Me and David Miliband: Once upon a time the the Daily Mail loved ‘evil’ Ralph Miliband
FUNNY how newspapers work. The Daily Mail called Ralph Miliband “the man who hated Britain”. The paper used the world “evil” in a hatchet job on Ed Miliband’s dad. But when in 2008, high-flying Mail staffer Ted Verity wrote about David Miliband, Ed’s big brother, Ralph got a different billing. (Only two Mail online articles are linked to Verity and both are about his mate David):
First impressions were underlined later that evening when David and I – who were both studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) – went for our first Oxford drink together. We headed for The Turf pub off Holywell Street, a favourite of Hardy’s Jude The Obscure, and I led the way to the bar. ‘I’ll have a half of bitter,’ said David…
But there was something else, too. David, although thoroughly middle-class, was the heir-apparent to a Labour dynasty…
Despite his self-confidence, his academic qualifications were distinctly underwhelming – two grade Bs and a D at A-level. David, it turned out, was one of three Corpus PPE students who had arrived on an Inner London Education Authority scheme to get pupils from the capital’s comprehensives to Oxford. A worthy scheme, no doubt, but it’s hard to imagine that David Miliband was the kind of deprived inner-city pupil the founders had in mind. His father was the eminent Marxist historian Ralph Miliband, whose work loomed large on our syllabus.
In this other David & Me piece, Verity repeats the half-pint anecdote and notes:
His favourite book was that noted page-turner, British Capitalism, Workers And The Profit Squeeze by our economics tutor Andrew Glyn – a close friend of David’s father, the Marxist writer Ralph Miliband.
Can it be that if the paper’s editorial staff are your mates, you get a good press and if they’re not, they slate your dead dad?