Dads and politics

 

                 I have kept my Dad out of politics. I  never talked about him and his views in major speeches and  certainly avoided all mention of family members when I was contesting the Conservative leadership in 1995.

                I kept him out because I did not want him to experience the personal attacks, abuse and misrepresentations that go with the job of being a senior political figure in a lively democracy where voters and press like to have a go at those in or near power. I did not refer to him because as a loving Dad he did not seek to influence or interfere with my political views. I was solely responsible for what I thought and wrote, and did not turn to him to help write the speeches.

               I do not wish to take sides in the row between Mr Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail. I understand why Ed has rushed to his father’s defence, and understand the main point he is making about his father’s commitment to the UK and its tolerant democracy. He should do so, as his late father cannot defend himself, and has been subjected to this posthumous examination by his son’s words and job. I can also see why Mr Miliband senior’s views on politics which he made  public  are of interest.

                Anyone who  challenges to be Prime Minister can expect an altogether more intense and energetic media scrutiny than the rest of us in UK politics. I remember journalists in 1995  suddenly  contacting my  former school teachers, university friends, business colleagues and  members of the family on the other side of the world to check out if their memories of me squared with the statements I was making about myself and my  past life. The UK public dislikes a phoney or dishonest person. Many want to stop any given individual and party achieving the highest political office, so they will dig to find unhelpful things.

            The politician himself can make this more likely if he indicates that a given family member or other person in his life is or has been an important influence. It gives the media more reason and more excuse to prod and probe.  I usually answer “Queen Elizabeth 1” to the question who in British politics do you most admire or who has influenced you. I do so because it is a true answer, but also because there is not much journalists can do to the past Queen that has not already been done to her. I have pointed out that I have always been uneasy about her decision to execute Mary Queen of Scots!

             If  a politician selects some contemporary influence then it invites guilt by association. If the person is contentious it can damage the politician, as the journalists will often then ascribe to you the worst view or thing that person influencing you has said or done. If a senior politician has a father who has been active in UK politics and has published political views, someone will ask if this influenced him. They will ask all the more if that person regularly refers to his father in his major speeches.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

152 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    What a wise article! Well written! How that compares with the disgusting behaviour of Mr Campbell on Newsnight – all shouting and faux moral judgement.

    I have been considerable moulded by my own father’s views. I revolted against them. I blindly accepted them. I thought hard about them and then changed them to fit in with today’s values. I assume that everyone is deeply moulded by their Dad. Aren’t we?

    Which makes it more and more important to see that every single child is brought up by a Mum and a Dad too. People who lack a Dad are, in my view, handicapped. Which does not mean that they cannot overcome the handicap! It just makes life a lot more difficult for them.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Mike

      Agree, if you are not moulded in some way by your parents views and family experiences and way of life, then what was going on in your formative years ?

      Same can be said of peer groups, they can also have an influence on your thoughts and deeds.

      That however does not mean that you will be a clone of your parents or peer groups, as most people develop their own thoughts and actions through their own experience of life after leaving the family nest and standing on their own feet.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Mike, your words too are very wise, and good to see that I’m not the only one to see through Campbell. What a nerve that bloke has got to criticise others. Even those within his own party couldn’t stand him!

      Tad

      • Hope
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Why is he always trotted out by the BBC propaganda unit, he should never be given airtime ever.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Disgusting behaviour seems to be all Alastair Campbell knows. He want to challenge Paul Dacre to a debate on TV I see. But how would he get a word in edge ways against the usual mindless Campbell rant. Campbell should just reflect on the large part he played in the counter productive wars on a blatant lie and just shut up.

      Nothing the Mail said was remotely unfair to Miliband.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Let’s wait for the new report on Iraq. Hopefully we will be obliged to listen less to Alistair Campbell after that.

        • Hope
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          How about his behaviour towards David Kelly? When will this case be properly investigated? Campbell would be best advised to shut up.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          When in power Campbell held the BBC in contempt and spent his time attacking them. It is curious he now appears on the BBC so often. It is an interesting corporate form of the Stockholm Syndrome from the BBC I think.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Given that the Daily Mail couldn’t defend any of their comments or claims Campbell was right to attack them over this.

      I would be interested to hear why the Daily Mail thought Ralph Miliband hated Britain because he opposed joining the USA’s war against Vietnam.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        The Daily Mail worded it badly. Miliband Snr disliked much about Britain and her institutions and wanted to change things, the Mail were correct on that.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          People in the UK don’t like much about the UK or the UK’s institutions and want to change things. Politicians in particular are always trying to change things they don’t like.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    The Daily Mail article was perfectly reasonable. There was nothing in it remotely questionable in it. His father was clearly proud of his rather evil views and put his views in the public domain on many occasions. He has two sons with left wing views and Ed has proudly said what an influence he was upon him.

    Ed was given a right of reply, but made no sensible complaint in it against the perfectly fair comment of the article. Ed should grow up and stop being such a baby. He should also change his evil views on press regulation, the last thing the UK need is a more “BBC think” press controlled by politicians. Press control would be a huge and dangerous evil too.

    At last some action on Payday Loans but far from enough. An interest rate Cap is needed. Loans at APRs over about 25% to poor individuals without taking detailed advice should be banned. They benefit no one and cause misery for the desperate why such reluctance to act? Who is profiting from them on wonders, are the political parties is there much “lobbying” going on?

    Many countries have sensible interest rate caps the UK should too for lending to desperate individuals, other than for a few special cases where full advice is taken.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Well said Stella Creasy MP on radio 4 just now. Perhaps we will have to suffer Labour to get any real action on Payday lending. It seems inevitable with Cameron now anyway unless we get a UKIP deal post May 2014, after he comes a poor third.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Well said. By expressing a sense of disgust (and falsely in my view) Miliband is using the albeit deplorable methods of the press on that occasion, as a tool for much wider censorship. The left have a propensity for it. If they don’t like something, they ban it. Even some jokes are now illegal thanks to them, despite a sense of humour being a traditional national trait.

      We’re sick of the left-wing PC brigade, but we need to take the fight to them with a strong leader, not a goody-goody.

