(Note: This post is by Nation intern Morgan Ashenfelter who also supplies some of the links for the @MediaFixBlog feed at Twitter.) ON THURSDAY the Brits vote in their general elections, and most recent polls suggest the Conservatives—with the decline of Prime Minister Gordon Brown—now hold a slim lead. Another indicator: the endorsements made by
None of the major British papers endorsed the Labour Party because, as some pointed out, it got the country into its current economic mess, and certainly can’t be expected to get them out of it. The Guardian is the only London paper we've seen endorsing Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats. The Independent clearly opposes Conservative leader David Cameron, but argues for “tactical” voting district by district (Labour here, Lib Dem there) to keep him out of power. The rest of the papers write that though the idea of Clegg is nice, the Liberal Democrats are fanciful, a party that hasn’t thought through all of its policies.
Plus, on Monday: The Financial Times switched from Labour to back the Tories. It says it still has questions about Cameron and his party but "
The Guardian: “General Election 2010: The Liberal Moment Has Come”
“…it is the Liberal Democrats who have most consistently argued [for electoral reform] in the round and who, after the exhaustion of the old politics, reflect and lead an overwhelming national mood for real change. … Released into the daylight of equal debate, [Clegg] has given the other two parties the fright of their lives. … [We] cannot ignore such a record.”
The Independent: “Vote for Change. Real Change.”
“As the Tories are opposed to electoral reform and are ahead in the polls, we are asking voters in 85 key constituencies to vote for the candidate best placed to frustrate David Cameron…. this self-professed candidate of change refuses to consider the most vital change of all…electoral reform.”
“[Clegg] seems nice, personable, fresh – so why not give him a chance? The truth, however, is that a vote for the Liberal Democrats would be a vote for the continuation of fantasy politics. … The best choice for
Daily Mail: “Who Can You Trust to Clean Up This Mess?”
“Who is going to clear all this up?… Clearly not Gordon Brown… And the hallucinatory quality to the ‘Clegg surge’ has prevented proper scrutiny of his policies…
The Sun: “Big Questions”
“Mr Clegg wants to be Prime Minister, yet tries to duck the extremist nature of his programme. At least David Cameron has the courage of his convictions.… It shows the Tory leader has confidence his policies WILL work.”
The Times: “Vote of Confidence”
“At an acutely difficult moment in our history, The Times puts its faith in the people rather than the government.… the Liberal Democrat prospectus for power still reads like that of a party that has no expectation of victory…. [the Conservative party] recognises the benefits of individual independence. The [Labour Party] keeps fostering a state of benefit dependency.”