Sins of the Father

EuripedesIf you’ve read my Shooting Parrots for long enough you’ll know that I don’t have a lot of time for politicians. There are one or two that I admire, but most fall into the ‘waste of space’ category, while there is a select few that I actively detest.

But thinking about the latter group, would I think any worse of them if I found out their father was a war criminal, a rapist or a racist?

If I’m honest, the answer is probably yes because we all like to have our prejudices reinforced no matter how unfair that might be. Which is why the Daily Mail published that story about Ed Miliband’s dad – to titillate its readers’ political palate.

Fair or not, can you really visit the sins of the father on his children? I don’t think so. It is no secret that Ralph Miliband was a Marxist but their headline ‘The Man Who Hated Britain’ is completely unsubstantiated.

Well apart from a diary entry by the 17-year-old Miliband pater familias when he wrote: ‘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.’

Note the word ‘sometimes’ – this wasn’t someone who actually wanted such a thing to happen, but thought it might be a wake-up call for a country which was pretty much as he described during the war years.

The other damning evidence as far as the Mail is concerned is Miliband’s atheism, opposition to the constitutional monarchy and Marxism which are ipso facto anti-British, but if that’s the case then quite a large slice of the population would stand trial for treason if the Mail had its way.

The Mail has form for this sort of smear tactic as I wrote about back in 2010 following David Miliband’s spoke of his admiration for Joe Slovo on the BBC Great Lives programme.

The Mail carried his comment when asked whether he thought that terrorism was ever justified when he said: ‘Yes, there are circumstances in which it is justifiable, and yes, there are circumstances in which it is effective, but it is never effective on its own.’ Except that the Mail omitted the last part of the quote, nor did it set it in the context of apartheid in South Africa.

But hard as I try, I can’t get too angry about the latest outburst of bile by the Mail for the simple reason that it appears to have had the reverse opposite impact than the one they planned in that public sympathy is siding with Ed Miliband, plus it has completely overshadowed David Cameron’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference.

Serves ’em right.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Karl Marx Hero Pudding 2nd October 2013

    I thought “The Daily Male” was like a lads’ mag but for lasses with famous men in sexy poses every day. “Here’s Dave from Witney – he likes cuddly toys and lounging on the sofa in his leopard print onesie but as you can see – especially for ‘The Daily Male’ – he left his onesie under his pillow last night. Cor!”

  • Trevor Rowley 4th October 2013

    Poor old Ed. Even when his critics shoot themselves in the foot it still won’t be enough to generate the public’s interest in him much beyond a glimmer. He says all the right things but, sadly, just hasn’t got the personna to convince us that he could lead the nation. His adenoidal/sinuses/bunged up nose condition puts me off for a start. His looks are, at best, a little off-putting and (side-on especially) at times rather frightening. Sorry, Ed, I don’t think it’s you we’re looking for but you’d probably make a good deputy prime minister. Sadly, the rest of the bunch (Burnham/Balls/Harman etc) haven’t got it either so, unless Labour can produce a very much “late runner,” we’ve got to admit that David Cameron wins the charm offensive – he certainly is a very good speaker and leaves most of the opposition trailing.

    Those were the days when we had potential leaders queing up in the wings – Robin Cook, John Smith, David Penhaligon, sadly all now called to that big Palace of Westminster in the sky. Even Neil Kinnock on a good day could put most of the other side to shame.

    In the meantime, is Ed really the best we’ve got?

    • Blood Red Pudding 6th October 2013

      Comrade Trevor – I share your lack of enthusiasm for Ed Milliband. I wish The Labour Party would be brave enough to ditch him and install either Andy Burnham, Harriet Harman, Ian Parrot-Rhodes or someone I much admire – Chuka Umunna – though at thirty five it’s probably too early for him. I do think that “The Daily Mail” row has ironically done Red Ed a lot of good.

      • Trevor Rowley 6th October 2013

        Sorry, Mr Pudding, I honestly don’t think Labour have any “ladies in waiting” that we aren’t already aware of. I find Ed Balls rather creepy and somewhat sly (various speech impediments don’t help either). Andy Burnham is a pleasant enough chap, says all the right things and is clearly knowledgeable but there just isn’t any charisma there to back it up. Harriet Harman, yet again very pleasant but that, sadly, is about as far as it goes. What are we left with? – precious little really. Nick Clegg and Co will clearly fall by the wayside as we’ve mostly all had our fill of them. Just leaves us looking at another hung parliament with Ed baby filling in for nauseous Nick.


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