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It is that the Mail constantly dares to stand up to the liberal-Left consensus that dominates so many areas of British life, and instead represents the views of the ordinary people who are our readers and who don’t have a voice in today’s political landscape — and are too often ignored by today’s ruling elite.The metropolitan classes, of course, despise our readers with their dreams (mostly unfulfilled) of a decent education and health service they can trust, their belief in the family, patriotism, self-reliance, and their over-riding suspicion of the State and the People Who Know Best.
No other newspaper campaigns as vigorously as the Mail and I am proud of the ability of the paper’s 400 journalists (the BBC has 8,000) to continually set the national agenda on a whole host of issues.
And while the Mail does not agree with the Guardian over the stolen secret security files it published, I suggest that we can agree that the fury and recrimination the story is provoking reveals again why those who rule us — and who should be held to account by newspapers — cannot be allowed to sit in judgment on the Press.
That is why the Left should be very careful about what it wishes for — especially in the light of this week’s rejection by the politicians of the newspaper industry’s Charter for robust independent self-regulation.
Leading the charge, inevitably, was the Mail’s bête noire, the BBC.
Fair-minded readers will decide themselves whether the hundreds of hours of airtime it devoted to that headline reveal a disturbing lack of journalistic proportionality and impartiality — but certainly the one-sided tone in their reporting allowed Labour to misrepresent Geoffrey Levy’s article on Ralph Miliband.
The genesis of that piece lay in Ed Miliband’s conference speech.
The Mail was deeply concerned that in 2013, after all the failures of Socialism in the 20th century, the leader of the Labour Party was announcing its return, complete with land seizures and price fixing.
I am proud that for years, while most of Fleet Street were in thrall to it, the Mail was the only paper to stand up to the malign propaganda machine of Tony Blair and his appalling henchman, Campbell.
(And, my goodness, it’s been pay-back time over the past week!
So it was that, in a virtually unprecedented move, we published his words at the top of our Op Ed pages.
They were accompanied by an abridged version of the original Levy article and a leader explaining why the Mail wasn’t apologising for the points it made.
And yes, the headline was controversial — but popular newspapers have a long tradition of using provocative headlines to grab readers’ attention.