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.’

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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.

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Show comments
  • Michael England

    Will Jeremy Corbyn introduce a maximum time you can be kicked out of a social group for

  • BAAS

    Picking your masters every five years is not “democracy”, the UK is about as far from a true democracy as possible, all that is needed is negative rights protected from “Tyranny of the Majority” and direct democracy and the removal of so called “postive rights”. You cannot have a free society with aggression and “Positive” rights. Socialism cannot work because it can not, and will not protect natural rights and individual freedom. If anything it’s the borg, what is yours (your property, your self-ownership) is not yours, it’s mine, it’s “Ours”. Disgusting.

  • judyk113

    Why is the editor of The Spectator “all in favour” of socialism? As defined in the euphemisms used by Ed Miliband, “a new social order in which democracy, egalitarianism and co-operation” are “the prevailing values of social organisation”. That means state control, collectivist solutions, particularly following the party lines of trade unions and taxation policies aimed at ensuring that no one except NHS and union barons earns more than the Labour Party inheritance millionaires think they should. Remember 1945-50? That was when those ideologies were last put into practice in the UK. That worked out brilliantly, didn’t it? As did those more recent wonderful attempts to revive socialist nostrums for failing businesses through such projects as the Triumph Meriden collective. What a wonderful thing ideological direction combined with political amnesia is.

  • Smithersjones2013

    When it comes to the “S” word, Winston knows best…….

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
    The creed of ignorance,
    The gospel of envy,
    It’s inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..”

    — Winston Churchill

  • Jonathan Bradshaw

    Problem is, if you vote for these people, they end up getting elected. It’ll be better in the long run if we all just stop voting and let democracy fizzle out.

  • Adrian Wainer

    Labour are not interested in supporting socialism they are interested in supporting turbo-Capitalist approved Islamist friendly leftist Fascism which means that the difference between Millipede’s Labour and the Cameron Clegg Coalition is a fictional constriction necessary to support the Potemkin claimed three party system when in reality there is one single party LibLabCon.

    http://thedailyagenda.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/looting.jpg

  • roger

    Bring back socialism? Is that 1976 (Callaghan) socialism or real 1949 (Attlee) socialism , don’t ever try to count the 1997 government.

  • zakisbak

    Bollinger socialism shurely?

    Come the real revolution,Ed,Hattie,Margaret et al will be in the fields,awaiting their bowl of grain.

  • allymax bruce

    Fraser, what Ed Miliband calls Socialism, is what is normally recognised as Marxism; absolute example being the way Labour have eroded the worth & importance of the Trade Unions. From Bliars Labour clause 4, to Milibands Labour opt-in policies; both essentially degenerating the worth & importance of our trade unions! That’s not Socialism, that’s Marxism; and it’s purposeful, planned, and dedicated Labour Party policy; regardless of whoever is the Labour Party leader! Why? Because The Labour Party, is a corporate political cog, in an International Marxist conglomerate machine! A conglomerate of political party’s, institutional bureaucracies, capitalist financial institutions, and its all-so-necessary military industrial complex; this is the ‘one world government’. This is what Marxism is. And Ed Miliband knows it. Ed wants give it a veneer of friendly connotations, by calling it Socialism, but it’s really Marxism. Karl Marx, is the biggest Marxist, that will ever be; he knew how to cast darkness over light, misinformation over information, fear over truth, and lies over common sense; why is it all Labour’s policies sound social, beneficial, & ‘egalitarian’, (Immigration, Equality, Economy, Education, just a few of many many disasterous policies), all turn out to fail? To actually be Counterproductive (all rights reserved), and worse than failed, but degenerating & and deleterious to the point ‘Britain’, has become a ‘Political Patient’ (all rights reserved), that is slowly being sacrificed for the benefit of corporate gain? That’s Marxism as we know it; where the ‘workers of the world unite’, so they are the Marxist proletariat, that are funnelled to be communists, of whom are guided to a petit – bourgeois hierarchy; all controlled by those in the Party, the doors who confiscated all the workers property, and gave it all to themselves! This is what Marx had written when writing his Manifesto for the Communist Party; it wasn’t a set of ideals &policies, bar, it was an agenda

  • Iain Hill

    Sounds good to me! But will anyone in the clapped out Labour party follow him?

