In an epoch when so much is made of democracy, equality, social mobility, classlessness and the rest, it has remained a basic fact of life in advanced capitalist countries that the vast majority of men and women in these countries has been governed, represented, administered, judged, and commanded in war by people drawn from other, economically superior and relatively distant classes.
Ralph Miliband, 1969, from ‘The State in Capitalist Society‘.
Miliband was one of the people that I remember well from my student days 27 years ago. Words like those above seem ever more prescient.
Despite what The Mail will have us believe, his was always a quintessentially British voice- a kind of socialism mediated by gentle academia and quiet discourse. His writings take a deeply thoughtful and engaged look at who we are and what we are becoming, from an ideological perspective of the far left. His determination was to attempt to make Britain a fairer and more equal place. He had the deep respect of everyone, from a wide variety of perspectives.
To hear how he is being vilified at present makes me seethe.
I also think that we could all still learn from his writing- particularly his son Ed, who desperately needs some ideological testicles.
As for The Mail, it is what it is- a grubby small minded prejudiced rag that peddles a little Britain for a small slice of modern Britain. It does not understand the rest, and so seeks to smear it, using a tissue of half truths and distortions.
Which reminds me, I have posted this on my blog before, and was reminded of it by Grahams FB post;
Having to make a point by putting someone down is what The Mail is all about.
The worst of British values posing as the best of British values.
Who hates UK more: a Jewish refugee who chose this country as a place of safety to bring up his family, who chose to fight for and defend this country, who chose to use his career to comment on ways to make this country better and fairer OR a millionaire who set up a newspaper, supported the Nazis and was praised by Hitler???
The Mail is anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-immigration, anti-European, anti-Labour and anti-Milliband [Snr. & Jnr.] ….. and I believe anti-British. The Mail hates a Britain that is confident of its place in the world, working at the heart of Europe, a haven for oppressed and people searching for a better way of life, a place where people are free to be who they are and encouraged to want the best for all communities that make up our rainbow nation, it hates working class people with aspiration and it hates even more those that are so battered and bruised they have lost any aspiration. The Mail hates it when people from other nations are welcomed to make our country better stronger and more diverse – coming here to play their part, pay their taxes and build a better life for all. The Mail is and always was the worst posing as the best and their journalists, editors and owners prove this with every small minded, nasty little Britain headlines they peddle day after day. I hope this time they have gone too far and along with Ed standing up to them it seems their own readership feels they have gone to far invading a private memorial service. Long may they go on as a reminder of how low people can sink and that we should always strive for better. The UK is a better country with The Mail to serve as an example of what not to be.
Magnificent rant Mark!