2 October 2013


The Daily Mail has provoked a storm with its idiotic attempt to portray Ralph Miliband, the Marxist intellectual father of Ed, as somehow unpatriotic because, as a young Jewish refugee from Nazi-occupied Belgium in wartime London, he noted in his diary the extraordinary nationalism of the British people he met. 

Several people have pointed out (correctly) that the Mail has a brass cheek casting aspersions on the patriotism of Miliband senior given its own disgraceful record in the 1930s.

But the instance of its perfidy most often quoted in the past few days, the brief flirtation in the early 1930s of the Mail’s proprietor, the first Lord Rothermere, with Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, wasn’t actually its nadir.

Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere: Nazi stooge
True, it yielded the notorious headline “Hurrah for the blackshirts!” above an article by Rothermere (left) praising the BUF – and similar fascist nonsense appeared in the Daily Mirror, also owned by Rothermere, though for some reason no Mirror journalist has acknowledged it in the past few days. But Rothermere’s enthusiasm for Mosley was nothing to compare with his enthusiasm for making money. Within days of the appearance of his endorsement of the BUF, advertisers threatened to withdraw from Rothermere’s papers after the BUF beat up hecklers at an infamous rally at Olympia. Rothermere unceremoniously abandoned Mosley – even dropping an advanced plan to market BUF-branded cigarettes.

The real scandal was and is Rothermere’s support for Hitler, which was consistent from 1933. A vicious reactionary anti-semite, Rothermere saw the Nazi dictator as an ally against the spread of (Jewish) communism and backed Hitler's actions to remove Jews from public life in Germany. This, I think a Mail article originally though it's from an Australian paper, is typical: there are many more Rothermere encomiums to Nazism in the archives. He visited and corresponded with his hero Hitler and was a strong supporter of appeasement. During the Munich crisis of 1938 his papers urged capitulation to Hitler's demands for the German-speaking regions of Czechoslovakia (though they did advocate rearmament, just in case). The Mail objected time and again to the admission to Britain of Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. Rothermere died in 1940 a broken man, desperately disappointed that the great dictator in Berlin had not forged an alliance with London to vanquish Stalin. He was an utterly disgusting human being.

Rothermere was pro-Nazi. The Daily Mail was pro-Nazi. The Daily Mail is the traitors' paper. Never forget, never forgive. Lower than vermin, as Aneurin Bevan once said.

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