Published on 10 Oct 2013

Do get in touch Mr Dacre – it’s cold out here on your doorstep

I can tell you that with a deep depression centring on the North Sea and a northerly gale-force airflow, autumn is truly here and it’s damned cold standing around in the dark for hours on end.

Two reasons why Channel 4 News has asked repeatedly to conduct a civilised, possibly even indoor, interview with the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, Paul Dacre.

Because Associated Newspapers continue to dismiss this out of hand, the situation for us and Mr Dacre is becoming increasingly bizarre as we seek to ask him some legitimate questions.

So first let’s look at last night’s absurdity, then consider why this is an important matter of public interest.

We arrived in Paul Dacre’s street in west London, mid-evening.

Read more:  Paul Dacre  – mystery man at the centre of the Miliband row

We rang the doorbell to his large townhouse but there was no response and, whilst a car was in the parking space in front of the garage in the cobbled mews lane, there was no sign of anybody at home.

That is not unusual since Mr Dacre is on record as telling the world that he is generally in the office in Kensington until around 10 o’clock at night.

We waited. That northerly wind strengthened by the hour. Towards 11pm a black car nosed down the narrow laneway approaching the house. It stopped for a moment or two as if the occupants of that car had seen us.

We had made no attempt to hide ourselves or what we were doing – why should we, it is perfectly lawful.

The car then slowly reversed back out of the lane, onto the street, turned, and drove off into the night. I cannot say for sure that Paul Dacre was in the car. Subsequent events would rather suggest that he was however.

About five minutes later a burly man in a suit – possibly the driver or bodyguard, approached the house belonging to Mr Dacre on foot. He entered.

After a few minutes on the top floor he descended, exited, locked up behind him and left, carrying what appeared to be a small hold-all, ideal for containing the immediate necessities for someone suddenly deciding they would not spend the night in their own bed.

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I immediately approached this gentleman and enquired if he would kindly relay a message to Mr Dacre explaining that we simply wanted to ask him a few simple questions relating to the article he published saying Ed and David Miliband’s father Ralph “hated” Britain.

The man said nothing. He did not look at me, nor stop walking or deviate in any way. Nor did he show the slightest surprise at my enquiry.

He turned the corner, made a brief call on his mobile phone, then crossed the street, unlocked what appeared to me the same black car as we’d earlier filmed, and drove off into the night.

Some minutes passed and a rather jovial motorcycle dispatch rider then arrived at the house and posted his parcel through the letterbox.

Quite forgivably surprised at our presence – I explained why we were there.

“Why don’t you post a request through the letterbox?” he suggested reasonably enough, “or ask the newsdesk to speak to him?”

Well quite, would that life were that simple.

And with that we and Mr Dispatch left the scene for somewhere, anywhere, a little bit warmer.

So why do all this?

For three reasons. There are broadly three categories of very public interest in what Paul Dacre has to say and his side of the story in the row with Ed Miliband and wider judicial criticism of Mr Dacre’s methods.

First – Ed Miliband’s demand that Associated Newspapers investigate their own conduct and ethics. This request shows no signs of being acted upon – not that papers necessarily should simply do politicians’ bidding of course. Mr Miliband also alleged the Daily Mail has lost its touch in understanding the ethics and morality of its own readers and the recent article they advance as “proof” of that. Again, no real response.

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Second, the Daily Mail City Editor Alex Brummer last week told Channel 4 News the article could have been handled better, signposted better and set up better in the paper than it was, and in this regard the paper got some things wrong. It’s the first hint from the Daily Mail that anything about the newspaper piece was less than perfect. Again no response from the editor Mr Dacre.

Third, Lord Leveson in his report specifically and individually singled out Paul Dacre as a man incapable or simply unwilling to understand that printing false information about people is both hurtful and damaging.

This is the central argument from the leader of the opposition – that saying Ralph Miliband hated Britain is both wrong and hurtful. Lord Justice Leveson raised questions about the publishers of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday in his lengthy report into the newspaper industry, saying that executives appeared to be “unwilling to entertain the idea” that the disclosure of sensitive information would cause significant upset.

To take just one example of many, Mr Dacre accepted to Leveson that a story about the actor Neil Morrissey was inaccurate and defamatory, yet he was unwilling to accept that the article might be hurtful to the actor. Lord Justice Leveson said that Mr Dacre and his team appeared to be unable to acknowledge the consequences of articles in Associated Papers.

Lord Justice Leveson thus raises important questions about one of the most powerful newspaper editors in the UK and his team. Mr Dacre has not answered this at all in the light of the Miliband row.

Read more: Lawrence convictions ‘glorious’ for journalism?

