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Daily Mail launches hateful attack on Miliband

By Jeremy Dewar

The Daily Mail is a rabid, racist and reactionary paper. It has history. So it was no surprise to see it fighting against Labour’s left turn.

But even by its standards, its attack on Ed Miliband’s dead father was shocking. In an article titled, “The man who hated Britain”, the Mail quotes a private diary entry by the 17-year-old Ralph Miliband in 1940:

 “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.”

The paper then describes how Ralph rescued furniture from bombed-out houses in the Blitz and went to the London School of Economics, a top university, implying that he was on the make, using Britain without giving anything back.

It failed to mention the fact that the young Ralph Miliband joined the Royal Navy to fight the Nazis as soon as he could. But that wouldn’t fit its selective narrative of an ungrateful, scrounging immigrant though, would it?

The Mail then describes some of the Marxist Ralph Miliband’s more mature and public views, such as his support for nationalisation, his belief that modern capitalism is dominated by a “relatively small number of giant firms” and his call for Labour to stand for “the social ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange”.

These are basic socialist principles, rather than anti-British views. But for the Daily Mail, anticapitalism and anti-Britishness are blended together in a cocktail of hatred that only the English Defence League could swallow. The paper has to dive into Ralph Miliband’s private correspondence to try and prove its point:

 “Eton and Harrow, Oxford and Cambridge, the great Clubs, the Times, the Church, the Army, the respectable Sunday papers… It also means the values… of the ruling orders, keep the workers in their place, strengthen the House of Lords, maintain social hierarchies, God save the Queen, equality is bunk, democracy is dangerous, etc. Also respectability, good taste, don’t rock the boat, there will always be an England, foreigners, Jews, natives, etc. are all right in their place and their place is outside… ”

But who really believes that to despise Eton and Harrow is to hate Britain? And who doesn’t recognise some of these bigoted views – Ukip, anyone?

Let’s offer another list of great British heritage: Wat Tyler and the peasants’ revolt; the Levellers in the English Civil War; Captain Swing and the Luddites; the revolutionary Chartists; the world’s first trade unions; the 1926 General Strike; the 1984-85 Great Miners’ Strike; the Poll Tax Rebellion.

The Daily Mail hates every one of these, so is it also anti-British? All this proves is that Britain is divided into two great opposing classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. If calls for the abolition of privilege, exploitation and oppression are anti-British, then our own paper is proudly anti-British.

The Daily Mail is an extreme example of the pro-Tory bias of Britain’s press. Rupert Murdoch’s The Times and The Sun, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express will all come out with lies and distortions in the bid to get their preferred party, the Tories, elected.

Anti-immigrant racism and Islamophobia, lies about “benefit scroungers” and bile-filled editorials denouncing any group of workers who fight back are their stock-in-trade. It is obscene that in a modern democracy a few individual millionaires should control the mass media.

We demand their nationalisation without compensation. Their presses and websites should be placed at the disposal of political parties and civil society in proportion to their support among the general population.

While Ed Miliband may not agree with these democratic proposals, his father Ralph and a majority of the British working class would surely approve.

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