Flags of our fathers

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre finally steps up to defend his paper in public while new poll show how he is out of touch with his own readers.

The Mail spread featuring Ed Miliband's defence of his father, reprint of the Mail article in question and an editorial.

The Mail spread featuring Ed Miliband’s defence of his father, reprint of the Mail article in question and an editorial.

Centre of attention the last weeks has been the assault made by the Daily Mail on Labour leader Ed Miliband through his late father, Ralph. The Mail published an article on Saturday 29th of November with the headline “The man who hated Britain”, claiming that Ed’s father hated British institutions like the army, monarchy and church. The article also raised questions over the influence the late Ralph has on his son Ed’s politics. Next Tuesday the same paper published a response by Ed Miliband, a 1000 words long piece defending his father. However the Mail wrapped Ed’s reply in an edited version of the article published previous Saturday and an editorial saying the paper would not give an inch.

The Daily mail clearly broke the rules of decent behaviour, but many would claim the paper never had any such standards anyway. The general election in 2015 is now visible in the distance and the right wing press used Ed Miliband’s recent conference speech to attack him and his party. But by so clearly go for the man, not the ball, Daily Mail crossed a red line. Their article and future handling of the debacle caused a public outcry and massive coverage.

A new poll conducted by YouGov for The Sunday Times shows that nearly 70% of Britons believe that the Daily mail should apologise to Ed Miliband. Even more interesting, the Mail did not even win the majority among its own readers. 57% of Mail Readers think the paper should apologise, so on this issue the Mail is clearly out of touch with the readers it claims so loudly to represent.

The poll showing how the majority of brits believe the Daily Mail should apologise to Ed Miliband. Source: YouGov

The poll showing how the majority of brits believe the Daily Mail should apologise to Ed Miliband. Source: YouGov

Today the Editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre finally broke cover and commented on the issue, after hiding under rocks since it all began. In an article published in the Guardian he claims the case has been blown out of proportions and blames the “left” and the BBC for being obsessed with the story.

The Mail should know that children do not usually grow up to be exact copies of their parents. No matter what ideas your father stood for, you can’t blame it on the son. If your father was a Nazi, it does not make you a Nazi. We do not carry the flags of our fathers, we carry our own.

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