      Tad

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        “some jokes” rather a high proportion of them. If you are not free to offend you can hardly say anything is some people are offended by almost anything.

        If I just say women are usually shorter than men and tend to study physics rather less frequently than men then someone will be offended.

        Though the joke rules seem to be you can make a joke if, and only if, you are a member of the group you are joking about.

        • zorro
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, you are clearly being heightist, and disparaging to the fairer sex’s desire to focus on non scientific subjects. I shall send a civil servant to fine you a toute vitesse! Did I say fairer sex, my apologies for discriminating against men….

          Good to see some action on the outrageous loans which are clearly not risk assessed as it seems to be the same people getting caught in their clutches in our consumerist society. Mind you phone companies seem to grant expensive contracts for those on welfare rather than encouraging them to take cheaper options……at least that is what I sometimes see.

          zorro

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            and is ‘fairer sex’ something which automatically tallies with good? and who classes what is scientific and non scientific? The same old pigeon holers who cannot think out of the box?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Harassment and defamation aren’t protected by the right to free speech.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            And that Uni depends on your interpretation as to exactly what those two words mean.
            Keeps all you lawyers busy.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      His father was clearly proud of his rather evil views and put his views in the public domain on many occasions.

      Care to elaborate on how any of his views were evil. Your reviews that the poor should be forced to work for free and that employees should have no rights is far more evil.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        “Care to elaborate on how any of his views were evil” – just read some history of Marxism and the comments of Ed ‘s father!

        Of course they should not have to work for free, they should work for their benefits, I never suggested they should work for nothing! I do not believe in slavery. Though labour (and Cameron it seems) clearly believe in 50%+ slavery through the tax system.

        Employee clearly should have some rights, contractual ones as per the contract they have agreed to.

        • Cliff. Wokingham
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          LL:

          I can see the benefit argument from both sides: Many people, I suspect, have paid into the “insurance” scheme. The government are happy to take their money however, when these people need to claim on that insurance, they are vilified and, perhaps, even criminalised. Community service is, afterall, a criminal sanction for criminals. When a criminal is sentenced to community service and he is on benefits, will he have to do say sixty hours a week ( punishment for daring to claim benefits plus his community payback for his crime)? If not, does he, in effect, get his benefits for no extra effort when compared to the non convict benefit claimant without a criminal sanction?

          I wonder if next time you make a claim on your home or car insurance, whether you’d be happy if the insurance company said that they’d pay your claim, for which you’ve paid a premium, only if you work for free in their office for a week or two. I can see little difference between this scenario and the latest wizzard wheeze from Mr Osbourne et al. Remember, the more people claim on their car/home insurance, the higher the premiums go up just as, the more people there are living on benefits, so the premiums(tax) goes up.

          I do agree that there may be some people that work the system however, I feel the DWP should be being more proactive in finding these people rather than punishing the easy targets. I feel there are not enough unskilled or semi-skilled manual jobs about at the moment to really make this latest idea work or to be considered fair.

          Re The Milliband argument: On this board and within the media, it has become very polarised with those of the left supporting Mr Milliband and those of the right supporting The Mail however, when the UKIP man was harrassed and treated badly by the press and media, the factions of left and right were on the other side that time. We see a similar polarisation in relation to the EU and Climate change: surely these topics should be discussed from a non partizan perspective using known facts and hard data rather than spin: How will people be able to make up their minds on so many issues if they’re only given spin by politicians and media outlets?

          I personally get fed up with reading rubbish from all sides: I feel there is little to choose between the blinkered and biased views of Uni and Bazman on one side and Life Logic on the other side and, in my opinion, none of these people help their causes at all.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          If they’re having to work for their benefits then they should be paid minimum wage, instead of their benefits. People get job seekers allowance to look for a job, not be cheap labour.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            Notice the lack of replies to any sensible comment like this. Work for nothing, work or starve work until you drop. Same old same old. Unless it applies to them.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            For many being paid the minimum wage you are both loudly demanding, would result in a reduction in income for them, compared to the benefits they may be currently receiving

          • Bazman
            Posted October 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            How would it result in lower income? If they are not being paid the minimum wage then they should prosecute their employer. Benefits are paid as an addition to the minimum wage not to subsidise it.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Ralph miliband was a Marxist. Marxism was the inspiration for communist governments, in particular in China and the soviet union, which during the course of the 20th century are estimated to have caused deliberately c. 100 million deaths. On this measure Marxism is the most evil political doctrine in human history. Its apologists deserve criticism.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          Capitalism has also caused a huge number of deaths, mainly among the poor and homeless. At least in Communist countries you were guaranteed a job and place to live.

          Reply Capitalist regimes do not have programmes of mass murder as Stalin did.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Really John? How about Pinochet’s regime in Chile? Pinochet’s forces are conservatively estimated to have killed over 11 000 people in his first year in power. Thatchers chum as I recall. Not much trickle down there either most of the wealth created by this revolution was placed into the hands of the elite with the poor becoming more poor.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Are you talking about scrupulous employers and landlords as well as loan companies or is these forms of rip off profiting is OK as they perform some sort of useful ‘service’. Well so are loan companies as they would not exist if they did not. Many other countries also have more employment legislation too. Milibands father was evil because he was left wing? His Marxist ideas existed in the day next to capitalist imperialism, hardly a good track record on human rights either. You mean it is evil to believe in a fair days pay for a fair days work and to not have to suffer ill health whilst doing this work or adequate housing either by adequate pay and/or taxation with healthcare for all and not just this pay and services being available to the rich or only for those able to afford them and ensuring this by collective action. The same action by a wealthy minority for their own benefit is good however?! It is not and even a fool like you should be able to see this.
      Work for benefits? This is called a job! Work for less than a days pay undercutting other paid workers as punishment is your intention. As for jokes, you need to think how jokes work… If they are directed at the underdog they need to be funny or be funny by being disgusting about the plight of the underdog as a fool whether the subject be male/female, rich poor etc. Your jokes are however not jokes but bigotry pretending to be humour. You really are a sad little man aren’t you? Ram it.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Is this a general rant Baz, or is it aimed at someone specific?
        Perhaps we should be told.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          It’s logical if you follow the thread!

