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Tuesday 3 February 2015

Mail Miliband Mauling Misfires

Yes, the Mail On Sunday front page did indeed signal a campaign of saturation character assassination for Mil The Younger, and following yesterday’s Daily Mail resurrection ofBoots The Chemist”, a title that will confuse most of those under 45 years of age, has come the wheeling out of Stuart Rose, obligingly demonstrating that Tory peers tend to take that party’s whip for one very good reason.
And that reason is that they support the Tories, so conversely, they are up for a little Labour bashing. “MAN WHO SAVED M&S SAVAGES EDthunders the headline, as the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre works tirelessly to get their boss the gong that Young Dave has dangled before his all-too-susceptible gaze, by pretending that Labour has declared war on business.

There was, as Captain Blackadder might have said, only one thing wrong with this idea: it was bollocks. To declare war, one has to fire the first shot, and that act was taken by Boots CEO Stefano Pessina, whose attack on Miliband was totally unprovoked. Had the Labour leader not responded, that would have been seen as weak and cowardly. So he suggested that Boots pay their taxes. For this he was branded the aggressor.

That’s not unlike the bent copper who kicks someone in the undercarriage and then whines that they viciously attacked his steel-capped boot with their groin. Thus we see Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue, sneering “Sensing cheap votes in stepping up his anti-business rhetoric, Ed Miliband hurls personal abuse at the Italian chief executive of chemist chain Alliance Boots, accusing him of avoiding taxes and telling him not to lecture Britons on which party to support on May 7”.

Hello Paul! It’s now called Walgreen Boots Alliance - do try to keep up. And it fails to pay many of its staff a living wage, while racking up profits on the back of its lucrative NHS prescription business. Rose’s support for this is equally worrying: “Labour’s attack this week on a major British business smacked of the destructive anti-business mood that went out of political fashion decades ago”.

Yes, for defending himself, Miliband is part of a “destructive anti-business mood”. Rose tells readers that the Labour leader should go into a few businesses and “walk the floor”, something that might not work to the Tory peer’s advantage. He might just find more workers getting screwed over by ever-greedier management.

Rose prattles on about globalisation and certainty for investors, with its implicit threat that, unless business is allowed to please itself and carry on screwing over whoever is unfortunate enough to be at the bottom of the pile, it will up sticks and pile off elsewhere. This is, in the case of Boots, weapons grade bullshit: you only get all that nice NHS business in the UK. And all the other consumer oriented trade Boots does.

And, sadly for the Mail, the saturation attacks aren’t working. Today’s YouGov daily poll for the Sun has Labour in front by 2%. Soon readers will just switch off - then what?

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