Tuesday, October 01, 2013


The arguments about the Daily Mail's unpleasant smearing of Ralph Miliband and, by association, of his son continue. The obvious points have been made, particularly the one about ignoring Miliband's war service in the Royal Navy, seeing action at the Normandy landings, in favour of a cherry picked piece of juvenilia from an earlier diary to 'prove' what his views were. I would have marked down any student who produced something so academically shabby. Norm provides an eloquent personal defence here.

But there is something else that disturbs me. Miliband was a Marxist and that is the main reason the right think that they have something to beat his son with. This is dangerous because it marks an attempt to introduce the notion that a set of commonly held, critical beliefs is somehow anti-British; thereby importing the US concept of un-American activities. This is staking out the claim that only holders of a certain ideology should be seen as proper citizens. And, of course, he was Jewish. Is this inconsequential or is it an echo of the Mail's pre-war roots supporting fascism and appeasement? 

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