  3. wab
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The Mail supported Hitler. That is slightly more significant than rather some person didn’t like the Queen or capitalism. The Mail’s trash talk against Miliband’s father (as a way of getting at Miliband) is about as low as it gets and reflects very poorly on them and on anyone who tries to defend their weasel words (and there are unfortunately many right-wing people willing to do so). The gutter press at its worst.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Drivel, everything in the article was perfectly reasonable and fair comment. If Miliband wants to detach himself from his fathers idiotic and pernicious views he could say that he found them to be often idiotic and pernicious.

      If not perhaps he supports them. He has plenty of press time to make his own case. His reply in the Mail was pathetic and made no sensible points at all, more like a petulant, spoilt child.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I often find my father’s soft left wing views rather daft and half baked like Cameron’s in fact.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        How was claiming that Ralph Miliband hated Britain because he didn’t want to join the US’s war with Vietnam fair or reasonable?

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Just read what Ralph said and wrote and make your own judgement.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          He also wanted the UK to lose the Falkland war after they had been invaded.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      What a silly post. No-one writing in the Daily Mail now ‘supported Hitler’. By and large it is the Labour Party which has focused on attacking the family background of Tories (miliband talked about how his family hadn’t sat under the same tree for 500 years etc). They can hardly complain when they get a little of their own medicine. Ed Miliband has cited his father as a key influence. miliband senior remained a Marxist throughout the post-war decades, long after the failures of socialism and the horrors of communism were plain for all to see. It is perfectly legitimate to point this out and to be concerned that someone who held such contemptible views is cited as an influence on a man putting himself forward to be Prime Minister.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        There’s a huge difference between pointing out that the Conservatives are mainly composed of people from wealthy families and launching smear campaigns against names individuals. Especially when the latter involves false claims.

        Also socialism hasn’t failed in Germany or Scandinavia.

        Reply So should we point out the privilege in the backgrounds of people like Mr Miliband and Miss Harman?

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          A privileged background does seem to produce a very high proportion of complete lefty, quack green, pro EU dopes.

          Shirley Williams, Harman, Miliband, Cameron, Osborne, Bliar, Clegg, Huhne, Ed Davey, John Gummer, Patten the list is endless.

          I think all teenagers should have a weekend job at 13 or 14 it might help them keep in touch with reality.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            Unpaid? LOL!

        • Richard1
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Your characterization of Germany and ‘Scandinavia’ (which isnt one country) as socialist demonstrates you have no knowledge of circumstances or economic history in either. Both characterizations are false.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            This does not answer his question of why a democratic socialist country such as Germany with high social support and long unpoliceable borders is si successful? Typical Daily Mail nonsense that having to pay staff such as gardeners pensions will be a burden on them and their employers does not seem to effect Germany.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      I have seen an article from the 30s which shows the Mirror supporting fascism as well if you want to throw mud

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I wasn’t a fan of Hitler, but can you say that the liberal left, or even the hard left have ever delivered for the people either?

      I would have gone about it differently to The Daily Mail, but still we have the right to know about the nature and political inclinations of the people who seek to lead us, and about those who are said to have influenced those people. I like to put myself in another person’s position in an attempt to understand them. Had my dad been a rampant socialist, I would have wanted to distance myself from him. Miliband himself said what a great bloke his dad was.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        The Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party was it not?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Nothing the Nazis did was socialist, which is why they kept imprisoning actual socialists.

          • lifelogic
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            No to you perhaps as you like the BBC seem to assume that everything bad is “right wing”.

          • Richard1
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            On the contrary the Nazis operated a highly socialist model with extensive government control of the economy and employed a highly Keynesian expansion in the 1930s. They were certainly socialist, although also racist.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            And you assume anything on the right is good and self balancing do you not? The views of a political simpleton no less.

          • Max Dunbar
            Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            Many communists switched to the Nazi Party and there was a large faction within the organisation who took the ‘socialist’ in NSDAP seriously. The Strasser brothers ran the Party in northern Germany including Berlin. Gregor Strasser was an anti-capitalist socialist revolutionary. He was liquidated along with the SA leadership and various other opponents in June 1934. It is no coincidence that the largest area of the swastika flag is coloured red.

          • peter davies
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            “Nothing the Nazis did was socialist” So a command economy with state control is not socialist then?

            There’s not a huge amount of difference between national socialism and marxism in my mind – both are evil and both are hard left.

            For all the good intentions of soft socialists like uni – if the UK adopted a command economy and everything became rationed, this is the road we would be heading towards over a period of time. Then there would be something to cry about.

          • Handbags
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            The Nazis were violently anti-capitalist – why do you think they went after the Jews?

          • Mark B
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            The Soviet SOCIALISTS imprisoned and murdered other socialists’. Or wasn’t Trotsky a socialist ?

            The whole thing about Socialism, Communism and Marxism is that it is nihilistic in its outlook. That is why there is so much anger, violence and bloodshed. The eternal struggle.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Dont be so harsh on yourself Baz

          • uanime5
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            @Richard1 and peter davies
            You do realise that government control of the economy is fascism. Socialism is when it’s controlled by the people.

            @Max Dunbar
            Most Communist joined the Nazis because Hitler started cracking down on them after he became Chancellor.

            Also the Nazi flag was red, white, and black because these were the colours of Imperial Germany.

            @peter davies
            Hitler fought Stalin because their ideologies were radically different. Russia and China allied because they shared a similar ideology.

            @Handbags
            The Nazi’s went after the Jews because they were anti-Semitic. Given that most Jews were poor attacking Jews is not synonymous with an attack on capitalism.

            Also the Nazi’s weren’t anti-capitalism and most of their party donations came from big business.

            @Mark B
            Stalin had Trotsky murdered to prevent Trotsky leading a rebellion against him.

            Reply Germany and the USSR had their infamous Pact of steel for a time. Why would communists join Hitler if their ideologies were so radically opposed?