It would, however, be wise to ignore all the yah-boo shouting from many quarters that because of Paul Dacre’s refusal to answer questions directly from the media, he and his papers “can dish it out but they cannot take it” and the noise that there’s a whiff of hypocrisy and cowardice in the air.

This seems to me rather undignified, unhelpful and quite possibly inaccurate.

Plainly the Daily Mail has been a major force in exposing wrongdoing, on many occasions, for example its hunting down of the Stephen Lawrence gang to name but one case.

I write this as someone who has willingly written for both Mr Dacre’s papers in the past – but also as someone now tasked with extracting some simple answers from the Editor-in-Chief. As a definition of neutrality that’s reasonably sound I suggest.

So Mr Dacre – can we please do this somewhere warm and civilised and soon? Then we can all move on. Being elusive merely gives enemies of your papers ammunition and gives the story legs. Do get in touch.

UPDATE:

And perhaps all is not lost. Pure coincidence no doubt, but take a glance at today’s Mail, page 14. At the bottom of a long editorial savaging the Guardian, Mr Dacre’s organ suddenly sees fit to do the nice about Ralph Miliband.

It acknowledges that he fought in the war, and now says “he hated so much about this country”. That’s not quite the same as the blanket claim that he “hated Britain”. The paper also admits that he never gave “practical help to our enemies.”

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85 reader comments

  1. Christopher Reason says:

    Do keep up this excellen [albeit uncomfortable] work. It is deeply gratifying to see the biter bit.

    1. Slob says:

      Absolutely! How does the persuer now feel as the persued? Loving this game of Tit-fer-Tat, Cat an’ Mouse. Lol

  2. Gracie says:

    It’s nowhere near enough and nowhere near prominent. Burying a begrudged few lines at the bottom of page 14 is churlish and just confirms what most people think about the newspapers.

    Paul Dacre can take it but he cannot dish it out, sometimes things are true and this definitely is about Dacre, he just a coward, all big fat mouth and trousers.

  3. Peter Whitehead says:

    He’s going the way of Tony Blair, unable to go anywhere without a minder or three and having to scuttle from one luxury bolthole to another. Perhaps channel 4 news could use a bit of advertising cash to put up ‘Where’s Paully?’ posters.

  4. Kate Ford says:

    You and this story are becoming tedious. If Ed Milliband didn’t keep banging in about his father’s vales and beliefs no one would have started scrutinising them – and they do bear scrutiny. This all smacks of political opportunism and point scoring to me. I have never voted Tory and have never been a fan of Mrs Thatcher but when she died some absolutely VILE and very personal things were said about her. I don’t recall Channel Four or others being so tenacious about that or even being remotely perturbed by it. Ed Milliband is simply a political opportunist milking this for all it’s worth, aided and abetted by you. As always with this stuff, only the media/Westminster village is interested. I am a huge fan of Channel Four News but if you believe this is the best way for your chief reporter to spend his time you are sadly out of touch with the real world, where most of us are getting on with life.

    1. Tricia Lawlor says:

      Kate I sincerely hope you are never in the position where you have to question a story about yourself or your family in the press. Irrespective of which political leader this story is about it crosses the lines of decency and whilst we understand the paper’s Tory leanings they are clearly unable to regulate themselves or as journalist get the story right and Mr Dacre should answer his critics including many ordinary members of the public – he should respond or he should resign!

      1. jack barrett says:

        the daily mail or more paticularily dacre had every right to say that ralph milliband hated aspects of britain. that however does not mean he hated britain. though not agreeing with marxist ideas or stalinist ones come to that, i too could “hate” aspects of britain particularily those promoted by the mail. the paper promoted imperialism ,facism anti immigration etc. all legitimate points of view though odious, but that does not give them the right to slander dead men.

    2. Tom Duffy says:

      I think if Dacre had the courage of his convictions he’d be defending himself now. I think the Mail circulates a lot of ridiculous stories that appeal to baser instincts. If he can’t stand the fire…..

      I know very little about this man but I despise his occupation. I’d really like to see him on “Have I Got News For You”, but he’d only be mentioned on there as an object of derision and ridicule.

      I don’t believe decent fair minded people have much in common with this man, who obviously fits in so well to the Mail’s historical fascist standpoint.

      He has probably done “the left” a big favour just by drawing attention to what the Mail really is about. Keep it up Dacre!

    3. john says:

      thatcher was a vile,cold hearted bitch.who has the deaths of many people on her cold hands. she was a vile dictator,who supported pinnochet and his murderouse regime.that is the difference.

    4. John Shearman says:

      Well – at least Dacre’s got one closet friend.

