The Daily Mail, famed worldwide for its shameless dirt-digging on members of parliament, and for its online site that verges on becoming a soft-porn channel, reached new depths of contempt this week.
I’ve written before about Ed Miliband. I view him as a slightly laughable figure who should win the next election by an ironic stroke of luck; UKIP’s appearance in politics has done two things, firstly to create a culture of mistrust and ignorance amongst the electorate, and secondly to give Labour the helping hand they need. By splitting the right wing vote, Nigel Farage and his ‘swivel-eyed loons’ have given Miliband the best shot he could hope for of winning the next election.
But whatever I feel about Ed Miliband (a mixture of amusement and intrigue), I share his disgust at the Daily Mail’s loud boast of his father’s hatred for Great Britain. I have read the article, and the numerous follow-ups which trumpeted ‘The Mail will never apologise!’ The main body of the original article seems to consist of a description of an ordinary Marxist, without any evidence for Ralph Miliband’s ‘hatred’ for his adopted country.
Ralph Miliband was a Jew from Brussels, who fled the Nazi onslaught to the safety of Britain. He made a life there, and even fought in the Royal Navy during the Normandy landings. Interestingly, a photo of the Daily Mail’s founder socialising with Hitler himself has been circulating on Twitter:
The only evidence the ghastly man (Geoffrey Levy) can find to substantially smear his victim to the degree that his readers are accustomed was this: “The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world . . . you sometimes want them almost to lose (the war) to show them how things are . . . To lose their empire would be the worst possible humiliation.”
In this case I have to agree with Ed, and what he said in his response: “To ignore his service and work in Britain and build an entire case about him hating our country on an adolescent diary entry is, of course, absurd.”
Even if Ralph Miliband was guilty of a greater crime than the sickening corruption of socialism, I fail to see what business the Daily Mail has in harvesting family photos of political figures. Truthfully, one of the captions was: “On Holiday” –below a picture of Miliband standing with his mother and aunt. The fact that these paranoid hacks can showcase your family history to their entire readership, and still call it ‘political comment’ is both astounding and terrifying.
The Daily Mail, however, has built its odious reputation for shady morals, inflammatory headlines and a never-ceasing paranoia about socialism over many years. It has such an obsession with that dreaded word, that any excuse to smear a left-winger and associate him with extremist factions is too golden an opportunity to miss. If the Mail or its readers think this overly harsh, they need only review their own history to know that I’m right.
But for all that, Miliband has come off this business far happier than he went in. It gave him an excuse to openly boast of his father’s military past, without appearing to do so blatantly. It has shown the Daily Mail, one of his harshest critics among the press, in a very dark light. On the whole, the public appear to have taken Ed Miliband’s side on this, which is good to see.
But never believe that the Mail might have learnt its lesson. It never does.