    • Winston Smith
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      This is not true. Its a leftist lie created from a half-truth. The Mail foolishly featured an published an article praising Mosley’s blackshirts in 1934. Shortly afterwards they realised the mistake and printed a full retraction, stating their opposition to fascism.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t about what The Mail did 70 years ago.

      It is about what makes the man who might well rule our country tick.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Given that the Mail claimed that Ralph Miliband hated the UK because of something he wrote 80 years ago the Mail has no right to complain when people start bringing up what they wrote 70 years ago.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Wab – The Daily Mail aren’t standing for office. It should not be them being scrutinised – they are not meant to be unbiased, abhor Nazism NOW and 70 years ago a fair few politicians were sympathetic towards Nazi Germany too.

      What we need to know NOW is:

      Was Ralph Miliband a leading enthusiast of Marxism ?

      Was Ed Miliband influenced by him and is he still a Marxist ?

      These are things which the public have a right to know about.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        The Daily Mail are trying to influence who gets elected, thus it’s acceptable to scrutinise them.

        You’ve also failed to explain why it’s wrong to mention that the Mail supported the Nazi’s but fine to mention the political allegiances of a politician’s father.

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The rules are clear: the Left can jeer at and ridicule the family background of any Tory (for example Osborne & Cameron’s fathers’ jobs) and say that this makes them out of touch, and they can abuse dead Tory politicians (Thatcher) as much as they want. However, they will wail in moralistic outrage at a taste of their own medicine.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      It was not even a taste of their own medicine, it was perfectly fair comment.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      The Mail was not abusing his father- the headline can be open to debate but the content appeared factual and can easily be referenced. If the referenced content is wrong then they should go after the source.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        The headline was deliberately designed to make the readers hate Ralph Miliband and his sons, and the article reinforced this. So it was abuse.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          One man’s abuse is another’s fair comment.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            Under the law abuse is not fair comment.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            (someone is ed) thick would be fair comment? I would say it is and a statement of fact not abuse.

            reply I do not like people using terms of abuse about each other on this site.

        • Winston Smith
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” –Adolf Hitler

          All totalitarian socialist regimes have imprisoned or murdered their political ‘brothers’.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            Many political parties in Germany during the 1930’s claimed to be socialist so people would vote for them, such as the “Social Democratic Party of Germany” (Sozi).

            Given that many big businesses gave donations to the Nazi’s it’s clear that they didn’t believe Hitler was going to demolish capitalism.

            Reply They were either afraid of what he would do, or about the earn large sums from state contracts for weapons etc.

        • peter davies
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Whether deliberate or not it was the opinion of the free press, its what they do – as lefties said about Mrs Thatcher “if you don’t like it then don’t read it”

          I have never heard David Milliband reference his father so would never have expected them to do something like this in that instance but Ed often has in public thus making himself a natural target.

          Imagine is David Cameron stood up and said he had an uncle who he looked up to (who then it turned out be an extremist) – the press and BBC would be all over it.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      That’s very true Roy

      Tad

    • Edward2
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Roy you are spot on.
      It is part of the lefts continual attempt to close down debate by aiming personal abuse at anyone who dares to speak out against them.
      Proper debate is a worry for them because it will reveal their weaknesses.
      History shows what the appalling result of socialism is for all, but especially the workers they claim to be trying to help..

    • uanime5
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      How is launching a smear campaign against a politician’s dead father comparable to pointing out that the many Tories come from privileged backgrounds and naming the problems caused by Conservative politicians?

      Reply I seem to remember left wing papers commenting adversely on Mrs Thatcher’s father and on Mr Cameron’s

  5. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I tend to think that politicians should not mention their families at all. I think it’s irrelevant as they are standing for office and not their families. The newspapers will be digging for dirt at the best of times and even more so if they think they can find some on the family members. Also sometimes mention of the Members family can be seen as trying to get the ‘sympathy vote’. I don’t approve of politicians employing family members either. I think it’s open to abuse – but that’s another story.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Oh I think their family back ground is often highly relevant, clearly they may have totally different views but it is often a very good pointer. I would avoid anyone from the acting profession unless I wanted them to act or be a bent sales person and even then. Large family children are often very different to single children too.

      People born rich are generally quite different to people born poor in certain ways. People born to rich Tory stock broker types often end up as soft wet half socialists like Cameron for example.

      Grammar (or similar) state school physics and maths graduates are usually the best value for money I find. But not many about thank to Cameron types killing Grammar type schools. Nearly all are male too as only 20% of physic A levels are takes by girls. This despite the BBC’s endless pushing woman engineers and scientists they just do not seem to want to take these subjects for some reason.

      I do not think many Thatcher and David Starkey types come from rich backgrounds or many wet Cameron, Hurd, Howe, Clegg types come from poor ones. I certainly know which type I prefer in general. Though we do have Jacob Rees-Mogg I suppose.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        They are often like yourself politically simple, hating where they are from and trying to erase their own background by extreme right wing views when they have got a few quid. The comedies such as Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? and The Liver Birds laughed at this and who can forget Rising Damp character Rupert Rigsby? Hmm.. seems familiar!
        Got your their flat and Mondeo and think they have made it. Some think they are now middle class because they work in an office even though they struggle to clear 15k before tax! Pot noodle and fags still get a look in though. How ironic..or not.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          You don’t ever take that old flat cap off do you Baz.
          Ever thought that those aspirational people you rudely ridicule for just trying to better themselves are the ones who help create economic growth, pay their taxes to sustain a State system you and I depend on for health education and welfare?
          Would you prefer they remained loyal to their roots and stayed where they were born with their hands outstretched asking for help for evermore?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Holding extreme right wing views is aspirational and most often held by people trying to better themselves? Often what you find with these types is a desire to pull the ladder up after themselves. Miserable staff is what my father calls them. They have creeped and crawled there way from manual work to dour office or supervisory position as ‘staff’ and are now miserably trying to defendant there position and save money by spending nothing on anything, for what reason nobody is sure. What about the lazy 90% alienated by Tories? They are facing a massive fall in public support after their slogan ‘For Hardworking People’ excluded almost everyone. The majority of the UK population are employed full-time in roles where they coast along with minimum effort. Senior Tories should be rushing to assure the public that it’s fine to sit around pulling your pud all day if you’re in paid employment, have inherited wealth, or are attractive enough to leech off somebody else. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            You have a depressingly cynical and bitter attitude to life Baz.
            In all my many years in engineering and in the businesses I came into contact with, I have never met these miserable characters you say are the norm of any who try to better themselves.
            I shall put it down to the your feelings of envy and dislike of anything that reduces equality.
            To you aspiration in a person is a sin to me its a natural desire to improve oneself.
            Also I see no examples of extreme right wing views stated in the post which has riled you.

