Left for Love, Right for Spite

Unfortunately I’m not talking about whether your ears are burning, I’m talking about how in general the views of an individual or political party are perceived.

I started to consider this debate after a brief Twitter exchange with my friend Andy Payne regarding the recent controversy over the unfortunate articles appearing in the Daily Mail regarding Ed Milliband’s father. I do read the Daily Mail on-line, and agree with several of its views – what I’d call traditional conservative views. The “right” is tainted with labels of bigotry, fascism and nazism – frequently found when browsing left-leaning social media responses – especially to the toff/rich/eton/elitist “Tory” government (let’s not forget the number of millionaires across all parties) and Mr Gove in particular. Because, for example, I believe in grammar schools to give social mobility to bright children from all backgrounds does that make me elitist? Eventually bright children will save us all – whether it be a cure for cancer, innovation in technology, or moving onto careers such as healthcare and returning us all to good health when we are ill. It may be elitism, but only the brightest children will do these things – for the betterment of everyone. If they get a leg up the ladder, then so be it. It’s just one example.

But, back to the Daily Mail debate: I understand that to many, the articles about Ralph Miliband have upset a lot of people on the left (and probably the right) and they have taken to the social media waves to vent their anger. The left seem to be very good at this. They have also been strongly supported by the usual suspects including the Guardian and the BBC.

What I don’t understand is how the same people were able to do the exact same “vile” thing when Margaret Thatcher passed away earlier this year? How could the Guardian run articles from columnists suggesting that Thatcher hated elements of Britain and destroyed rafts of the population without opposition? The BBC covered effigy burning events across the country and gave voice to the people behind the pyres. Why was that acceptable and this is not? In that regard we were talking about Britain’s first female Prime Minister, and the first working-class female Prime Minister at that.

Why are the BBC giving Ed Milliband a voice this morning suggesting that the Daily Mail ought to consider its culture? Why is this? Why doesn’t the BBC have to examine its own “culture? Why doesn’t the Guardian and its owner have to examine its “culture” too? I don’t understand. Both the Milliband and Thatcher examples are in poor taste, lack respect for the dead and both should have no place in the media.

I have absolutely no opinion on Ralph Milliband, and the political views of a father undoubtedly would influence his children – but when we talk about tolerance and supporting a free-thinking society his views are just as valid as mine or yours. If he didn’t like Britain fair enough, there’s plenty I don’t like about it too. Within the law we should be free to think whatever we like, write whatever we like, and talk about whatever we like.

What we all should love about Britain is that we allow it, consume it, debate it, look upon it with an open mind, and either agree or disagree with it.

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