Listen up, as they say.
Here is an extract from the recent interview with Justine Miliband, wife perhaps of the next Prime Minister.
‘Ive thought about this and I think it’s going to get worse, I think over the next couple of months it’s going to get really vicious, really personal, but I’m totally up for this fight and I’ve thought about the reason why and the reason is because I think this goes way beyond Ed as an individual, I think it’s about whether decency and principle count for something in political life, wherever you are on the political spectrum, and so it’s not just about Ed, but it’s about every single politician who tries to do the right thing, despite the personal attacks and I think it’s incredibly important that this country, political life in this country stays open to decent, principled people, so if you ask me why I’m up for a fight, I’m fighting not only for Ed, but I’m fighting for a principle of decency in public life.’
Now insofar as it matters, I have never met Mrs Miliband and I am not a member of any political party. But what she says will chime with every elector who despises personal attacks and fears a very dirty campaign. Democracy will the loser and millions of younger voters will be even more disillusioned.
So how can this be countered?
Well the process exists to complain, whatever the present understandable sceptisism.
But what about a systematic approach to every cheap and nasty newspaper personal jibe in the next two months?
Report the lot. Every single personal attack, regardless of party. Thousands of instant complaints.
AA Gill foresaw recently what will happen to UKIP, for whom, incidentally, I can never see myself voting. They will be traduced systematically. So probably Alec Salmon will be, altough he can ceratinly look after himself. And above all, so Ed Miliband will be. The politics of the gutter.
I find it truly shocking and I know I am not alone.
So this is the moment to strike back. The democratic way. Is there a bette one if you believe in decency and principle?
Nigel Pascoe QC