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Expose the Mail's agenda

The vile character assassination of Ralph Miliband by the Daily Mail must be exposed

Tory cheerleaders at the Daily Mail should be congratulated on their honesty for revealing their open prejudice that, if you're a socialist, you must hate Britain.

That is the subtext of the vile character assassination of Ralph Miliband carried in the paper's pages not just once but twice to undermine Ed Miliband's defence of his father.

To describe Miliband senior's legacy as "evil" is, even for people opposed to his consistently left-wing politics, so far over the top as to invite questions as to the leader writer's grip on reality.

Ralph Miliband arrived in Britain in 1940 as a 16-year-old Jewish refugee from fascism. He volunteered for military service, joining the Royal Navy.

Just six years before Miliband fled from nazi-occupied Belgium, the Daily Mail carried the headline Hurrah for the Blackshirts, proclaiming proprietor Viscount Rothermere's support for Oswald Mosley and his fascist party's "sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine."

The Daily Mail asserts that it stands by every word in its twice-published attack on Ralph Miliband because of his self-declared Marxism - what the Mail calls "one of the world's most poisonous political doctrines."

As a legacy the Mail's is immeasurably more toxic than that of mild-mannered Marxist academic Miliband.

It is understandable that Ed Miliband should be angry over the casual slurs directed against his father, but he must know that there is a purpose behind them.

The Mail, as a constant supporter of "sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine," is worried the Tories could lose the next general election and will play every dirty trick in the book to prevent this happening.

The "unpatriotic" card played against Ralph Miliband is actually intended for his son.

In the eyes of the Mail leader writer, it is unpatriotic to oppose the royal, religious and military Establishment, to support independent media oversight or to advocate encroachment on the powers of big business.

Ralph Miliband was proud to plead guilty to such charges since he was an unashamed socialist.

Contrary to the picture painted by the Mail, he was, by that token, also a democrat, criticising what he saw as unacceptable use of state power in the Soviet Union and its eastern European allies to stifle dissent.

At the same time, he understood the role of imperialism and fought against it, leaving the Labour Party because of its backing for the US war in Vietnam and supporting peace candidate Pat Arrowsmith against Labour foreign secretary Michael Stewart in his Fulham constituency.

His views did not command universal support, but they were honestly held and firmly expounded.

They were never associated with the kind of personalised smear so beloved of the Mail that has even sickened some members of the government - but not, of course, Jeremy Hunt.

Ed Miliband appears genuinely surprised that a major newspaper should stoop so low in its attempt to portray him as an enemy of Britain in the footsteps of his father.

He should get used to it. Tories who see being in power as a god-given right will plumb the depths to hold onto it.

Miliband should counter the lies and insults by highlighting the unholy alliance of mass media, big business and the Tory Party that is devoted to exploitation of working people.

He should also propose policies to weaken the economic and political power of this oligarchy to benefit working people.

His dad would really appreciate that.


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