  6. lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Needless to say the BBC is pro Miliband and anti Daily Mail. The BBC thing the Daily Mail is just a punch line for their jokes and collective noun for “non BBC think” people they do not like.

    They dragged out Alan Sugar to attack the Mail and Paul Dacre. Let us hope press control by politicians does not ever come about, is would be hugely damaging and evil. Politicians simply can not be trusted, as we have seen again, again and again and certainly not ones like Miliband. The last thing the country needs is more BBC thing.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Sugar has suggested people should protest outside of various Daily Mail personages houses.
      What a hypocrite.
      Oneself made the mistake some twenty years back of purchasing an Amstrad mini hi-fi – never again – for any of his products. Perhaps other such disgruntled consumers could demonstrate outside that champagne socialists ‘palace’ ?
      Surmising our experience of Amstrad – ” ‘oh sugar’ ” !

    • uanime5
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Politicians already do regulate the media. The problem is that the regulation of the newspapers is far too lax compared to the regulation of TV channels. Where Ofcom in charge of regulating the newspapers they’d cease to be scandal rags.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Why regulate in the first place Uni?
        You already have numerous laws controlling things like libel,slander, blasphemy, racist comments etc etc
        There are numerous different publications all asking for your support and money.
        Do you feel it difficult to find a news publication that suits you?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          You do realise that these laws are a form of regulation. Though the advantage of a press complaints commissions is that they can provide remedies far quicker.

          Just because their are other publications doesn’t make it legal for one publication to break the law.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            Para One
            Yes thanks I do
            Para Two
            I trust the law more than some quango stuffed with placemen by politicians and celebs with a hidden agenda
            If the law operates slowly then speed it up.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5 – The Daily Mail have not been implicated in the phone hacking scandals.

        This puts them above much of the press and this must be a huge disappointment to the Left. The Left have waited literally years for something to be able to bash them with and this is pretty feeble if you ask me.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          I never claimed that the Mail has been linked to phone hacking and have no idea why you brought this up. However phone hacking isn’t the only abuse the papers commit.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:26 am | Permalink

          PS, Uanime5

          The BBC seem to be regulated by a former Nu Labour spin doctor – not by elected politicians.

          (It should be regulated by neither in my view.)

  7. Wireworm
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The Mail conflated two issues: a single diary entry by Ralph Miliband aged 17 (in 1941) about British insular nationalism (and our contempt for the French) and Ed’s repeated acknowledgement of the influence of his father, who was a revolutionary socialist. The Mail decided to spice the latter fact with the claim, based on the diary entry, that his father hated Britain. There is otherwise no evidence for this and a person’s being a revolutionary cannot be adduced as an indication of hatred for his country; we have to assume that Miliband senior appreciated the protection this country gave him. Nevertheless, had the Mail applied a bit of rigour, it would have been left with the interesting question of Ed’s intellectual inheritance. It’s much clearer, for example, that David Miliband has distanced himself from his father’s beliefs.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps ‘hating’ this country is an exaggeration and a headline grabber like ‘Gotcha’ was in 1982 during the Falklands campaign.
      ‘Contempt’ would probably be more accurate, and why not? Miliband came to this country with fresh eyes and a critical view of us. It was not his country to hate so why should he not be allowed to hold these views if we were stupid enough to allow him entry? Many people hold this country in contempt today and with some justification. Who cares if he was a Marxist. At least he was open about it.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Well they did not say he hated Britain “all his life” and 17 is quite old, my views at 17 were very similar to my views now.

      Miliband senior may have both appreciated the protection this country gave him but may well still have hated much of what the country stood for, as we see in the later quotes when he was much older 47? I think.

      Hypocrisy is totally inherent in left wing politics as we see with lefties children’s schooling, their tax avoidance arrangements and over high pay for union officials and some state sector staff.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        And Labour want to lower the voting age to 16 ???

    • Richard1
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      There are plenty of people throughout history who have taken advantage of a welcome in Britain but then campaigned or conspired to destroy our way of life. Marx, Lenin, George Blake, various Islamist radicals recently and many communists over the years.

  8. Alte Fritz
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Could not agree more. It is akin to celebrities who complain when fame invites unwelcome attention.

    Having said that, I doubt whether you would find many foreigners arriving in Britain in those times who were not perplexed or repelled by many aspects of our national character. That is a different debate.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps illustrated by the British newspaper headline

      “Fog in channel, Continent isolated”.

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Like the sound of that – vote UKIP ? !

  9. Tad Davison
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    A very logical and clinical appraisal John, that makes a lot of sense without treading on landmines.

    I can’t say that I agree with the methods of the newspaper that attacked the Labour leader in the way it did, and it seems like an own goal. On the other hand, had my dad been a rampant leftie, who came to this country as a place of refuge, and then denounced it’s institutions and values, I’d want to keep it quiet. I certainly wouldn’t want to claim he passed those values on to me, whilst trying to gain the votes of the middle ground.

    Maybe that’s why Miliband Junior doesn’t mind having this country (with more ed) immigrants who are more likely to vote Labour (as one former minister put it), because that’s the only way he can change it – by stealth. Personally, I think we’ve given too much ground already, so we really do need to shut Labour out, but what are the alternatives, a party that is away with the fairies, or a party that is led by a milksop who isn’t trusted to deliver?

