Ed Miliband versus Paul Dacre: Going to war with the Daily Mail might actually be smart politics

Dacre's newspaper and all it represents is largely despised by the 34 per cent of the electorate the Labour leader is aiming to seduce

Share

My colleague John Rentoul, who is right about almost every political intrigue, senses an apocalyptic battle looming between the House of Dacre and the House of Miliband.

“Going to war with Rupert Murdoch is one thing. Going to war with the Daily Mail is an additional thing. That *is* brave,” tweeted @JohnRentoul.

But while Ed Miliband is understandably outraged at the perceived smear upon his father’s patriotism, it could be argued that going to war with the Mail is actually smart politics.

The Mail and all it represents is largely despised by the 35 per cent of the electorate, the left-leaning and Lib Dem defectors, which Miliband is widely seeking to collect in order to get a foot in Downing Street after 2015.

Despite the Labour leader breaking bread with Paul Dacre, the Mail’s editor-in-chief, the paper remains implacably hostile to the Miliband project and cannot ever be encouraged to take a more emollient position.

Even during the height of Tony Blair’s courting of right-of-centre newspapers, winning over The Sun and the Times, Dacre despised the Blairs and what he considered their nouveau-riche vulgarity Although, oddly Dacre kept a candle for Gordon Brown’s dour “Presbyterian conscience”.

It is doubtful whether Miliband would have similarly gone to war with a Murdoch paper – if a News UK title would even have published such an inflammatory attack - since he may yet hope to win a fair hearing from those influential publications.

But Alastair Campbell, who used to finesse relations with right-wing papers for Blair, is roaring Ed on in his death battle with Dacre because there can be no downside for the Labour leader, as long as he can stomach the relentless attacks on his family and background.

The question Ed might ask is will his brother now stop writing cosy articles about the Miliband’s childhood for the Mail group? As blogger Richard Osley points out, David Miliband pocketed £2,000 a go for wistful articles such as this one in the Mail on Sunday following Ed’s Labour leadership victory.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Day In a Page

Read Next
East German border guards stand on a section of the Berlin wall in front of the Brandenburg gate on November 11, 1989  

Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell, Hungary’s PM thinks it is Western capitalism that is in its death throes

Peter Popham
 

Business leaders like Apple's Tim Cook must stop being one thing in public and another in private

Chris Blackhurst
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain