Political

Robert Peston nails the Cable story

I was going to write a post about the Cable / Telegraph / other Lib Dem ministers story, but reading Robert Peston’s post I see he’s said what I was going to say – but said it first and said it better. So over to him:

What I still feel bemused about is why the Telegraph, for which I used to work, did not publish the one story that would have unquestionably legitimised its under-cover exercise to elicit the private views of Lib Dem ministers.

Pretty much everything these Lib Dems have been caught saying about their Tory colleagues is what one would expect them to say to their supporters in private. And readers of my blog, among others, say there are questions to be asked about whether democracy is best served by hounding MPs to such an extent that perhaps in future they will feel safe to speak their minds only in the matrimonial bed.

But Vince Cable’s remarks that he had “declared war on Mr Murdoch” were in a different category … because there was something very special about Mr Cable’s legal status as business minister, in respect of his dealings with Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation and its attempt to buy the 61% of BSkyB that it doesn’t already own…

Why didn’t the Telegraph publish these remarks when it exposed much of the rest of what Mr Cable said to undercover reporters overnight on Monday? Why weren’t these remarks included in what it called, on its website, a “full transcript” of the secretly recorded interview?

The small caveat I would add is that, as I pointed out yesterday morning, it was evident that the “full” transcript although described as such had been edited. The small jumps in the audio version also made clear that the text could not have been the full text (and that the audio was not the full audio). But overall Peston’s on the money with his views. You can read the rest of his post here.

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