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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Justified outrage at Daily Mail smear of Ralph Miliband

The Times reports that the Labour Party has reacted angrily to a republished article in the Daily Mail on Ed Miliband’s father entitled “the man who hated Britain”. They said that the Saturday edition had examined the political beliefs of Ralph Miliband, a Marxist academic, and how that had influenced his sons.

The Labour leader himself has written in today’s edition of the newspaper, accusing it of smearing his father:

The Labour leader tweeted to express his anger about the piece and revealed that the newspaper had agreed to publish his response. However, it also reprinted the original piece with a leading article headlined, “An evil legacy and why we won’t apologise”.

Mr Miliband said it was “absurd” to build a case about his father hating Britain on an adolescent diary entry. The newspaper had quoted the 17-year-old Ralph writing that the Englishman was a “rabid nationalist” and “you sometimes want them almost to lose [the war] to show them how things are”.

Mr Miliband said that fierce debate about politics did not justify “character assassination” of his father. His spokesman said: “It will be for people to judge whether this newspaper’s treatment of a World War Two veteran, Jewish refugee from the Nazis and distinguished academic reflects the values and decency we should all expect in our political debate.”

It is also worth making the point that of all the papers to make this argument, the Daily Mail is on very shaky ground. After all, as we are dragging up the past it would be wrong of me not to mention this article written by the paper's then publisher:

Perhaps the paper should put their own past in order before criticising the dead.

Not to mention the Mail's scare stories around the same time about the LCC becoming a Soviet if Labour won the London County elections (they did, and it didn't) or about a flood of Jewish immigrants.

Agree Peter, but I don't forget either the way the Joanna Lamont of Scottish Labour only last week compared the SNP to a 'virus' http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/shame-as-labour-s-hypocrisy-goes-viral-1-3107461
and how Labour MPs over decades have misquoted, misrepresented and lied to create a nationalism = racism narrative.

The Daily Mail have done to Labour and to Ed Milliband's father's character what they've done for decades to Plaid Cymru members.

The Daily Mail are unfair but it's a taste of Labour's own medicine from my point of view.

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