    5. Dean says:

      Actually, other people are interested too. Including me. As I kid, I always wanted to know how the Sun was allowed to get away with spreading lies (facts that you can easily show to be false). There is a new beast, far worse than the Sun, because it pretends it’s a serious newspaper. This new beast is the Daily Mail. Now, as an adult, I want to know where people draw the line re responsibility. Should the media be allowed to do whatever they like? Maybe. Or should national papers that influence the nation be responsible for the rubbish they write and people believe? Maybe. I’m curious to know whether freedom of speech trumps social responsibility or vice versa.

    6. richard says:

      The reason why many people including many tory MPs condemn and are incensed by these spurious stories, yet complained little when the truth was told about Mrs Thatchers is self-explanatory.

    7. KJ says:

      You are completely missing the point. This isn’t just about the Milibands. This is about the people: politicians, celebrities AND ordinary people who are stalked and lied about by the Daily Mail. One doesn’t have to ask for their attention.

    8. Peter Walsh says:

      I find it amazing that an intelligent person, such as you seem to be, find it acceptable that such damaging and hurtful comments can be made against a man who cannot answer for himself….The Daily Mail, and its editor-in-chief, should be forced to undergo a public examination of the claims that they have made….otherwise the public draw the conclusion that this was a cheap and unwarranted smear of the character of a man who was in no way an enemy of the country that he lived in – and contributed more to his society than Paul Dacre has ever done.

    9. Peter Clare says:

      It’s only tedious is you have a short concentration span or don’t care what the Press does or says.

    10. Michael Vaughan says:

      Kate usually those who shout ” they never voteTory or liked Mrs Thatcher ” usually did.

    11. Jim Edwards says:

      Kate, you have missed the point of principle here, that Dacre spewed nasty lies about Ed’s father and has not yet accounted for them personally!

    12. Penny Joseph says:

      Mrs Thatcher was a politician and Prime Minister, for a conciderable length of time, what she did and said affected us all. Ed Milliband’s Father was not a politician and therefore played no part in our fate. The things that were said about Margaret Thatcher were legitimate but not the things about Ralph Milliband.

    13. Kosh Marr says:

      Are you for real? So you’re finding this story ‘tedious’; the public trashing and besmirching of a man’s reputation and service for this country is therefore acceptable, and we should just take it on the chin and move on, shrugging our shoulders. Well, wrong, and shame on you for allowing a media bully to do this to anyone, never mind a public figure. You claim that Thatcher was horrendously treated when she died – did it never occur to you that thousands of people were personally, terribly affected by her policies, and still are today, something that cannot be levelled at Ralph Miliband? That’s a complete non-sequitur. Something also tells me that you’re not a fan of Ed Miliband; fine, but if ever the occasion comes around when the Daily Mail or any other tabloid finds it fitting and ‘in the public interest’ to blacken the name of your father or any close, beloved relative, then forget coming on here or any social media to complain about it – the majority of us will be ‘getting on with life’.

    14. gill Farrell says:

      I find your response to the Channel 4 attempt to pin Paul Dacre down strange, and it appears that you are a person who just needs to say something for the sake of it, without actually understanding the implications of bad mouthing people publically, for no reason and particularly when they happen to be dead and unable to defend themselves..
      Perhaps if you had a tragedy in your life, and had Daily Mail journalists holding their finger on your doorbell 24/7 to get there story you might show a little more understanding.
      WAKE UP

  5. Matt t says:

    Do please keep up the pressure on behalf of the millions of us who struggle to understand the Daily Mail’s and Mr Dacre’s perspectives.

  6. Duncan S says:

    Alex, I’m sure there are bigger and more important stories to pursue and quite frankly I’m getting rather bored of the Liberal-Left media hammering on about Ralph Milliband. Two weeks ago, like me, hardly anyone here knew anything about him and we really couldn’t care less if he hated Britain or not.

    Why not go and knock on the door of number 10 Downing Street at 11pm and get David Cameron out of bed to answer a few questions? I’m sure you will be welcomed in with hot coffee and freshly baked bread waiting for you.

    In the mean-time, wrap up warm, no need to go down with a chill in the name of investigative journalism.

    1. Mark K says:

      Alex If your rather bored of the media hammering on about Ralph Milliband maybe you should contact Paul Dacre and the Mail rather than looking to the to the “Liberal-Left media” (Or the center medea as everyone else calls it. Because of the Mail Ralf has got more media coverage than he could possibly have ever hoped for

  7. Amanda Kendal says:

    It’s not before time that some of these questions are being asked and Dacre himself challenged.

    He is a hypocrite. To take one matter: the ‘Mail’ repeatedly runs articles about the ‘sexualisation’ of girls and the ‘pornification’ of society – yet the paper’s website is infamous for its creepy line in sexualising comments about underage girls. Only this last January, for instance, it published paparazzi pictures of the eight-year-old daughter of model Heidi Klum, leaving a gym class, and declared that she was a “leggy beauty”. A search for “all grown up” on the same website produces pages of results, many of which are examples of that phrase being applied to underage girls.

