1. On Saturday, the Daily Mail published an article about Ed Miliband’s father, Ralph.
Which you can read here.
3. It discussed a diary entry the young Ralph wrote shortly after he’d fled from the Nazis to Britain.
As for the country that gave him and his family protection, the 17-year-old wrote in his diary: ‘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. They have the greatest contempt for the continent … To lose their empire would be the worst possible humiliation’.
“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.
Miliband was furious. There were angry exchanges over the weekend between Labour communications chiefs and executives in the newspaper. Then he took to Twitter:
The Daily Mail has agreed to publish a reply by me on Tuesday to their piece about my father headlined “Man Who Hated Britain”. (1/2)
My dad loved Britain, he served in the Royal Navy and I am not prepared to allow his good name to be denigrated in this way. (2/2)
7. His piece is published in today’s paper. In it he says:
I loved [my dad] and he loved Britain. And there is no credible argument in the article or evidence from his life which can remotely justify the lurid headline and its accompanying claim that it would “disturb everyone who loves this country”.
Saturday’s article referred to a single diary entry by my father, written as a 17 year old, describing the suspicion he found of the Continent and the French when he arrived here. 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.
You can read the whole article here.
9. But the article’s published next to this leader…
Which you can read here.
11. Among other things, the leader says:
What is blindingly clear from everything [Ralph Miliband] 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 constitutional monarchy, the bicameral legislature, property rights, common law . . . even ‘respectability’ and ‘good taste’ — all were anathema to this lifelong, unreconstructed Marxist who craved a workers’ revolution.
The Mail has also republished the original piece on Ralph Miliband. But if we’re talking about an “evil legacy”, there are a few other articles that could be revisited at this point.
13. Like this one, illustrating the Mail’s historical attitude to extremism.
15. And this one, published after the death of Margaret Thatcher…
You can read that article here, but one section in particular sticks out:
…it was a tradition for us to look for the best in a person who had recently died, whether in obituaries, eulogies or our own personal reflections. No longer, it would appear.
Those who have carelessly trashed Margaret Thatcher’s reputation over the past few days have cast aside this convention. It is not just that they have no respect for the feelings of her family and her close friends. They have no respect for death. It is a pitiless, as well as a wholly secular, response.
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