Personal attacks: Ed Miliband and Naz Shah

Michael Fallon’s accusation that Ed Miliband stabbed his brother in the back and would be prepared to treat the UK in the same way doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect.  Labour is now inching ahead of the Conservatives in the polls, and Miliband’s personal ratings have also improved. Tim Montgomerie (of Conservative Home) tweeted:

“Embarrassing: way too personal from Michael Fallon against Ed Miliband.”

Equally embarrassing is the Daily Mail’s story about Ed’s former girlfriends.  This is a truly bizarre piece.  He is described as caddish twice – why? The worst thing he seems to have done is talk to a woman about economics when he was going out with a different woman. The pattern of (un)popular comments under the article is revealing.  Those who point out that this is a desperate non-story attract the most updings, whereas unpleasant personal comments about Ed (and his wife Justine) are voted down.

Meanwhile in Bradford George Galloway has been accusing Labour candidate Naz Shah of lying over her marriage.  Whereas she has claimed this happened when she was fifteen, Galloway has produced a nikah which suggests she was 16.  Shah still insists there was an earlier ceremony. Given that she describes this as a forced marriage, the difference between 15 and 16 doesn’t seem so very crucial. Here is the considered opinion of George Galloway’s spokesman Ron McKay:

“In what sense was it a forced marriage? Her mother attended the marriage in 1990 as well as other family members and many witnesses did also, signing and giving fingerprints, so if it was forced presumably her mother and the others were part of that coercion?”

Perhaps the legal age of marriage should be raised to 18 as it is in many places around the world including the Punjab and Israel.