    Dacre is editor in chief for all ‘Mail’ publications, so it all rests at his door ultimately.

  8. Jonathan Stiles says:

    Alex
    I don’t understand Paul Dacre’s reluctance to justify himself, not only about Ralph Milliband, but articles by the score which are spiteful, denigrating and so full of bile. They retain a closed door policy to any form of criticism, and if for no other reason should be pursued for this.
    Other commentators have said let’s move on, which presumably what Mr Dacre wants, but for I for one would like to see and listen to his reasoning.
    To all appearances seems like a very unpleasant piece of work
    Cheers

    Jonathan Stiles

  9. Layabout says:

    It acknowledges that he fought in the war, and now says “he hated so much about this country”. That’s not quite the same as the blanket claim that he “hated Britain”. The paper also admits that he never gave “practical help to our enemies.”

    (Like the Guardian does!)
    Whoops Alex …you missed the last bit of the leader.

  10. SLH says:

    It’s a pity you ‘investigative journalists’ don’t spent more time doorstopping number 10 and asking what the heck they are doing in the interests of this country. As for Alastiar Campbell what a massive hyporcrite the lies and bullying that man indulged in while he was in the Blair camp should keep him awake at night. Yes, Paul Dacres is a deeply unpleasant man but then what makes any of the rest of you any better!

  11. Rupert Hipwell says:

    There is nothing “tedious” about this piece, Ms Ford. Channel 4 News are fighting a very worthwhile cause. Paul Dacre embodies everything which is wrong with the British tabloid press. Through his newspaper ,he is able to shape the opinions and influence the attitudes and behaviour of impressionable people who are too stupid to know better because they do not derive their information from a reliable source. As such he is a malignant tumour on modern society and a very dangerous individual. I cannot do better than Steve Coogan when he described Dacre as “the embodiment of Fleet Street bullying, using his newspaper to peddle his Little-England, curtain-twitching Alan Partridgesque view of the world, which manages to combine sanctimonious, pompous moralising and prurient, voyeuristic, judgmental obsession, like a Victorian father masturbating secretly in his bedroom.” Unlike Kate Ford, I wish Channel 4 News every success is tracking down Paul Dacre, bringing him out in the open and holding him to account……….presumably some time when he is taking a break from “moralising” and “masturbating”.

  12. Julie says:

    Whilst I too find it rather hypocritical of ed milliband to be so self righteous about his father, when he stood by and watched the press make outragious and hurtful comments about Margaret thatcher- nevertheless you are absolutely right to call newspaper editors to task. The issue is deeper than milliband or thatcher or politics. We readers don’t want to read slander and personal opinions – just the facts. We are intelligent and can make up out minds. I personally find it obscene and immoral and unethical the way reporters are allowed to push the boundaries of decency again and again. This is about more than party politics. It doesn’t matter who you vote for. Everyone should be concerned and if milliband is the platform then so be it. Please do keep onto this, for the sake if a bigger picture. We public are sick if the dirt digging that goes beyond the remit of reporting truth and facts. How dare editors not be accountable when the rest if us are.

    1. Philip says:

      Ed Milliband is standing up for his father’s reputation against a vilification & dishonest representation of his father’s views. What on earth is hypocritical about that? By and large, there have been countless people prepared to get up and defend Mrs T’s reputation when attacked. Indeed, there are plenty on the Paul Dacre side of the debate that would practically have her sanctified. As far as I’m aware, Ed Milliband never indulged in the sort of criticism of Mrs T that the Mail used against his father. I don’t see it was his place to defend her reputation. They’re not related and they’re on different sides of the political divide. You can fairly criticise Ed Miliband for some things, but I don’t believe it’s reasonable to call him hypocritical for defending his own father in such circumstances.

    2. george says:

      You’re right Ed Miliband didn’t come out and condemn the comments about Thatcher but then it wasn’t his mother, also there wasn’t many people come out in her defence but more to the point I didn’t see her son Mark or her daughter Carol come out and defend her.

  13. Christine Coombe says:

    Fingers crossed a crack in this man’s power?

    Why isn’t the BBC pursuing this though?

  14. Ed says:

    There is a wider issue here. Whether we like it or not Editors are powerful people, and that power brings accountability in a democratic and free society.

    Dacre calls other people to face the music, and then goes into hiding. If he does not want to face the music, he should resign.