    Many commentators are this morning, comparing David Cameron to Margaret Thatcher, and saying that no Conservative leader since her time has stood as tall, and I have to agree. The country needs somebody who has resonance with ordinary people, but I just see a lot of detached people who wouldn’t last five minutes in the environment in which I grew up and worked in. To defeat Labour, and all the surreptitious, undeclared, and underhanded threats they pose, the country needs somebody who speaks the language of the ordinary man, as there are far more of those than the inappropriately named ‘liberal intelligentsia’.

    The Daily Mail went about its expose’ of Miliband the wrong way, but I do not doubt for a moment they were trying to show him up for what he is. The Tories once had a slogan, ‘New Labour, New Danger’. That has proven to be absolutely right. The words ‘Labour party’ and ‘disaster’ are particularly synonymous. They always have been dangerous, but we need a great leader to wipe them off the face of the political map. We haven’t yet got that man.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  10. John Bolton
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Elizabeth may be fairly described as ruthless and it’s a quality a PM (regrettably) needs. Just thinking about possible futures.

  11. Peter Davies
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Spot on – I totally agree with this.

    I have heard many extracts of speeches where the leader of the labour party has stated the influence his father had on him. We should never have our parents past bought into our lives but if you use the media to make reference to family members then of course media people are going to dig – any sane person would NEVER be naive enough to reference their family members – this alone proves to me that he doesn’t have what it takes to be an effective PM.

    Hearing Campbell ranting (words left out ed) on Newsnight and then Vine must have raised a few eyebrows – attacking a professor of politics who was trying to give a rational explanation and doing his best to talk him down by not letting others finish their answers indicates a bullying personality.

    Typical from an ex tabloid editor who made it his job to spread poison in the media then goes on about a headline – he couldn’t even get the fact that the said person was in the Belgian section under Royal Navy command rather than the Royal Navy itself – why the BBC even gives him air time is beyond me – he’d be more suited to a Jeremy Kyle type show.

    Milliband needs to appreciate that attacking his “toff” Tory opponents because of their backgrounds could also be put into a similar category as well as being photographed next to people wearing anti Thatcher T Shirts – at the end of the day if you live by the sword, expect to die by it as well.

    If it is accepted that if you bring your father into the public domain through speeches leaving yourself open to scrutiny then the only course of redress he can have is if they have lied (the Headline which is a media sensational way of grabbing attention and based on opinion which Campbell knows all about) can be easily referenced.

    Nick Clegg said something about playing the man not the ball – this is right if you haven’t tried to use the ball to your own advantage in the past.

  12. Gordon Riby
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Ed Miliband could have just ignored the piece from The Mail and it would have quickly blown over. I imagine there must be some in his party who think that he should have been scrutinising/attacking Conservative Party policies during the conference. They must be disappointed.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      If Miliband had ignored it the Daily Mail would have claimed that it was all true because Miliband hadn’t objected to it. Miliban was correct to highlight how immorally the Mail was acting.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Miliband has attacked it because he thinks it is politically in his interest to do so – he is wrong and has just drawn additional attention to the many valid points they made.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          None of the points were valid, that’s why the Mail on Sunday had to apologise.

      • Gordon Riby
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        Do we all assume Ed Miliband wishes to see the more Draconian measures proposed in Leveson implemented? After all Labour will only have the support of The Mirror and The Guardian (perhaps The Independant too) in the next general election.

        What does Paul Dacre’s personal friend and Ed Miliband’s old boss Gordon Brown make of the whole affair?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Well until the Leveson is implemented it’s not possible to determine whether it will be sufficient.

  13. Gordon Riby
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Additionally it’s worth mentioning the hypocisy of the left on this issue. For example; It’s a pity that Alistair Campbell’s notion of “decency” did not extend to criticising the unfair articles about David Cameron’s background or his leader’s tasteless decision to pose in a photo with a “Thatcher Grave Dancer” (This photo is all over the internet).

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps starting a pointless, counterproductive war on a (dodgy dossier ed) and then getting people in the BBC fired for pointing out the truth about a dossier is not very decent either.

      Nor is ranting on Newsnight all through the Mail’s representative’s very sensible, and perfectly civilised response, like some (etc ed). I assume Campbell realised that all the rational arguments were on the Mail’s side and so ranting through him was all he felt he could do.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    If a person wishes to enter public life in any shape or form , they will be scrutinised ( and crucified in some cases ) by all and sundry . As the younger of the two brothers it is more than likely that “Ed” was ” Daddy’s favourite ” and heavily influenced in his relationship with him ; who would be surprised , therefore , if he did not wish to emulate his father . From what has been reported ” Dad ” was a convinced leftie ; he would be delighted in the political leanings of his son . The public are too mindful of the damage that has been done to the economic fabric of their lives to be influenced back into the socialism ” Ed ” would wish them to vote for ; it gives Cameron an absolutely first-class platform on which to base his pre-election campaigning . The Conservatives would be well advised to build on this by going one stage further in a deal with UKIP ; the outcome would be the majority all sensible people crave for .

  15. stred
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    It is certainly distasteful whem people wait until someone is dead and then make accusations which the person cannot answer. However, in the current row, this is not the case. The facts are well documented and a possible future prime minister has said that he is influenced by someone with extreme political views.

    Imagine the reaction of the BBC if Nigel Farage had said that his father had influenced him and journalists found that this person had been a senior BNP activist and had been buried next to the grave of Oswald Mosely. Had this been the case, the son would presumably have had more intelligence and avoided mentioning the influence. What is worrying is that a possible future prime minister thinks that a totatitarian, murderous system is kind of OK . Mr Milli(band) may be dim but dangerous.

    Reply I am sure Mr Miliband condemns the extreme violence of the communist regimes of the last century.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      To Reply: “I am sure Mr Miliband condemns the extreme violence of the communist regimes of the last century.”

      I am sure he does too, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Such things as politicians controlling the press, (which he does support) and giving more power to unelected EU bureaucrats, which he also supports (as alas does Cameron).

