I am not a devout reader of the Daily Mail. I don’t particularly care for its politics – the paper once supported Hitler, just before World War 2, but to be fair has moved to the right since then – anymore than I care for its hypocrisy. Hypocrisy? In a British national newspaper? No!!!
So, it is with that I’m mind that I am learning about the fake scandal about Ed Miliband’s two kitchens, trumpeted by the Mail’s Sarah Vine. Two kitchens! “The deluded grandure of the Prime Minister in waiting.” “Clearly there’s no cost of living crisis for two kitchens Miliband”, hurrumphs a Tory MP. Now I am no expert on kitchens but added to that, I couldn’t give a toss that Miliband has two kitchens and the man himself needs to ignore this kind of rubbish from a rag that will say an awful lot of things that are even worse in the coming week. Don’t forget that the Mail already has form with its story about how Ed Milband’s father hated Britain. They failed to add that he hated it so much he fought for it in the Second World War and then emigrated here, but who needs facts at the Mail?
And Sarah Vine herself. Well, she’s in a privileged position herself because by an amazing twist of confidence she is married to the Tory party’s Chief Whip Michael Gove. In attacking Miliband’s decor, she forgot to mention that her husband had claimed expenses for “a birch Camargue chair” and “a birdcage coffee table” and, thanks to the Telegraph, he was forced to pay back £7,000, some half of what he claimed from you and I. (Do you think you would retain your job if you falsely claimed £7000 from your employer? I suspect the Mail might have something to say about it.)
The Mail obviously wants Cameron to win but here’s a thing. The Mail’s intention was to show Miliband as being deluded by having two kitchens, preparing for office in Number 10 where there are two kitchens. But who is in Number 10 at the moment and who, as a result of his wife hating the decor, spent £30,000 of our money doing them up. I do not recall Ms Vine writing a piece on Cameron’s generous use of taxpayers’ money in order to provide them with adequate photo-opportunities, but there’s always time.
In the Mail’s world, Labour politicians should not enjoy the good things in life because it goes against their politics. Well, not it doesn’t actually. A good Labour person celebrates success, yearns for a meritocracy, fights for the equality of opportunity. S/he doesn’t begrudge success, especially if that means they can afford an extra kitchen. At least in Miliband’s case, he paid for it himself.