  • wqdhjrehrtt5

    If Labour get in they will destroy the country…. again!

    Sign petition for UKIP to participate in the 2015 TV General
    Election Debates, 22,000 have already signed

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  • rtj1211

    Well, I was brought up by a 1945 socialist who was so socialist in his own life that he marched into his own boarding school headmaster’s study as a boy to rant about what the head was doing wrong. He wondered for years why he hadn’t been made Head Boy…..and forever thought the Head hated him for sending him to Bristol instead of off to war. A fine judgement of character that……

    He climbed the greasy pole in teaching and bought himself a 4 bedroom mansion in Devon by his mid 40s. Not content with that, he determined to climb an even greasier pole in London to the extent that he can have 5 short breaks/holidays a year, two overseas, run a nice 4 bed house with generous garden in London and whinges about ‘money being short’ when he wouldn’t know any more than Boris Johnson about that concept.

    Sound like a Tory to you?

    For himself, perhaps. His socialism was in demanding to control other people’s lives. Always knew best. Didn’t a lot of the time. When challenged, became defensive, thuggish, sneering and played the ‘this was my position in life’ instead of answering questions.

    The definition of a socialist is ‘I know what’s best for you’. The definition of a Tory is ‘we will support you as you grow in life’, at least for family.

    You test what someone is by following your own path, particularly if it is not theirs. If they define support by no warm words, not a penny spent on support, deliberate scare stories to try and stop you doing something, well then you define them as a socialist. If they accept your decision, support it but expect you to behave responsibly, well then they’re probably a Tory.

    You test someone by trying one of their ideas out and realising that it’s not for you. If you say you don’t want to do it, a socialist will tell you how stupid you are, because you are threatening their fantasies which they have projected onto you. If they are a Tory, they say: ‘why don’t you want to?’ or ‘Try it for another 3 months, if you still feel the same way, then fine, stop.’ They might well try and work out why you’re not enjoying it and overcome it. But a socialist just knows best and that’s the end of the argument.

    You test someone by seeing how they react to your life going wrong. If they let you half starve and then say ‘you’re throwing away your career if you give up now’, you learn that your health is less important than their fantasy. That’s the sort of thing that, would, if it concerned a child, alert social services. If it’s a 23 year old, well then the world does nothing. Socialists are very, very interested in status you know. Preening, self-serving vanity in lots of them.

    You test someone by seeing if they can be supportive emotionally after you have done that for them first. If they can’t, then the delusion that they can ‘choose’ you a wife is really rather pathetic. Advice on relationships only carries weight if an emotional bond has been built up over time. No-one accepts advice from a sneering bully who says someone is a sexual failure whilst they bring their lover into the family home, do they??

    All those things I’ve described came from a socialist.

    Forgive me for my allergy to socialism: it’s based on human beings who are revolting calling themselves socialists and trashing and sneering about any other system of government.

    ‘You’ll do what I tell you and I’ll destroy your life rather than let you do otherwise’.

    Is that parenting advice at the local Labour Club??

    If it were, it was acted out very well.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    New Labour, those wonderful people that brought you multiculturalism through mass immigration from third-world Islamic country, and in the process literally destroyed Britain at the social and cultural levels. Labour`s self-serving motivation was literally to import their own voters, which is why they were in such a hurry to grant citizenship and the right to vote in UK elections. Keep this is mind when the times comes to vote at the next General Election.
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • Fergus Pickering

    It’s not principles we want. Hitler had principles. They are two a penny. It’s policies and a bit of bloody sense. Just keep on te way you’re going, Ed. You’re Labour’s answer to IDS as leadership material. But the Tories got rid of IDS as leader. Labour are stuck with Wallace.

