X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Exclusive: the moment Ed Miliband said he’ll bring socialism back to Downing Street

22 September 2013

5:59 PM

22 September 2013

5:59 PM

What’s Ed Miliband about? In a word: socialism. You can think this a good or a bad thing, but there ought to be no doubt about where he stands. At a Q&A in the Labour conference last night, he was challenged by an activist: When will you bring back socialism?’ ‘That’s what we are doing, sir’ Miliband replied, quick as a flash. ‘That’s what we are doing. It says on our party card: democratic socialism’. It was being filmed, and your baristas at Coffee House have tracked down the clip as an exclusive. This little exchange will perhaps tell you more about Ed Miliband and his agenda than much of the over-wrought character-spinning stunts you can expect to see this week.

It was no slip of the tongue. Miliband’s fidelity to socialism is explained by his definition of it – as he says on the clip. He seems to regard ‘socialism’ as synonymous with justice, and ‘capitalism’ with injustice. When interviewed in the Daily Telegraph by Charles Moore this time last year, he put it thusly:

‘Isn’t the great lesson from his parents’ that socialism was a god that failed? ‘No!’, exclaims Ed Miliband vehemently, because socialism is not a rigid economic doctrine, but ‘a set of values’ It is ‘a tale that never ends’. Indeed, the strange fact is that ‘While there’s capitalism, there’ll be socialism, because there is always a response to injustice.’

[Alt-Text]


Miliband’s father, Ralph, was made famous by his book Parliamentary Socialism. His 1993 book, Socialism for a Sceptical Age, was about the continued relevance of socialism in a post-communist world. Ed Miliband has said that the final few sentences of this book are his favourites of all his father’s work:

‘In all the countries there are people in numbers large and small who are moved by the vision of a new social order in which democracy, egalitarianism and co-operation – the essential values of socialism – would be the prevailing values of social organization. It is in the growth of their numbers and in the success of their struggles that lies the best hope for mankind.’

Miliband considered his father too ‘dogmatic and sectarian’ on many things, but appeared to agree with them on this. And personally, I’m all in favour. There is a long history of British socialism, which Ralph Miliband did much to document.

Many in the Labour Party recoil from the s-word (Rachel Reeves did this morning), but “The Leader” (as he asks his aides to call him) makes no bones out it in conversation. Many of his enemies say he has no principles at all: this is flatly untrue. For all his faults, Miliband does not lack ideological direction. It’s pretty clear that Ed Miliband regards himself as the man who’ll bring socialism back to Downing St.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close