The stuff of nightmares
But that thought would have been misplaced, despite calls from Mark Lewis, who represents the Dowler family, and the clear unhappiness of Gemma Dowler. No, the need to lay into Miliband, combined with more evidence that Labour is far from being affected in the polls, meant that more hacks and pundits had to be ordered over the top, especially those serving the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre.
So it was that the Daily Mail’s Glenda Emeritus Amanda Bloody Platell declared “Miliband’s sickening betrayal of Milly Dowler”, and proceeded to marshal all manner of “facts” which ranged from the mildly aromatic to the rank stench of forthright dishonesty. First, she tells readers that she has met Miliband: “Before he became leader of the Labour Party, I liked him and thought him charming and honest”.
And then out comes the stiletto: “This week he reached an all-time low. In his desperation to ignite the class war, he and his advisers sought to capitalise on Tory links to tax avoiders by evoking the memory of Milly Dowler. His aides revealed that he regarded the tax row as a ‘Milly Dowler moment’”. He didn’t, and nor did his aides, as Mark Lewis told: “that’s the whole point, it wasn’t said in an interview or at all”.
Despite getting that one totally wrong, there was more: “They were comparing it with Ed’s decision to leap on the anti-Press bandwagon over The Guardian’s allegation that the murdered schoolgirl’s text messages had been deleted by the News Of The World newspaper. How utterly sickening, especially as the allegation was found to be false”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here.
One, the key fact - note, not mere allegation - on the Dowler hacking was that a murdered schoolgirl’s phone had been accessed. That was what precipitated the Murdochs’ decision to close the Screws, although they had decided the paper was to be sacrificed beforehand. And two, the allegation as to how the voicemails were deleted was found not to be false, but unproven. Still, details eh, Amanda?