    • pdhan

      For some reason I can’t both like & dislike your comment:
      “It’s not principles we want” – spot on. As for “leadership” though I really don’t care if Miliband is seen as a natural or strong leader, it’s – like you say – “policies and a bit of bloody sense” that matters. I think he has both.

  • Robbins Mitchell

    So Eddie is still worshiping at the Church of Karl Marx’s Dick,is he?….wonder if he swallows the sacrament

  • HJ777

    Ed Miliband really is quite remarkable, if only for one thing. Vacuity.

    How is it possible for one person to demonstrate it to such a degree?

    Has anyone ever heard him say anything insightful or interesting?

    • David Lindsay

      This whole post is predicated on the answer to that being yes.

      Too much to expect you to have read it, of course.

  • Russell

    Socialism can’t be brought back to Downing Street, it has been present for at least the last 16 years, and only started to take hold when Mrs Thatcher was stabbed in the back by her own Ministers.

  • lgrundy

    “The Leader” (as he asks his aides to call him)
    Perhaps he’s more National Socialist than he realises.

    • David Lindsay

      Bless.

      I know that Tories use “intellectual” as a term of abuse and call themselves “the Stupid Party”, but there does have to be some limit.

  • global city

    Milliband is a fully fledged corporatist and internationalist.

    he has often said he respected his Father’s work. How can you do that unless you are at the very least a psuedo Marxist?

    • David Lindsay

      Ask the corporations and the global interventionists if he is a corporatist or, in the sense that you mean, an internationalist.

  • Curnonsky

    The essential values of socialism: “democracy” (we decide what’s best for you), “egalitarianism” (but some animals are more equal than others), and “cooperation” (do as you’re told).

    • David Lindsay

      You are the most mediocre Sixth Former whom I have ever encountered.

      Are you in the Cabinet?

      • Curnonsky

        Spend a lot of time with schoolboys, do you?

        • David Lindsay

          No, that’s why I find you so tiresome.

          • tastemylogos

            you now how the rest of us feel now, lindsey luv.

            • David Lindsay

              It’s Lindsay Love. And yes, you do all feel it.

              • tastemylogos

                this is a nice surprise, lindsey, luv. your recognition of the extent to which your bizarre attempts at sophistry in the face of facts is tiresome for the rest of us, is a good start.

                keep it up, lindsey, luv… next step… read a book. you may not have to cry yourself to sleep for much longer!

                • treborc1

                  socialism and Atos do not seem to go together,

        • tastemylogos

          HA touche!

      • Smithersjones2013

        What jealous of his maturity are you? How’s Kindergarten these days?

      • BAAS

        When a socialist is backed into a corner they often use personal attacks, typical simple minded socialist, so petty and tiny. Socialism is the biggest threat to human liberty in the modern era.

    • Michael England

      Will Ed Miliband introduce a maximum time you can be kicked out of a social group for.

  • Redrose82

    What is a socialist?
    He that is willing
    To put in his penny
    And take out my shilling.

    • David Lindsay

      That’s original.

      • Redrose82

        It may not be original but it is nevertheless apposite

    • dalai guevara

      pay your taxes Googlebucks,
      the state owes you
      nothing

      • Daniel Maris

        Yep Google et al want us to pay for teaching up all the graduates that they use, building the airports their executives fly into, constructing high speed rail connections for them, and paying for the housing for the low pay cleaners brought in from other countries who clean their offices.

        • dalai guevara

          I am so glad you finally list by order of severity.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          You socialists want to pay that cost, lad. It gives you a socialist army of academics, which is what you NSDAPers always crave.

          It’s always a requirement for you to have an army of brown shi…… er… that is… beshirted folks to do what’s necessary out in the (father)land.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …then why have you continually got your snout stuck into the trough, laddie?

        • dalai guevara

          Oh look, the socialist tovarishch has turned up.
          Too late vicedude, alea iacta est.
          My top rated comment is a homage to gin/vodka drinking, but you already knew that.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I think we already know that your snout is stuffed into the public trough, like all socialists.