      • stred
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Ceausescu seemed enlightened at first. He was even invited to the UK to Buck Pal. The rest is currently being celebrated by an exhibition of photographs in Bucharest which turns locals to tears even years afterwards.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Well, some of the media are scraping the barrel under the direction of their political masters to discredit UKIP. Obtaining Farage’s school report and interviewing a left-wing teacher from his school is just an example.

  16. Robert Taggart
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Indeed, Johnny – the first, second and last paragraphs in particular perhaps explain why you have been a ‘blank canvass’ to many onlookers ?
    As for Milibund – he brought this tirade upon himself – having so often referred back to his Pater and the lasting impression he made on him.
    The best aspect to all this discord ? – the legions of sanctimonious lefties defending one their own – Campbell, Maitlis, Sugar – ” ‘oh sugar’ ” !

  17. English Pensioner
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Miliband brought his father into the political arena by saying, more than once, words to the effect that his political views were inspired by his father. It is therefore quite reasonable for the media to look at his fathers’ views and point out that he was an out and out Marxist. The fact that his father served in the forces (did he have any choice?) is irrelevant in that it doesn’t alter his stated views.
    In general, surely the rule in any walk of life, is not to bring your family into the spotlight if you don’t want them to receive media attention; you can’t have it both ways by using them to your advantage when it suits you and wanting to hide them when it doesn’t.

  18. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    If you read UK newspapers I pity you.

    If I need my intelligence insulting, I will read a UK paper. I find the Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph do the job best.

    When I visit my local Tesco Express, I always glance at the headlines of all the papers to see if there is anything interesting. There never is. I don’t like being shouted at.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Reading them be one thing – buying them be quite another !

  19. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Why is it that it is all right for the left to attack Lady Thatcher after she died like they did with many lies. Now it is Milliband senior with the truth it is somehow not all right. The left make me sick with their one way attitude and that people follow them like slaves.

    just look back at the Mirrors coverage of Lady T. nothing said.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Thatcher was the Prime Minister and her decisions effected the UK, Milliband senior wasn’t a politician and was never in a position to effect how the UK was run. That is the difference.

      • Johnny Norfolk
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        But Milliband is standing to be prime minister. He refers to his father all the time in his public speaking. we have a right to know about this. The bottom line is that its ok to slag off the right but not the left.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          Firstly Miliband rarely ever mentions is father. Secondly there’s no evidence that Miliband shares the same policies as his father. Thus it’s irrelevant.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        I notice Uni you’ve forgotten how Mrs Thatcher’s family were regularly targeted and attacked by the left.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          Was this when she was in power or before this? If it only started when she was in power then what happened isn’t applicable to this situation.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Both.

  20. Neil Craig
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    The problem I have with the BBC attack on the Mail is that it is hypocrital and clearly politically biased.

    David Cameron’s father-in-law has been criticised for getting (money ed) from his subsidised windfarm. I think that is of legitimate political interest but the BBC should not and should have denounced it if they genuinely believe what they say.

    A number of newspapers have shown a very carefully fabricated photo of Nigel Farage with a microphone – from the exact spot the photo was taken, but nowhere else, it looked slightly like Hitler’s moustache. This is an deliberately fabricated image designed to produce an association the designers know to be both disgusting and wholly untrue. Obviously if the BBC were 1/10,000th “balanced” as their Charter requires, they would have denounced that behaviour.

    Some time ago the BBC broadcast that everybody who doubts catastrophic global warming is (immoral ed). This is an obscene and wholly false attack not on professional politicians but on 10s of mi8llions of citizens. It is clearly 10s of thousands of times, at least, more disgusting than what the Mail said. It is also a deliberate lie. Though the Mail both produced evidence for what they said and gave a right of reply the BBC did neither. That in certainly 100s of times worse than the Mail. Combining those makes the BBC less than 1 part in a million honest etc.

    Seeing how they treat the Mail, the BBC if it were not a wholly corrupt “leftist” propagandist would have had to denounced the BBC as a lying, corrupt totalitarian
    propagandist.

    QED

    • Johnny Norfolk
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Spot on.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      How exactly is it the BBC’s fault that someone else made a fabricated picture?

      Also the scientific evidence shows that global warming is man made and every news channel supports this, not just the BBC.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Because Uni they leapt on it to help publicise a very disparaging propaganda image of a politician which they could have avoided or even make critical comments about those that did.

  21. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    It was politically unwise of E.Miliband to mention his father at all, much better to have kept silent and not become imbroiled in anyway. EM really is doing his best to emulate the Cardiff City supporter but it is very unlikely that DC has the wit to take advantage given his 2010 performance.

  22. John Eustace
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    You should take sides on this issue. Tell us what you really think of the Daily Mail article as opposed to sitting on the fence.

    reply I have no wish to take sides. I both think a national newspaper has every right to examine in detail the influences on a politician trying to become PM, and think a newspaper should do so in a way which respects the dead and reasonable family sensitivities.

  23. Winston Smith
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I believe the Mail was wrong and has actually made it more difficult for the real issues on the Millibands to be debated, such as how David Milliband obtained a place at Oxford, how (much tax ? ed) the family (paid ed)on their father’s (wealth ed) and the sheer hypocrisy of their political positions with their own lifestyles and pursuit of wealth.

    The Mail was wrong to attack a dead man, who cannot defend himself. The issue does bring into focus the influence and existence of so many far-left activists in our State institutions.

    • Bob
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      @Winston Smith
      “The Mail was wrong to attack a dead man”

      Were they attacking him or just writing about him?
      Does this apply to all dead men, or should it be applied selectively?
      How about women?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Adolf Hitler is dead. So too is Stalin. Should they too escape criticism ?

      As far as I know, there is no known documentation linking Hitler too the Holocaust, although I would never suggest that he was innocent.

      Stalin made sure that those around him put their names along with his to any mass arrests and transportation and genocide of his people. So he did not act alone and made those around him complicit in his evil. Does that make him less wrong and not worthy of as much hatred.

      Whatever the blood soaked hand of Marxism touches dies. Its flag is not red for nothing.

      Reply Hitler led a regime that carried out mass murders of the Jews, so he was guilty. He must have known and was culpable.