  15. Oskar Limka says:

    As a foreigner who has worked and paid taxes in England for 9 years, I am often distressed and disturbed by the headlines of certain newspapers (including the Daily Mail) targeting a would-be foreign-hating English audience. That is counterbalanced by the fact that the overwhelming majority of native British people I meet are very nice, courteous and welcoming. I may have faced some racist episodes but far less than the Daily Mail seems to want the British people to be. This newspaper (and many others, unfortunately) seem not to be reporting the reality, but merely trying to impress their ideas on a public that knows far better than they do… Let’s hope the attention and scrutiny the sensationalistic press is getting from this one step too far yields a fairer and more balanced reporting of touchy issues.

  16. Derek Gibson says:

    I totally agree that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, Daily mail should be held to account about what they say in print, they should have the guts to put there money where there mouth is and answer some questions of there own. Only those bleading heart liberals will disagree or the conlib pact government.

    1. Dorchester Girl says:

      I hadn’t much time for Miliband before, but he has gone up in my estimation – the only prominent MP to dare to tackle the Mail head-on. He deserves our support. The Mail does not report; it distorts facts and misrepresents information with the sole aim of promoting it own political agenda. Anyone who dares to challenge it chosen values is to be punished – remember the total misrepresentation, and subsequent monstering, of Hilary Mantel when she commented on the role of the Duchess of Cambridge. It is time to call i-DM’s editor, Dacre, to account, and I hope this recent piece of gutter journalism involving Ralph Milibandwill help open DM readers’ eyes to the lies they’re fed every day.

  17. Tiernan MacNamara says:

    The crucial issue is responsibility – & sadly the Daily Mail management is fundamentally irresponsible:It is therefore no surprise that Dacre will not accept responsibility for his actions in the Milliband affair.
    None of this word be worth a comment were it not for the posturing of The Daily Mail, and in particular its claim to represent ‘The Nation’. God help us all if it did

  18. john says:

    he hated the right wing parasites,not britain. the tories make me ashamed to be british. the mail and its owner are typical right wing spineless rats.whats the difference between a mail reporter and a cat fish,ones an ugly ,parasitic,bottom feeder the others a fish,

  19. Alan Constable says:

    We’ve heard the Mail’s piece about Ed Miliband’s father – let’s now hear about the owner of the Mail’s father, Lord Rothermere, who was a fascist. He was a friend of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler and he was on friendly rerms with Oswld Mosley the leader of the British Union of Facists. He thought we should appease the Nazis. Lord Rothermere wrote an article published in the Daily Mail in the 1930s, headlined ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’. Let’s see who has more reason to be proud of his father – Ed Miliband or Viscount Rothermere.

  20. peter says:

    Have you ever thought that Dacre behaves like a malignant narcissist ?

  21. Martin Smith says:

    Do keep on trying to take Paul Dacre to task. Even if he has amended his comments, it doesn’t detract from his initial statements. He has grown comfortable and safe in attacking people with lies and half truths.

  22. Martin Geen says:

    At a precarious time for newspaper control an editor throws caution to the wind for personal reasons(what else can they be?).

    If an office junior made such a simple mistake they would be sacked on the spot!

  23. lawrence white says:

    i am 88 years old and whilst that age confers no special licence to me….as a uk citizen i can speak loud and clear, about any damned thing i want to speak to,..providing i do not damage someone else’s reputation or name.
    if the man dacre does not have the balls to meet and debate his side of the present argument……can he personally be held to be defamatory for what he prints?

  24. johnmarsh says:

    paul dacres is more than likely holed up at odious HQ in stone.. More than likely cooking up the next Mid staffs liatribe and drinking coffee out of old vases with Julie Bailey

  25. Steve Clarke says:

    If I had publicly written or spoken about Ed Milliband’s father in the same context that Dacre did, then I would have been charged by the Police for slander or something similar, and if not heavily fined, may have been jailed. Again, in this seriously corrupt country of ours, the rich and /or ‘untouchable’ upper-class pricks know they are beyond the law. If he was a Russian in the FSU, he would have been jailed and stripped of his wealth, then never seen again. Wish it was like that here.

  26. Bridie says:

    He shouldn’t get away with it

  27. Betty says:

    Paul Dacre should go, he is a menace. Horrible man.

  28. michael coughtrey says:

    We need a powerful and free press to fight wrongdoing and corruption. To use that power in the way the Mail did against Ralph Milliband shows a lack of taste and responsibility at gutter press level. ‘Brighton Scandal’

  29. Ian says:

    Those believing this is about Miliband are failing to see the the big picture.

    It is about widespread and blatant disrespect that is shown by various media organisations with regard to those they report on, but particularly tabloids including the Daily Mail of which Dacre is editor, and he is only one of them. Editors of all the tabloids should be held to account for their sensationalism manipulating public opinion for profit.

