBC's Robert Peston. A former Telegraph executive was allegedly also instrumental in this leak. Mr Gallagher's defenders claim a decision had been made to hold over this story to the following day because it was thought less interesting to readers than Mr Cable's remarks about David Cameron. They deny it was kept out of the paper because the Telegraph Media Group is against Mr Murdoch's takeover, and did not want Mr Cable's opposition to be made public. If such a cracking story was held over for journalistic reasons, that does not say a lot for Mr Gallagher's judgement on this occasion.

I hope and, on the whole, expect him to survive. But the paper should recalibrate its attitude towards politicians, which has become excessively confrontational. It is as though the paper regards all of them as crooks, and sees it as its duty to be in a permanent state of war with the entire tribe. It is fine to go after individual politicians who have erred, and the Telegraph has done that effectively, but I don't believe its readers will relish what sometimes looks like an almost Poujadist hatred of the entire political process. Go after the man rather than the system would be my advice to Mr Gallagher, if he survives.







Should journalists be given honours?



An item in Max Hastings' Spectator diary has stayed in my mind. Sir Max describes how he was approached by the "grand panjandrums, Jenny Abramsky and the inevitable Dennis Stevenson" of the arts and media honours scrutiny committee, their apparent object being that he should serve with them. After he had made what he thought rather politically incorrect remarks, Sir Max was told his services were no longer required.

That is a pity. Dame Jenny and Lord Stevenson can probably be described as being of the centre-left. Sir Max, though a former admirer of Tony Blair and hardly a right-wing Tory, could have brought more balance to the arts and media honours scrutiny committee. He might also have been able to secure more honours for newspaper people, which have in recent years been in short supply.

In my perfect world the honours system would be abolished, or at any rate knighthoods and life peerages would be, as they are a source of government corruption. Nor do I think that serving editors or other senior executives should accept awards. But if not very distinguished civil servants are to be showered with baubles, it is difficult to understand why distinguished editors of provincial newspapers or senior newspaper managers should be forgotten. Sooner or later someone must also remember Murdoch MacLennan, chief executive of the Telegraph Media Group, and no spring chicken.







The truth about Chris Jefferies



Chris Jefferies, a former public school teacher, has been released on police bail, but remains a suspect in the murder of Joanna Yeates. I obviously have no better idea than anyone else as to the outcome of this case. Nevertheless, I have been stuck by the overexcited coverage, particularly, though by no means only, in the tabloids. The Sun probably went furthest with its headline last Friday: "Weird, Posh, Lewd, Creepy".

As a point of fact, Mr Jefferies' blue-rinse hair and alleged love of "avant-garde" movies do not make him unusual by the standards of many teachers of English, particularly in public schools. They tend not to resemble bank clerks either in outlook or appearance, and I dare say The Sun would be shocked to its foundations were it to undertake a wider survey.

By the way, I was surprised to hear the headmaster of Clifton College, Mark Moore, speaking on the radio. He said that Mr Jefferies had taught for "some years" at Clifton, though few would remember him because he left the school in 2001. According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Jefferies was a teacher at Clifton for 30 years. Nor is 2001 very long ago in the memory of a proud institution. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Mr Moore was rather unworthily trying to put as much distance as possible between Mr Jefferies and the school he served.

        s.glover@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there