  24. Credible
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    John,
    It’s a shame you have said you “do not wish to take sides in the row between Mr Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail.”
    By not condemning what was written you have effectively taken the side of the Daily Mail, so that is what you should say.

    I agree with you that politicians and anyone in the public spotlight should expect scrutiny and need to be thick-skinned. But that is not the issue here. Newspapers should be writing things that are factually correct. It would be fair enough for the Daily Mail to say that Ed Milliband’s dad was a socialist and that in their view socialism is not a good system and that they are concerned that Ed’s dad might have influenced his son in a direction that is not healthy for the country. It is factually and morally wrong however to say that he hated Britian and to call him evil.
    If this is acceptable John, then where do you draw the line? You often complain about the way you have been treated or things that have been said about you. I suspect that if someone had said this about your dad you would be furious. You say that you are wiser because you didn’t mention your dad and so it was in some way Ed’s fault that this happened. You know fine well that the Daily Mail would still write about Ed Milliband’s dad even if had never mentioned him because he was a prominent socialist and they have an agenda to follow.

    Reply As I made clear, I think the few who seriously aspire to be Prime Minister do come under much more scrutiny and suffer more adverse comment than the rest of us. If at the same time they direct the press towards family members it makes more comment very likely. It is not in my view for me to adjudicate between the Mail and Mr Miliband. I have not come down on one side or the other. Both have jobs to do, and there are mechanisms for resolving any disputes between them.

    • Credible
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      John, are you saying that it is the job of the Daily Mail to behave in this way?

      Reply No. I am saying in a free society you need to allow comment on those who would govern us by the press, subject to the law of libel.

      • Credible
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Ed Milliband’s father will be governing us anytime soon!

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        When a serious candidate for Premiership states that he is influenced by his father we need to know this information.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        I am certainly saying it is their job and they did this very well and perfectly reasonably.

        Miliband was given a reply, his only half sensible argument was against the headline that Ralph hated Britain. But in many respects and at times, he clearly did hate many aspect of Britain and even wanted it to lose the Falklands war.

  25. Mark B
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Wise words, carefully chosen.

  26. cosmic
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    After the extremely unpleasant personal attacks made on Margaret Thatcher, some celebrating her death, and which (some in Labour ed) at least tacitly went along with, he is being rather precious.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      He merely thinks there is political benefit in this complaining and trying to show he at least loves Britain. I think he errs in this judgement.

  27. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    With any luck, The Mail will keep this sordid Marxist soap opera running for a bit longer.
    Ed Miliband has enough insight to know that he is both weak and uninteresting, characteristics that could not be ascribed to his father. That is what must really be hurtful for him, when the press pass him over in favour of a long dead relative.

  28. Atlas
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I think if Ralph Miliband joined the Royal Navy and was involved at the sharp end in the D-Day Landings then I think he deserves our respect – even if you don’t agree with his politics. We have many war memorials for people who made the ultimate sacrifice so that people could say what they thought – and surely this includes R. Miliband.

    • HJBbradders
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      He was conscripted, and into the Belgian navy.

  29. Cesserpen
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    “My honest reaction was that when I heard the Daily Mail accusing someone of saying that they did not like Britain, I’m not a regular reader of this newspaper but every time I do open it, it just seems to be overflowing with bile about modern Britain. They don’t like working mothers, they don’t like the BBC, they don’t like members of the royal family, they don’t like teachers, they don’t like the English football team. The list goes on. So talk about kettles and pots … It seems to me that if anyone excels in denigrating and often vilifying a lot about modern Britain, it’s the Daily Mail.”

    A rather sensible and better reaction to the event?

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      The problem with this reaction is that seems innocent enough but is laced with connotation:

      “He didn’t like Britain” somehow seems to be forward and acceptable

      That they “… didn’t like *modern* Britain” is backward and unacceptable on a subliminal level. (Or am I being too sensitive here ?)

      Thus the very language of the debate his hijacked and conservatives are put on the back foot. The option of reversing any decision or policy is thus rendered out of bounds.

      In fact it has – in many ways – already become illegal to be conservative. Yet (it can seem ed) some newly arrived cultures (have their views on race, sexual relations and the role of women judged by different standards ed)

      ‘Modern’ Britain includes some pretty oppressive (word left out) mindsets. etc

  30. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just watched Channel 4 News on the subject and they have worked themselves up in to a fine old artificial state. Somebody called Alex Thompson (might not have his name completely right) waxed so lyrical that you’d have thought the Mail had committed a crime against humanity, Kinnock ditto. What Mr Thompson built up to was that, horror upon horror, the Mail had committed the ultimate crime which was ??? Well amazingly it was “Losing touch with its own readership”. First, I do not believe that to be the truth nor even close, and, Secondly, even it it were true, that is the Mail’s business and no-one else’s. Agreed that invading people’s funerals and similar was ghastly for which there has come a complete apology but there are many who hypocritically jump on this sort of thing but lap up the product. (Allegation re Thompson removed ed)

  31. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Postscript–And did Miliband really, as Kinnock agreed he did whilst defending the inclusion (I have not read the letter), slide in a reference to the Cost of Living?–Unbelievable if he did–I don’t think his, Miliband’s OTT and political reaction, is going to do him much good and I shall be sure to buy the Mail tomorrow–Haven’t bought it of late since it started to to try and undermine UKIP. Miliband was happy to talk about his father when it suited him.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Had David Cameron’s Dad been an advocate of Nazism (and his main influence) we would not have heard the last of it from the BBC, The Guardian and nor Labour.

    And to think that America is on the brink of economic disaster at the time that this is headlining.

    (People accuse the Daily Mail of bias – it’s meant to be !)

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I am not the least bit sorry for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, who joined a plot to dethrone Elizabeth 1. That is nothing compared to my admiration for those who executed King Charles 1. That was something that needed to be done; divine right of kings indeed! Bah, humbug.

  34. HJBbradders
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    If we are to ignore Miliband senior’s comments because he was only 17 and therefore not really responsible for his opinion, why do the Socialists want votes for 16-year olds?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page