  • Andy

    Socialism = Fascism.

    • dalai guevara

      Leucotomy = Liberation from Thinking

    • David Lindsay

      That’s original.

      • Andy

        Unlike you.

        • David Lindsay

          As is that.

          • global city

            a hat trick of witty replies…. have an apple!

      • global city

        it is also true

        • David Lindsay

          And again.

      • telemackus

        It is not original but true. We national socialists have the roots of our philosophy and actions in the words and deeds of our Italian and Austrian heroes of the 30s. One only has to look at the words and deeds of McBride, Balls and Brown to see how the legacy was continued, and your words to see how it lives today on these pages.

  • HookesLaw

    There is nothing exclusive about this. Miliband is a socialist. The trade union vote got him his job. Kinnock got his party back.
    UKIP would put him in power.

    • Noa

      Incorrect. Cameron will put him in power.

    • David Lindsay

      They are assuming (as are you) that it is the scare word that, like “liberal”, it is in America. But we are not in America. The British Right, which used to be in no doubt whatever that we were most certainly not in America, no longer has any concept of that fact, and now assumes American cultural norms which do not apply here. For example, this.

      • Noa

        Socialism (n)
        A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
        -policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
        -(in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism”.
        The meaning of socialism is clear. However, in the absence of any meaningful production in the UK, that ‘ownership or regulation’ has been extended from its comparatively recent hold in the public sector, through benefits claiments and immigrants, by the control and taxation of the private sector, in opposition to the operation of the
        economic market.

        • David Lindsay

          political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole

          Which in theory is what we have had in Britain since time immemorial.

          • Noa

            Not so. Ownership by the individual and latterly shareholder ownership has been the de facto basis of UK prosperity, causing Marx to develop his theory of Capital.

            Labour (and Conservative) experiments in nationalisation and central control have invariably been disastrous.

            • David Lindsay

              Not at all, and that was not what you said.

              They have been a roaring success. With wholesale fuel prices having stayed the same but retail energy prices still about to be put up by another 10 per cent after a winter in which two thirds – two thirds – of the population felt the need to turn the heating down or off purely in order to save money, everyone can now see that the alternative was and is nothing but a scam.

              And then there are the railways. Next up, the postal service.

              • Noa

                The UK’s remaining public assets comprise the NHS, education and benefits industries, and include both the workers and their patients, students and claiments. Unfortunately none of these generates a return on the taxes invested in them and not surprisingly the private sector, which is taxed to pay for them, has generally relocated outside the UK.
                Market economics is politically neutral. Both the excessive costs of public assets and the loss of tax revenue to pay for them, is due both to state interference and control and to incompetent divestment. Though the Conservatives failed to protect de-nationalised utilities by retaining a golden share, both the labour government of Blair and Brown and its Coalition clone, have been particularly incompetent in failing to retain and exercise an effective pubic interest in their sale and control.

                • David Lindsay

                  Unfortunately none of these generates a return on the taxes invested in them

                  I think you’ll find that they do. Try going without them.

                  Market economics is politically neutral

                  Absolute rubbish. The existence of political opposition to it proves that. That political opposition’s existence, simply in itself, means that what you say cannot be true.

                  But the Right always pretends to be somehow outside or above politics. Look at the way that it imagines, for example, roads to be naturally occurring phenomena like the moon, but it has no such fantasy about railways.

                  Across the full range of policy areas, examples of this sloppy thinking abound on the Right. Indicating just how far from political neutrality the overarching and undergirding economic system is.

                  I agree with you about the privatised industries, but you are really making the case against privatisation itself. In a “free” market, there cannot be a government golden share in a private company.