  30. Grenville L. Taylor says:

    Whilst I accept in a free society all are entitled to state an opinion including those who control media outlets can the not have the courage of their confections and ensure it is stated it is the opinion of whoever and not confuse it as fact. To do the latter is in effect deliberate misdirection and lying. I quite believe in expressing honest held opinions but not within an article that purports to be reporting facts. Personally I believe most of our papers and many other business groups hate British values of supporting the needy in face of the over powerful but such a statement is an opinion even if no facts can be tabled to prove the contrary

  31. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ says:

    With today’s news that our “elected representatives” (sic & sick) are seeking a form of “press regulation” that people like DACRE will agree to be regulated by, will they (the politicians) now ask bankers if they agree with the eventual outcome of the banking commission (we can but hope) before it is implemented, and accepted that ordinary citizens can now dispute which laws they are willing to be charged under? How very British… or just plain cowardly.

  32. Clive Lindley says:

    It may or may not be the case that the Conservatives are the Nasty Party – the jury is out on that one, but there can be no question but that the Daily Mail is the Nasty newspaper as it has been all of my long life.

  33. Kim says:

    Keep on going – till Dacre respsonds or resigns !!! Someone has to be accountable! Look at what they did to the Families of the Liverpool Fans, – what a tragedy, still no-on wants to own up! Thanks to the some of the families who persisted to get to the justice ! Well, so much for the Daily mail, stop buying and reading their papars. I had been buying the Saturday paper, enjoy reading their Health articles, & like their week-end magazine, but have not stopped buying it since! I can survie without their weekend paper!!

  34. Tom says:

    why don’t you visit him at his country home?

  35. Trebnik says:

    I don’t really care about Ed (though I do understand his defence of his Dad) or Al. But I do like a bit a sport, particularly if it involves the hunt of a bully. Dacre’s humiliation is almost complete – final push chaps!

  36. jean wilson says:

    still one of the best, Alex. Keep it up and stay warm.

  37. Frank Adam says:

    The Mail has form: it also attacked Michael Howard in the same sly way alleging his father was an illegal immigrant. Once is an accident; twice might be a coincidence; and a third time as in its broad anti – immigrant attitude anytime any place is a filthy conspiracy.
    Attacking somebody through their relative is “working corruption of the blood” much favoured by the Inquisition the SS as “Sippenhaft” and the KGB. “Corruption of the blood” accusations are unconstitutional (Art III, 3) the US Constitution – which is the model version of English 18th century and since liberties.

  38. David Robertson says:

    Keep up the good work. Strange that the Murdochs and Dacres of this world are such shrinking violets when it comes to facing their critics. Hope Chanel 4 keep up the doorstepping, very entertaining.

  39. Clive Litchfield says:

    Anyone with an ounce of integrity would denounce this man Dacre as a pompous ass without any relevance and his employers should dispense with his services forthwith.

  40. Phil Wilson says:

    a) Where is Rothermere?

    b) Mr Paul Dacre, AS FAR AS I AM AWARE, has never actually put his private parts inside a dead goat.

  41. Slob says:

    The Daily Mirk is getting a dish of dirt doled back for a change. Of course, Lord (Mucker) Rothermere is to blame for his daily’s disgraceful reputation.

  42. Gm says:

    Please do keep up the good work! Outstanding stuff so glad that someone is asking the rightquestions about this. If Paul dacre is even a hundredth of a man and genuinely believed in this story then he would defend his position.

    That he doesn’t lays bare his lie for all to see and also reveals him as a hypocrite unwilling to face the harsh glare of publicity in a clear public interest case, yet so quick to intrude on others lives when he judges it to be in the public interest.

    Enough of this poisonous rag, playing its part in preventing a real debate and the chance of a new direction in this country with its shameful scaremongering and disgusting smearing.

  43. Tom says:

    Bring Dacre to account! Yes Milliband and Campbell might be point scoring, yes Campbell was rough when he was in power but they’ve both stood up and taken the scrutiny when it was on them. Someone here said no one had heard of Milliband’s dad 2 weeks ago, well I’d never heard of Dacre, and now that I think about it, that’s ridiculous, because I’ve hated the vile editorial policy of the Mail for years. He’s much too good at dodging the spotlight and what I like about Campbell’s campaign is the idea that Dacre is asked to debate not just the Milligan episode but the Mail’s role in society in general. As one of the leading fomenters of hatred and bad feeling in this country, this man ought to have the guts to face an audience and (try to) justify his actions.

