Recently the Daily Mail ran an article on “The Man Who Hated Britain”.
The man was Ralph Milliband, father of Ed.
Ed Milliband will be standing against David Cameron for Prime Minster.
The Daily Mail supports David Cameron.
All fairly simple and obvious.
In advertising terms, hit the competition where they’re weakest.
Ralph Milliband was a communist so that’s where Ed is weak.
What’s dopey, in advertising terms, is not to check your own product first.
The problem is, the Daily Mail is considerably weaker in being portrayed as hating Britain.
The proprietor of the Daily Mail is Lord Rothermere.
Before World War Two, his grandfather was a supporter of Hitler and the Nazi party.
He applauded Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and suggested he invade Romania.
So he supported a dictator and mass-murderer.
But whatever Rothermere or Milliband did isn’t the real point.
The real point is the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre.
How dopey do you have to be to attack someone at exactly your own weakest point?
Of course it’s fair enough for the Daily Mail to have a go at Milliband.
That’s their agenda, that’s what newspapers do.
But you make sure of your ground first.
You don’t attack them on a point where you’re weak.
This is as dumb as Mars attacking Cadburys for making people fat.
Or Range Rover attacking Mini for wasting petrol.
Or Microsoft attacking Apple for having software that crashes.
Or McDonalds attacking Starbucks for being unhealthy.
Or Nike attacking Adidas for wasting money on celebrities.
Or China attacking North Korea for being undemocratic.
You don’t do it.
You don’t do it because it’s dumb.
You don’t pick a fight on ground where you have a disadvantage.
You change the ground to one where you have an advantage.
The Daily Mail could have done that.
Ralph Milliband was a passionate communist.
He supported communism even after the downfall of the USSR.
He refused to accept that people wanted socialism not communism.
Ed Milliband was influenced by his father.
He is determined to reintroduce union influence to the Labour party.
And union influence to running the country if he wins the next election.
That is where Ed Milliband is weak.
That is where the Daily Mail is strong.
That is the place any rational person would have chosen to pick a fight.
But Paul Dacre didn’t do that.
And as a result the country now sympathises with Ed Milliband.
The Daily Mail proprietor has had to publicly apologise.
Paul Dacre may well lose his job as editor.
And the whole question of formal controls on the press is being raised.
All because the editor made an emotional decision.
And he got what normally happens when you kick out without thinking.

An own goal.

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