Othering Ed: Newspaper Coverage of Miliband and the Election

  • Ivor GaberEmail author


Ivor Gaber demonstrates how the Labour leader’s treatment by several Conservative supporting newspapers was redolent of how the print media represented his predecessors during the 1980s. During the 2015 campaign Ed Miliband was subjected to a torrent of criticism that centred on what his newspaper detractors saw as his character flaws, personal weaknesses and poor judgement. The chapter contextualizes these attacks by explaining how print media attacks on ‘Red Ed’ began with his leadership victory in the aftermath of his party’s 2010 defeat. The key lines of attack which had a resonance in the 2015 election are rehearsed, notably the references to Miliband’s self-confessed neo-Marxist father and related tropes about the son’s alleged weirdness combined with his supposedly unworldly intellectualism.


Election Campaign Labour Party Conservative Party Daily Mail Labour Leader 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Brown, M. & Deans, J. (2014). BBC News too quick to follow Daily Mail agenda, says Peston. The Guardian7 June.Google Scholar
  2. Brynin, M & Newton, K. (2003) The National Press and Voting Turnout: British General Elections of 1992 and 1997 Political Communication 20 (1) 59 -77Google Scholar
  3. Cohen, S. (1972). Folk devils and moral panics: The creation of the Mods and Rockers. London: McGibbon Kee.Google Scholar
  4. Clarke, H., Sanders, D., Stewart, M., & Whiteley, P. (2004). Political choice in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curran, J., Gaber, I., & Petley, J. (2006). Culture wars: The media and the British left. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Deacon, D., & Wring, D. (2016). Still life in the old attack dogs: The press. In P. Cowley & D. Kavanagh (Eds.), The British General Election of 2015 (pp. 302–335). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Entman, R. M. (1993). Framing: Toward clarification of a fractured paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43, 51–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freedland, J. (2013). Anti-semitism doesn’t always come doing a Hitler salute. The Guardian. 5 October.Google Scholar
  9. Green, J. and Prosser, C. (2015). Learning the right lessons from Labour’s 2015 defeat. Juncture, Institute for Public Policy Research.
  10. Heffernan, R. (2006). The Prime Minister and the News Media: Political communication as a leadership resource. Parliamentary Affairs, 59, 582–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Horrie, C., & Chippindale, P. (1990). Stick it up your punter: The uncut story of the Sun Newspaper. London: Pocket Books.Google Scholar
  12. Ipsos MORI. (2013). Ipsos MORI Political Monitor October 2013.
  13. Jones, N. (2013). Is the ‘Twitter mob’ taming the Daily Mail? How online reaction influences mainstream news. Retrieved January 22, 2014, from
  14. Jukes, P. (2012). The fall of the House of Murdoch. London: Unbound.Google Scholar
  15. Kinnock, N. (1999). Why Red Ken is a disaster for labour. The People. 21 November.Google Scholar
  16. Levy G. (2013, September 28). The man who hated Britain. Daily Mail. 23 September.Google Scholar
  17. Lustig R. (2013, October 4). The newspaper that really hates Britain. Retrieved January 21, 2014, from
  18. Morris, J. (2009, July 22). Mocking the Welsh is the last permitted bigotry. The Spectator. Scholar
  19. Oborne, P. (2015) 'Why I have resigned from the Telegraph' Open Democracy, 17 February Scholar
  20. Ponsford. D. (2015, August 26) NRS claims 94 per cent of UK adults read national newspaper or magazine monthly, Press Gazette Scholar
  21. Shaw E. (1994) The Labour Party Since 1979: Crisis and Transformation London, RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  22. The Sun (2015) Save our bacon Don’t swallow his porkies and keep him OUT (emphasis in original), 5 May.Google Scholar
  23. Thomas, J. (2005) Popular Newspapers, the Labour Party and British Politics, London, RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  24. Wintour, P. (2015) ‘Jeremy Corbyn tells Labour: don’t accept injustice, stand up to prejudice’ The Guardian 30 September 2015Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

Personalised recommendations