When I first became aware of the controversial Daily Mail article 'The man who hated Britain' about Ed and David Miliband's late father Ralph Miliband, I felt sad and angry; not because I knew the man, in fact I knew very little about what he stood for, but because I felt for the Miliband family on a personal level.
I recently lost my dad to cancer; which has been a poignant and life changing event for me. Ed Miliband frequently reflects on his dad's meaningful impact on him and his direction, which is something that has always touched me, even more so after my own dad's death. Its evident that Ed himself is not over the loss of his dad, but has instead learned to live with that feeling of loss and gratitude for the aspects of his dad that carry on in him. This does not mean that the two of them always agreed, just that he was and continues to be an inspiration.
I can definitely relate to that. I continue to struggle with a sense of meaning about my dad's death and wonder whether things will ever be the same again and how I can carry on. But I know the only way it is possible to continue now, is to find a way to celebrate and honour how my own dad continues to live on in me. We shared so many things, physical characteristics, elements of our personality and fortunately also generally agreed on most issues. When we did not agree on issues, we'd enter into a healthy and respectful debate, as I'm sure David and Ed did with their father.
If at any point my own father came under public scrutiny and his memory was besmirched in the way the Daily Mail has with Ralph Miliband's memory and legacy, I'm not sure how I would react. But I'd certainly feel dismay for my family and wonder in whose world it was alright to attack someone who can't defend defend themselves.
When earlier in the year the fringes of the far left took to the streets to celebrate the death of Margaret Thatcher, I was appalled. I have never agreed with her on one single issue, but celebrating someone's death is inhuman and I join the likes of Alistair Campbell and Lord Sugar, who have been appalled about the conduct of Daily Mail.
Ed said in his article (Daily Mail allowed him a right of reply) and his video address in the Guardian, that this is beyond politics, this is about love, inspiration, respect and human kindness. This is not about what spektrum of the political agenda you are on, It's common decency and respect for a dead person, regardless of theirs. Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have condemned the actions of the newspaper, with Clegg even asking what aspects of 'Britishness' the Mail itself identifies with.
Which is why it is perfectly plausible to ask the question whether it is it in fact the Daily Mail that hates Britain? To me this unfortunate incident highlights the fact that the Daily Mail's entire modus operandi is based on exploiting the misery of others. Its readers and advertisers should ask themselves whether they really wish to continue to support an institution of this kind.
The choice is yours Britain what do you decide?