The two newspapers that really count in Britain are The Guardian and The Daily Mail (…discuss!).  The Guardian is the newspaper of the ideas class (notably the BBC).  The Mail represents the roar of middle England.  The Mail came close to endorsing David Cameron a few weeks ago.  The Guardian, last week, more or less invited its readers to give the Conservative Party a sympathetic hearing.

Today’s Independent media section reflects on the invitation.  Here are the article’s key observations:

  • The ‘Progress in Blue’ leader was personally signed off by Editor Alan Rusbridger.
  • Labour reacted furiously – producing a memo for frontbenchers that accused The Guardian of being taken in by the Conservatives.
  • Labour is blaming a few influential Guardian journalists for the leader and the series of "friendly" articles that preceded it.  Julian Glover, Matthew Parris’ partner, and The Guardian’s chief leaderwriter is a chief target of Labour’s suspicions.
  • "Friends of Polly Toynbee say she is "livid" at the apparent "neutral" repositioning by The Guardian."

A CCHQ source has told ConservativeHome that The Guardian’s shift is a vindication of the party leadership’s decision to regularly place exclusives with the newspaper.  The party thinks that "Guardian-love" is a key route to the heart of the BBC; the party’s ultimate objective.  Our source also said that The Guardian had become "p***ed off" by the bullying of the Downing Street press operation: "Damian McBride [the PM’s chief spindoctor] doesn’t understand that you can’t imitate 1997 media management tactics when Brown is as far behind as Blair was then ahead."

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