WARNING: THIS POST LINKS TO MEDIA CONTENT THAT CONTAINS SWEARING, NUDITY, SCENES OF DRUG TAKING AND ADULT REFERENCES
On Saturday the Daily Mail published a crass, insensitive and, frankly, pointless article attacking the character of the late Ralph Miliband – father of Ed and David Miliband. It accused him of a number of things which it summed up in its headline “The man who hated Britain”. So you may have a sense of its rancid and irrelevant content here is the opening paragraph:
“On a hot summer day, a young man made his way alone to Highgate Cemetery in North London to make a lifelong vow.
Solemnly, he stood at the grave of Karl Marx at a moment when, in his own words, ‘the cemetery was utterly deserted . . . I remember standing in front of the grave, fist clenched, and swearing my own private oath that I would be faithful to the workers’ cause’.
The year was 1940. The young man was Ralph Miliband, a Jewish immigrant who, with his father, had fled to London from Belgium just weeks earlier to escape the Nazi Holocaust.”
I could attempt a line by line destruction of this ridiculous piece of gutter journalism but Ed Miliband has already responded and you can read a fair summary of both pieces in Monday’s Evening Standard. Suffice to say that they were quoting a 17-year-old Ralph Miliband in 1940 and his contemporaneous diary entries as a Jew who had recently and narrowly escaped the clutches of Nazi Germany and the forthcoming holocaust as the Panzer Battalions crushed his former Belgian homeland on their way to France.
The Daily Mail, devised by Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) and his brother Harold (later Lord Rothermere), was first published on 4 May 1896. In the ensuing years it became increasingly populist in its outlook. A few years before Ralph Miliband’s teenage spleen was being vented in the cauldron of the Second World War, a very adult Viscount Rothermere was expressing a different kind of ‘hatred’ for Britain by writing extensively of his support (which included funding) for the charismatic Oswald Moseley‘s British Union of Fascists aka “Blackshirts” who, interestingly were only a few years away from changing their name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists! The image below is of a Daily Mail page printed, apparently from its content, in 1933/1934.
“Mosley, known to his followers as The Leader, modelled his leadership style on Benito Mussolini and the BUF on Mussolini’s National Fascist Party in Italy, including an imitation of the Italian Fascists‘ black uniforms for members, earning them the nickname “Blackshirts“. The BUF was anti-communist and protectionist, and proposed replacing parliamentary democracy with executives elected to represent specific industries, trades or other professional interest groups – a system similar to the corporatism of the Italian fascists. Unlike the Italian system, British fascist corporatism planned to replace the House of Lords with elected executives drawn from major industries, the clergy, and colonies. The House of Commons was to be reduced to allow for a faster, “less factionist” democracy.
The BUF’s programme and ideology were outlined in Mosley’s Great Britain (1932) and A. Raven Thompson’s The Coming Corporate State (1938). Many BUF policies were built on isolationism, prohibiting trade outside an insulated British Empire. Mosley’s system aimed to protect the British economy from the fluctuations of the world market, especially during the Great Depression, and prevent “cheap slave competition from abroad.” (Wikipedia)
So, how does that compare with the Daily Mail today?
Reduce the size of the House of Commons – Tick!
- Anti-communist – Big tick!
- Isolationist – I think demanding that we leave the EU means massive tick!
- Prevent cheap slave competition from foreign workers – ginormous tick!
- Support for large corporations and belief in the righteousness of the corporate state – humongous tick!
But enough of the history lesson, this is part of Ed Miliband’s response to the Daily Mail as published in the Evening Standard:
“Mr Miliband described how his father arrived in Britain from Belgium after walking 100 kilometres with his dad to catch one of the last boats out before German soldiers arrived.
Four years later, a 20-year-old Ralph joined the Royal Navy and fought the Nazis for his adopted country as part of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944.
On why his father joined the navy, Mr Miliband added: “He did so because he was determined to be part of the fight against the Nazis and to help his family hidden in Belgium. He was fighting for Britain.”
I would like to see Viscount Rothermere’s patriotic credentials or, for that matter, the current editor Paul Dacre’s. How do you think that they are likely to stack up against a RN volunteer who was at the D-Day landings?
If you have read this blog before you will be aware that this blog considers the Daily Mail to be nothing more than an opinion sheet that spends its time misinforming its readers and spreading a particularly nasty and vindictive form of bile that infects the social fabric and political debate in the UK. From its weirdly prurient old man in a trench coat approach to women and pornography:
To it’s anti-science approach to health:
…especially cancer and vaccines:
To its reactionary anti-women, pro-paedophilia position:
To its Islamophobia and demonization of the disabled:
To its homophobia:
..did I mention that the Daily Mail hates women?
To its man-made climate change denial stance:
…and their pro-porn, misogynist stance WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS NUDITY:
This blog derides Daily Mail readers as numpties or DMB’s (Daily Mail Brits) because, as they obtain their information from a comic, they are massively uninformed and it often amuses and bemuses that they have such strong opinions.
Occasionally, as on Saturday, or when they printed this headline earlier this year this blog’s cup of ire runneth over and it is compelled to respond in some minor way:
…and, lest we forget, its tax dodging and giving succour to violent fascists:
This post would naturally have ended at this point but Paul Dacre, sensing that he may have gone too far has today doubled down on his crapulence.
In doing so, he has accidentally revealed the real cause of the Daily Mail’s anger with Ed Miliband and it is nothing to do with Miliband’s father.
It is, in fact, motivated wholly by Paul Dacre’s anger at Ed Miliband’s strong backing for the Leveson recommendations which are supposed to rein in the excesses of the press that we have seen in recent years.
A point rammed home by Jeremy Hunt’s intervention.
Hunt has been biding his time since having been dragged over the coals during the Leveson inquiry for his clear bias in the Murdoch-SkyTV takeover farrago and he appears to think now would be a good time for pay back.
This from Dacre’s ‘defence’ of the Mail as reported in today’s Independent (format changes by me for emphasis):
“But what is blindingly clear from everything that he wrote throughout his life is that he had nothing but hatred for the values, traditions and institutions – including our great schools, the Church, the Army and even the Sunday papers – that made Britain the safe and free nation in which he and his family flourished.”
The paper also attacked Mr Miliband for his support of tougher press regulation in response to the Leveson Inquiry: “If he crushes the freedom of the press, no doubt his father will be proud of him from beyond the grave, where he lies 12 yards from the remains of Karl Marx.
“But he will have driven a hammer and sickle through the heart of the nation so many of us genuinely love.”
But while Mr Cameron may have defended Mr Miliband the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt appeared to take the side of the Mail.
He said Ralph Miliband was “no friend of the free market economy” and he had never heard Ed Miliband say he supports it.
“The argument between the Mail and Ed Miliband over Ralph Miliband is something that they need to sort out the details of.
“But what I would say is that Ralph Miliband was no friend of the free market economy, he thought that was wrong, and I have never heard Ed Miliband say he supports the free market economy.
“I think the important thing for voters is to know exactly where Ed Miliband stands on these fundamental issues about our society.”
Sadly for Dacre, he has let the cat out of the bag and in the process demonstrated as clearly as possible, why we need Leveson style press oversight in the UK. The privy council meets next week to discuss the press regulation Royal Charter and whether to stick closely to the Leveson proposals or follow the watered down proposals of Dacre & Co aka Pressbof.
The publishers and editor of the Daily Mail have nothing but hatred for the values, traditions and institutions of Britain and are engaged in a war against the British people. It’s about time its readers took a stand against ignorance and hate and demanded the immediate enactment of the Leveson recommendations.
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