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Editor's blog Thursday 22 April 2009: Quick election thought

Health debate's been poor to date (I'll have a look at the health hustings done by the Kings Fund, Confed and RCN later on), but just at the moment, the Clegg Factor has brought some nice scenes to the election montage.

The first is a marvellous toys-exiting-pram incident by the News International posse. Oh dear. They don't like it up them, do they?

The second is the comedy over-reaction by the Tory rags to Cleggmania. The Mail's cack-handed effort to suggest that this article, written when Clegg was an MEP, represents a "Nazi slur". Which it doesn't.

Such an accusation is, anyway, a bit rich coming from a paper whose proprietor in the 1930s Lord Rothermere espoused pro-fascist views, and wrote an editorial entitled "Hurrah for the Blackshirts". Pot-kettle-'black', no?

The Telegraph's story about payments into Clegg's bank account has a bit more going for it, demonstrating an appearance of possible impropriety. However, it is in practical terms neutralised by Clegg's having declared these private donations in the Commons' Register of Members' Interests. The money was donated, Clegg has said, to pay a researcher's salary.

Memo to the Tory rags: Clegg is riding an anti-politics backlash (and you are partisan parts of that politics business). You might dent a small amount of this support; most others, you will energise.

The rules of engagement have changed. See the 'Nick Clegg's fault' meme on Twitter.