  44. Roger Marsh says:

    I do wonder whether there is a covert reason for the printing of the article about Milliband’s father.
    As the time approaches for there to be a decision about press regulation, this is an increasingly hot potato and right at this time the Mail prints a thoroughly objectionable article, maybe adding fuel to the cause of press regulation. Could it be perhaps that in hoping to create a backlash to bring further regulation to the press the reaction to this may be to leave the press to regulate itself?
    I am aware very much of the dangers of over-regulation of the media and am wary of it but against this, when there is an abuse of freedoms it unfortunatley serves to demonstrate regulation is necessary. Freedom brings responsibility in every area of life and when freedoms are abused curbs to such exploited freedoms have to be made.
    I would not like to see over-regulation at all but am sick of the media, the Mail being foremost among it, printing whatever it likes without limitation and with punitive penalties. There are laws in place to prevent abuses but these teeth cannot be as sharp as they need to be otherwise the Levison enquiry (and subsequent findings) would not have been necessary.
    The editor of the Mail certainly has much explaining to do and every measure should be made to get him to do so. As a previous comment says, it is not just about Ralph Milliband, it is not about politics, but about public decency. Many of those abused in the press are in no position to seek the redress they deserve and are hamstrung by the system as it is.
    If the Mail’s editor wishes to be seen as responsible then he certainly should explain himself and his avoidance tactics. If he is proud of himself and his actions, why should he hide?

  45. Peter Slee says:

    Yes, indeed, there’s plenty of other stories worth pursuing, but that’s no reason to let Mr Dacre of the hook. He, and any other news editor (print or any other media), should not be able to make scurrilous attacks on individuals (especially when they cannot reply) unless there is a willingness to justify their claims. The outcry from the press following the recent announcement of a Royal Charter to regulate them is all very well – I’m not in favour of censureship, but neither am I in favour of the freedom of the press to print lies, innuendo and the like without any need to justify themselves.

  46. Neilth says:

    Once again Dacre and the Daily Mail prove the adage about a bully being ac award when faced down. The Daily Mail have long supported the enemies of democracy eg Moseley and his Blackshirts or South African apartheid. Come on Dacre crawl back out of your hole into the light of day and face the truth for once.

  47. Colin Zobki says:

    Well done, Alex. Keep up the good work.

  48. Matt says:

    “We rang the doorbell to his large townhouse…”

    “His large *£2m* townhouse” surely?

  49. Rob Walker says:

    Nobody likes a coward who hides behind others. Please in future refer to the Mail, it’s editor and any paper following in their footsteps collectively as the ‘Yellow Press’.

  50. Ninva Ponsonby says:

    What I find bizarre to the point that it appears ‘wrong’, is that many left wing people who all thir lives, along with their families have supported the Labour Party, and obviously have very left wing views, regularly read The Daily Mail which has a reputation of being a right wing paper amongst those who select what papers they read carefully. These readers accept and support the views of the Daily Mail not realizing the paper’s political leaning. Obviously every paper would like to increase their readership and it would be undesirable for the paper and even impractical to explicitly indicate their political leaning, but in a democratic society should there not be some form of publicly available barometer that tells the general public the number of right wing and left wing articles published in the national papers? After all there aren’t that many of them.

  51. Pod says:

    Well done Alex for sterling work when most others have given up!

    Come on Mr.Dacre…stand up and be counted! What are you afraid of?

    We have much more important things to investigate such as what is happening to our education sysrem, the NHS and the care of the elderly!

  52. Chas Griffin says:

    We’ll continue to have crappy newpsapers and journalists as long as we have people willing to buy their offal..

  53. Glenn Trojan says:

    The TV and other media outlets should investigate these right-wing biased (and owned) newspapers, the mail being one if many. Newspapers should have the same laws as TV and not show political bias to any one party. They should just report the news in a factual way, leaving the reader to make up their own minds.
    The mail should also answer these questions:
    1. Why do they consistantly support the tory party.
    2. Who is really behind these smear campaigns set up to destabalise Ed Milliband and the Labour party.
    3. How can the so called ‘independant’ press watchdog be ‘independant’ with Paul Dacre as the CHAIRMAN.

  54. Stewart Thompson says:

    Gutter rags like ‘The Daily Mail’ are a disgrace to themselves, their editors and their owners. Simple response – Don’t buy it!

  55. David Storey says:

    It is difficult to get the ballance right. I write as a former newspaperman. I did try and ensure that reporters capable of questioning councillors etc intelligently and writing well were appointed to alocal paper. Sometimes we may pursue topics excessively. But I would rather have that than have the kind of obfuscation that has been shown by the editor of the Mail. I hope that we shall move away from the present desire to satisfy the desire of some for sensationalism rather than teasing out positive news from the community. If you want to see why people denigrate Margaret Thatcher see the film involving the interview by Philip Tibbenham after she left office. See and watch her and see why her disparagement of others should have been applied to herself. She was not a saint.

