Oborne’s Ashcroft Flip Flop

Guido noted last year that the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne turned on David Cameron, having previously said he could go down in history as one of the greats, he later went on to write a diatribe against him saying he was in the “sewer”. It seems he’s had an equally dramatic change of heart about Lord Ashcroft.

In 2010 Oborne wrote:

The image of Lord Ashcroft as a sinister svengali figure in Conservative politics has always been a little unfair.”

What a change of heart then in yesterday’s Telegraph:

“The Tory peer has secured his reward for establishing himself as the most powerful proprietor in the emerging world of online publishing and political intelligence, where he is so dominant that last week he became subject to an investigation by the Competition Commission. The Tory peer uses his other properties, including the widely read PoliticsHome website, to establish what Lord Justice Leveson would call a “megaphone presence” in the online media.

They have undermined trust in the Coalition and stirred up Conservative hostility against the Liberal Democrats, while giving a platform to some of the most vicious opponents of the Prime Minister. In recent months Lord Ashcroft and his small but beautifully placed army of editors, columnists and pollsters have started to push David Cameron around. 

Lord Ashcroft, a brutal critic of the Coalition from the start, could do no more than fume impotently with rage as Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg signed up to their agreement. But the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, who has been against it all along, looks like getting his way.”

Sounds like a “sinister svengali figure in Conservative politics” to Guido…

Guido spoke to Peter and he said the point he was making was that Tim Montgomerie’s blog claims to represent grassroots conservatives and the Telegraph is a national newspaper. Not sure how significant these factors are, in reality both publications speak to their owner’s and editor’s prejudices. Where is the fun in owning or editing a publication if you can’t use it to settle scores, eh?



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