Nick Clegg supports Ed Miliband over his dad – that’s just right

Geoffrey Levy on Milibands DadOnce again the Daily Mail has disgraced itself and the journalistic profession.

In an article headlined “The man who hated Britain”, the newspaper attacked Miliband father, a man who fled the Nazis to arrive here as refugee. Ralph Miliband quickly came to love this country and he fought for it in the Second World War. But in common with many of his era, he was attracted to Marxism.

His left leaning and his youthful comments were enough for Geoffrey Levy of the Daily Mail to launch one of the most unpleasant character assassinations in recent history.

This adolescent distaste for the British character certainly didn’t stop him availing himself of the fine education that was on offer in this country, or spending the rest of his life here.

Levy then trashes Ralph Miliband’s academic life. Levy simply can’t seem to grasp the important role that Marxist perspectives played not only in politics, “Red Ed’s” own field, but also anthropology and many other social disciplines in Britain from the fifties onwards. Marxism was part of the academic and political debate of the day but Levy fails to understand the political and academic maelstrom of the era and its contribution to political and social thinking.

Then to cap it all, Levy caps off his case with a dose of bad hair day geography. Red Ed was “significantly” buried just 12 yards from Karl Marx and – wait for it – Ed Miliband now lives less than a mile away.

That sort of argument wouldn’t have got a C minus on during my archaeology finals, which I freely confess had some questions best answered with a dose of Marxism.

Ed Miliband demanded a right of reply. He got it. But the hacks at the Mail decided that this was just another excuse to attack Miliband’s father.

Geoffrey Levy Mail 1

Mail Wont Apologise on Eds Dad

David Cameron has expressed sympathy. But it was left to Nick Clegg to get the message spot on:

Nick Tweet on Eds Dad

Thanks Nick. That’s just right.

Many Daily Mail readers are not all that keen on Levy’s attack on Miliband’s dad. Top of the comments poll at the moment is Mrs Keith Richards who is backing Ed. More than 2,700 people support her view that the Daily Mail is “a disgrace”, with only 600 against:

Mrs Keith Richards

That’s just right too.

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at

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  • Stuart Mitchell 1st Oct '13 - 7:12pm

    Miliband Snr lived in the UK, paid taxes in the UK, and even fought in the war for this country.

    The Daily Mail is owned by a man who loves Britain so much that he lives and pays taxes elsewhere.

    Excellent article. No words can ever convey just how loathesome the Mail is, but you had a good go at it.

  • Top marks to Clegg unlike Cameron who avoided any answer that could criticise the Mail…..

  • I am glad that Nick Clegg came out and supported Edd Milliband on this one and rightly so.

    The Daily Mail is behaving appallingly as usual. This gutter trash press really is not acceptable

  • @Simon Titley: Can’t see that picture without thinking–
    ‘The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”‘

  • There are some fascinating comments about the daily Mail on Oswald Moseley’s autobiography. ( Moselsy ‘My Life pp 343-346)

    Lord Rothermere was, Moseley said, “a genuine patriot”, and “observed a growing interest in the Blackshirt Movement and finally his action was characteristic….he suddenly sent me a telegram affirming his support. Then the headlines came pelting like a thunderstorm: ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ ((1) was the theme….. Nothing was too large or too small for use in Lord Rothermere’s drive to support our movement. ”

    This support included the Mail trying to organise a beauty competition for female Blackshirts,

    Typically, when Rotheermere discovered that supporting fascists was not good for business he withdrew, blaming pressure from a conspiracy of ‘Jewish advertisers’,

    (1) Daily mail 8 January 1934)

  • They endorsed Marine Le Pen. This was as recent as 2012, not the 1930’s, mind you.

    The Mail is a poisonous and hate filled rag that can barely pass for a newspaper.

  • Andy Boddington 2nd Oct '13 - 8:29am

    @Melanie Harvey
    I draw you attention to our comments policy. Lib Dem Voice is not a forum for unsubstantiated allegations and insinuations. Your comments have been deleted:

    I’ve also deleted the warnings given by other commenters so that the thread makes sense. (Thanks for your help folks).

    Now can we get back to discussing the Mail and its torrid coverage of Ed Miliband’s dad?

  • Andy Boddington 2nd Oct '13 - 8:50am

    The Guardian gives a detailed report on Newsnight and Alistair Campbell clashing with the Mail’s deputy editor, Jon Steafel:

    The row between Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail continued last night as a senior executive from the newspaper refused to apologise for its attack on the Labour leader’s late father but admitted that publishing a photograph of his gravestone with a pun about him being a “grave socialist” was an “error of judgment”.

    The article is well worth a read:

  • Thank you Andy.

  • nuclear cockroach 2nd Oct '13 - 10:52am

    What the Daily Mail has written about a man who served this country with honour in its greatest hour of need, is thoroughly despicable. Behind the Mail’s spiteful prose lurks another story: that of the Mail’s copious words of praise in the 1930s for Mussolini, Hitler and Franco and its staunch support for Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts. Indeed, is the truth not this, that giving succour to our country’s enemies and hating its people in their diversity has long been a stock in trade of the Daily Mail?

    Bitter words inked from such poisoned pens should be seen as the highest praise by the Miliband family. They have my respect, if not my vote.

  • Paul in Twickenham 2nd Oct '13 - 12:24pm

    DIdn’t Salisbury say the Daily Mail was “written by office boys for office boys”? It was regarded as contemptible at the end of the 19th century and nothing in the intervening decades has done anything to mitigate that reputation.

  • Julian Tisi 2nd Oct '13 - 1:49pm

    @ Simon Titley
    Thank you so much for those links. It’s nice to be reminded how nice and fluffy our dear Daily Fail actually is.

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