                • Noa

                  Not so, David.
                  The public services generate no money and so provide no return. Those who work in the private sector are taxed to pay for them. If they cannot be taxed sufficiently the government borrows on the strength of the future earnings and/or debauches the currency to continue paying the bills.
                  And market economics are (politically) neutral. It is political intervention that renders purely economic decisions financially and artificially viable; the consumer funded subsidies for solar electricity, rendering it feasible if not economical are a classic example. If failing national industries, such as the Railways, had not been nationalised and their excess costs over revenues transferred to the taxpayer, they would have gone bankrupt and ceased to function.
                  And of course it is the government which should retain a ‘golden share’ in de-nationalised industries to protect the public interest against adverse sale or disposal.

                • David Lindsay

                  The public services generate no money and so provide no return.

                  Where does one even begin?

                  And of course it is the government which should retain a ‘golden share’ in de-nationalised industries to protect the public interest against adverse sale or disposal.

                  Thereby negating everything else that you said.

                • Noa

                  Don’t be facile David. There is no contradiction.

                  The foreign disposal of key assets, for example in Defence and energy, whether they are in public or private ownership is a matter of public interest and so subject to state regulation control. It matters not whether the asset in question is being disposed off by the government itself or by the private sector.
                  However in the case of government disposal it is acting on its own behalf and not as a third party.

                • dalai guevara

                  Noa, let’s keep it really simple.

                  You run a public sector of whatever size.
                  You privatise essential public services, even when no competition can be expected.
                  Who wins?

                • Noa

                  Define and justify ‘essential’ public services.
                  Until the 20th century these would have been limited to the armed forces, Customs and Excise and the Revenue.

                • dalai guevara

                  Services that facilitate social mobility, a warm home, clean drinking water. There is nothing to “justify”.
                  When no competition can be facilitated, there is no reason to privatise anything. Or hang on, I can play this game: what reason could there be? Justify it.

                  nb. the Swiss armed forces were always for hire, historically.

                • Noa

                  ‘social mobility’? A meaningless term.
                  A cough treated by an NHS GP provides no mobility. Public sector workers, like yhose in the private sector are required to justify their existance. A binman performs an essential public service, a diversity officer does not. Both have a moral and charitable obligation to reasonably assist the poor, but not an inlimited and unfundable obligation. The poor also have a duty to help themselves.
                  Essential services are always limited to what is affordable, which is what a nation can earn and borrow, even in the maddest of socialist central economies.

                • dalai guevara

                  you are off on a tangent, if I dare to point this out.

                  A rail ticket is a rail ticket. It needs to be paid for. In Britain the commuter funds the privatised space program of a virgin. Only in Britain.
                  Why is that a meaningless term?
                  I look into my wallet and do not find it “meaningless” at all.

            • Daniel Maris

              Always disastrous? Like the Conservative Joseph Chamberlain’s municipalisation of gas for instance? Or the nationalisation of Rolls Royce – happily still with us as a result? Or the nationalisation of central electricity generation? Or the nationalisation of coal, which saw productivity increase hugely? Or the nationalisaiton of the Bank of England? Would you prefer that to have remained a private company?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …you NSDAPers would prefer that nothing remains a private company.

                And this particular discussion is dominated by this site’s resident NSDAPers, if you notice.

              • Noa

                I didn’t say Always disastrous’, you numpty, so stop trying to twist my words to suit your argument.
                The Chamberlain ‘consensus’ nationalisation programme of industry and the utilities was a national disaster, introducing state regulation, incompetence and control and bankrupting the country over a thirty year period. Until the Conservative denationalistion programme restored some sanity to industry and finances. Rolls Royce? Essentially viable, government rescue saved a strategic industrial capability and subsequently returned it to the private sector.
                As to the Bof E, do you really think its lack of answerability to any body except the Governor and Chancellor is good and desirable?

    • ButcombeMan

      Cameron as Tory leader is what will put him back in power.

      Cameron is not a Conservative.

      • David Lindsay

        Oh, we are getting the entire Greatest Hits tonight.

        The City certainly hasn’t run out of other people’s money. We are now flogging off absolutely everything, even the Royal Mail, in order to prevent that from happening.