  56. John Blackburn says:

    I share a distinction with Ed Milliband. My father, too, is a socialist. He was for 17 years the F.O.C. of his N.G.A. chapel. He joined the Navy ( from a reserved occupation!) on the outbreak of war because he (like Ed’s dad) felt Hitler had to be stopped. Now contrast this with the Mail’s owner’s position about ‘dear Adolf’. Clearly the paper’s hypocrisy, dishonesty and lack of a semblance of good journalism hasn’t altered over the subsequent decades. This was a deeply shameful attempt to ‘monster’ a man unable to defend or account for himself, and it was WRONG. I hope Dacre suffers for it, but I’m not holding my breath.

  57. Brian says:

    I really hope this gobby rag gets it “up-’em” where it hurts. If it backfires and Ed Milliband comes out unscathed, maybe readers will question future articles the Mail publishes in its passion for the Tories!

  58. tony wilson says:

    I’m starting a campaign to knit some warmers for you. Well done, keep at it.

  59. Richard L says:

    It’s about time this vile little man and his equally vile rag got their comeuppance.

    The founder of the Mail, Lord Northcliffe, claimed that his “winning formula” was to give Daily Mail readers quote; ” A daily dose of Hate. ”

    Paul Dacre simply cannot help himself. In 2003 he was hauled in front of the Commons Select Committee, accused of preaching “hate” in his newspaper, and was grilled over it.

    This “winning formula” of ‘hatred’ has been pumping in the Mail’s veins since its birth.

    http://upagainstmail.com/mailinthedock.htm

    Propaganda and spin, lies and defamation is what this paper revels in; it has long been the BIGGEST media irritant and the MOST complained about paper in the country.

    Dacre’s Mail is also known as a vile, nasty little racist rag and has long had a reputation of having a deliberate policy aimed at encouraging discrimination against immigrants;
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/mar/15/dailymail.pressandpublishing

    Also for abuse and defamation of benefit claimants;
    http://disabilitymessageboard.blogspot.com/2011/03/protest-outside-daily-mail-stop.html
    After this outrageous haranguing, they actually arranged for a demo outside the Mail Offices in London, back in April 2011 to tell the faceless hacks to stop telling ‘lies’ about them;

    For telling ‘porkies’ about Owen Barder director of AIDINFO and former Director of International Finance and Development UK ;
    http://neilharding.blogspot.com/2007/05/owen-barder-victim-of-vicious-daily.html

    And ‘ a racist, smear campaign’ against the Tamils, who successfully won damages for Libel from the Mail;
    http://www.tamilsolidarity.org/?p=1152

    They can’t even leave the poor foxes alone, churning out propaganda and lies about these harmless animals on a regular basis and have long been a supporter of vile bloodsports. When a Facebook page was created back in 2010 urging people to boycott the Mail because of its sick love of bloodsports and notching up a record number of ‘likes’ in just a few hours, the page was quickly pulled, as, yet again, the Mail could sure dish it out, but couldn’t take it, and had asked FB to remove what was a perfectly legitimate, sensible and intelligent discussion group, exposing them for the depraved supporter of some of the world’s most disturbing acts of animal cruelty, that drags this country back to the Dark Ages.

    All this along with the current shameful lies about Ralph Milliband should be drawn to the publics attention, so people, who aren’t aware already, should know exactly what Dacre and his rag revel in.

    The sooner the vile individual Dacre gets his ‘just desserts’ the better, so keep up the good work Alistair as the public are right behind you.

  60. Peter King says:

    Paul Dacre is not above the law and shows little respect for it; he also lacks personal standards.
    In my view, he doesn’t deserve to live in this country – let only work here under whatever guise.

    Good bye and good riddance Paul … we can manage without you and the likes of you!

    BTW – I have cancelled my copies of both the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday; I have told him so.

  61. Kate Farley says:

    Dacre needs to be accountable for his actions and needs to answer to the public about his decisions and actions which affects ordinary peoples lifes.

  62. rose and alun oliver evans says:

    we are deeply disgusted in the actions of the mail in publishing this non-story and the organisation deserves the publics contempt

  63. D, Amele says:

    Dear Mr Thomson,

    It is the most honorable duty to fight for the integrity of British journalism and a culture of honesty and objectivity in media practice.

    people like mister Dacre are very dangerous for the coming generation in media profession. What this man has done to a dead man is so sad and completely out British culture and ethical value.

    He targeted Ed Milliband possibly fearing he will come to power and affect his vested interest or agendas.

    Keep fighting. We have a generational duty to standup for journalistic integrity, decent value and Media ethics.

    Keep the flame of honesty and objectivity which is the foundational British Media value.

  64. paul says:

    Still find it too hard to have Alistair Campbell standing up for the truth – seems so much of a contradiction !!!

  65. Philip Edwards says:

    Alex,

    Are you still there?
    :-)

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