Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Media
30 September 2013updated 26 Sep 2015 11:16am

Ed Miliband opens fire on the Daily Mail

The Labour leader expresses his anger at the paper's "denigration" of his father's life and work.

By media mole

In 2011, Ed Miliband “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch, in a savvy political move that still gets cited more than two years on when an example of his political gumption is required.

Now, it seems he’s taking on another branch of the media establishment – the Daily Mail.

On Saturday, Paul Dacre’s paper ran a piece by Geoffrey Levy about Ed’s father Ralph under the headline “the man who hated Britain”. Ralph Miliband, an influential sociologist who fled Belgium to avoid Nazi persecution, is described in the piece in the following terms:

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.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Ed Miliband expressed his anger and disgust at this “denigration” of his father’s name on Twitter:

Watch this space . . .