      • HookesLaw

        don’t talk rubbish
        Your idea of a conservative is someone who wears a white bed sheet over his head

        • NotYouNotSure

          You label anyone right of Trotsky as a right wing nut. I don’t know how left wingers such as you can get to define who is conservative. Personality cults are sure sign of socialist leanings, and your pathological loyalty to all things Cameron are as bad as they can get.

  • Noa

    “…When will you bring back socialism?’ ‘That’s what we are doing, sir’ Miliband replied, quick as a flash…”
    Polite though deferential. Not really socialist at all.
    Miliband Senior would have rightly reproved his offspring for not using the proper term epithet of Comrade.

  • Colonel Mustard

    It’s a real shame for Miliband and the other British soviets that wherever socialism has prevailed it has resulted in much misery and the deaths of innocents rather than “democracy, egalitarianism and co-operation”. The only ones who benefit are the socialist political elite, the nomenclatura, who rather than checking their privilege pursue its expansion to the great disadvantage of the poor ordinary saps.

    But you are correct to highlight the ‘moral movement’ stance that British socialists adopt (q.v. telemachus). Utterly bogus and totally refuted by history of course. That doesn’t stop the bastards because they just re-write history, airbrush out their crimes and continue their subversive campaigns against dissent and democracy.

    They are the Borg and resistance probably is futile but no-one should be under any illusion about what their vision will ultimately lead to. There are plenty of pointers already.

    • pdhan

      Sorry but you have to be pretty ignorant to believe that Miliband wants to introduce some sort of Soviet style “socialism” to the UK. He talks about “democratic socialism” – a clear reference to the type of welfare state that exists in Scandinavia and have given these countries top rankings in pretty much all global indices measuring quality of life, gender equality, life expectancy, child rearing, freedom of press etc.

      • Smithersjones2013

        democratic socialism

        Putting aside your enormous and highly dubious leap that somehow that phrase referring to a political outlook somehow equates to the Scandinavian welfare state and putting aside that Scandinavian countries are less than one sixth of our size so trying to emulate them is absurd and suggesting we can is wholly dishonest, there in two words the Colonels argument is proven. There is no such thing. its a lie invented by Miliband to disguise the fact that he will continue the march back to oligarchy that has been happening since the late 1980’s. under all establishment parties.

        • pdhan

          Oh but the leap to infer that he wants to introduce Soviet style communism is not enormous and highly dubious?! A bit of sense of scale and common sense, please.

          Also, there’s no grounds to believe that Scandi style social democracy wouldn’t work in a larger country – why on earth not?

          • Lief_Kinhelm

            Socialism along with capitalisms addiction to mass-immigration will be the death of Europeans.

    • Liam Gibbons

      There were a bunch of socialist uprisings in the early 20th century, and literally the worst one was the only success. Marxism-Leninism is an abhorrent, authoritarian interpretation of Socialism; and unfortunately thanks to the USSR it’s what the average person thinks of when they hear ‘Socialism’.

  • David Lindsay

    Anyone who knows the Labour Party from the inside knows that that word means whatever the person speaking happens to think or like.

    Just as elsewhere, such as on this thread, it means whatever the person speaking happens to dislike. Even the Coalition’s austerity programme.

  • wycombewanderer

    Clear blue water at last.
    Glad that it’s been recorded for posterity, couldn’t he have stage managed a bigger crowd though? Daddies heroes Stalin and Kim would surely not approve!

  • telemachus

    Ralph Miliband wrote some bon mots very pertinent to today:

    *

    Ralph Miliband ridiculed Nascent New Labour’s vision of a domesticated and pacified capitalism. He understood that states and governments are never autonomous actors; their options are shaped, and often foreclosed, by the distribution of power and resources

    Miliband urged that the world had not changed as much as Nascent New Labour Revisionists imagined. Capitalism remained an unruly beast, and the idea that governments had learnt how to tame it was just an illusion

    We see Governments pushed about by Murdoch and the Multinationals

    Too right we need socialism

    • telemackus

      We remember Ralph teaching us all how to undermine the hated tories and bring a return to the progressive national socialism that went so badly wrong in 1936.

