When I received our copy of the Derbyshire Times last week, my first response was to pick up the phone and complain to my newsagent that I had been wrongly sent a copy of The Daily Mail – and then I looked more carefully and realised that the correct delivery had, in fact, been made, neatly packaged in a cover plastered with Tory propaganda.
I had thought that your newspaper might take a more balanced political view, but, of course, the party that brazenly uses its wealth to perpetuate privilege can afford what other parties cannot, and your decision to publish what is in my view such a disproportionate advertisement demonstrates clearly that ‘every newspaper has its price’.
Many of your readers will find this a bitter pill to take, especially those in areas socially savaged by the Thatcher regime. How can you support a campaign based on, in my opinion, a personality cult by a ‘personality’ who merely repeats inane mantras, regularly uses personal insults to belittle the leader of the opposition rather than enter into reasoned debate, and whose acolytes deflect any searching questions about policy by saying that we will have to “wait for the manifesto” – at this stage of an election campaign? May those taken in enjoy the fruits of continued austerity.
Editor’s footnote — The Derbyshire Times does not support any political party, regardless of whether they advertise in our pages or not. All legitimate political parties may advertise - and a number are planning to do so in the run-up to the election.
But there is a clear distinction between paid advertisements from third parties and the editorial independence of the newspaper and its journalism. Advertising is vital to keep papers like this going - it pays for the professional journalists who help to hold politicans - of any and every party - to account.