For all his abilities one of Miliband’s great problems in presenting his image to the great British public is that he appears to be a geek. He is the sort of guy that you might think is too bookish and too engrossed in detail (penalty for being an ex special adviser to Gordon Brown) to be a natural born Prime Minister.
But in one fell swoop Paul Dacre has turned a geek into someone who practically the entire nation can empathise and understand. He has made him all too human.
What person in Britain does not understand the natural love to defend one’s dad -particularly if he can’t answer back beyond the grave. What person doesn’t know the natural love between father and son – even if they disagree over politics and football teams.
The Mail’s mess has allowed Miliband to transcend party politics and for people who don’t take any interest in political matters – to remember one thing , he is the sort of guy who stands up for his dad.
I am sure Ed Miliband never would have wanted this in the first place – and certainly wouldn’t even think of exploiting it politically. But the result is that Paul Dacre has achieved the exact opposite of what he wanted and it serves him right.
One can scarcely believe the ineptitude of the next event. The Mail on Sunday is caught going to a private memorial service for Ed Miliband’s uncle to gather more dirt on Ralph Miliband.
What editor would be daft enough a- a week before the highly sensitive decision on a successor to the Press Complaints Commission – to allow his paper to engage in activities that the general public would find distasteful and abhorrent. No wonder apologies were offered – but the probable effect – unless Cameron is completely foolhardy – is that the alternative regime to Leveson is now dead in the water.
Even though this is not directly about press regulation – it will be seen that papers have not learned any lessons.
And with the potential for more striking revelations at the end of the month when the trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson starts over the phone hacking scandal, the situation for an embattled media can only get worse.