      • David Lindsay

        That is in exceptionally poor taste.

        • telemackus

          I disagree. National socialism is on the march again in the labour movement as it was in the 30s. To deny it is to deny the soul of the labour movement.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          How ironic. Admonitions on poor taste coming from the person who composed so many disgusting posts, most of which were thankfully removed by the moderators, following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

  • dalai guevara

    The inept and disorganised will forever waffle on about what they believe socialism is. In the meantime, the real socialists will continue socialising the losses.

    • David Lindsay

      In recent minutes, a fringe meeting at Brighton has given a rapturous reception to the Honourable Fabian Picardo, the utterly uncompromising Chief Minister of Gibraltar.

      And the utterly uncompromising Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. He is certainly not afraid of the S-word. (His party, by the way, was founded out of the old T&G, which is now part of Unite. It used to advocate, and still inclines towards, incorporation into the United Kingdom.)

      Personally, I now avoid that word if at all possible in this country. It gets in the way of discussing specific policies and strategies, and it only ever means whatever the person using it happens to want it to mean.

      But I’d still have someone from the GSLP at the top of Labour’s South West list for the Euros. What would the Tories, or UKIP, or fora such as this one, say to that? One for Ed Miliband’s speech. He can thank me later.

      • dalai guevara

        I now solely use it to expose
        socialists.
        It is so much fun, I can literally hear the gnashing of their teeth.

        • David Lindsay

          Except that they would tell you that, yes, of course that was what they were. This isn’t America. Tories used to understand and indeed celebrate that fact. When there were Tories. Before her.

          If you define any public spending whatever as Socialism The Scary Thing, then you really are on a hiding to nothing with the British, of all people. They tend to disapprove of each other’s, but heaven help you if you threaten to touch their own.

          • dalai guevara

            What did I come across today, in the pub, in the sun, read the paper:
            British private shareholdership in Thatcher’s days: 63%
            British private shareholdership 2010: 11.5%

            Oh dear oh dear. The people own NOTHING.

            • David Lindsay

              That’s privatisation for you. Public ownership is British ownership. Our utilities and our railways are now routinely in state ownership. Foreign state ownership. Thank you, Maggie.

              • dalai guevara

                Well, yes – the French, Norwegian, German, even the Russian state – they all love British business for what it has to offer.

                • David Lindsay

                  The chance to charge anything they like here, because they can, in order to keep prices low at home.

                  I don’t blame. It’s our own stupid fault.

                  Never mind “even Russian”. Saudi, Qatari and Chinese. Among others.

                • dalai guevara

                  Well, I have a particular interest in the mixing of vodka with the Gin. It’s a personal weakness, I admit.

                • David Lindsay

                  Even I would draw the line there.

                  But I might try this post’s author’s whisky and brandy combination. The Auld Alliance.

              • HJ777

                You’re clearly unaware that when Network Rail was created by Stephen Byers, it was effectively a re-nationalisation of the railway network.

                One that has cost us billions in increased subsidies and reduced productivity.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Democratic socialism hasn’t left Downing Street.
    Cameron is running a Continuity Blair administration and Osborne is running a Continuity Brown Treasury.

    • David Lindsay

      There you go.

      The only people who might once have been shocked by this are the people who think that we now have a Socialist government anyway, and presumably that we have had one ever since the Blessed Margaret left Downing Street.

      Only for bailed out bankers’ bonuses, have we. “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help,” indeed. But that is called capitalism, and apparently we couldn’t possibly function without it.

      They couldn’t, of course. And only they matter. If everyone else’s schools, hospitals, libraries, bus services and everything else have to go, then so be it.

      But even that is still “Socialism”, isn’t, Lady Mag? Course it is, luv. Course it is.

      • telemackus

        We progressive national socialists must support Ed in his time of need. Together we are strong as we used to say in Berlin.

        • David Lindsay

          And yet again.

          Eton sends between 90 and 100 boys to Oxbridge every year. How good can the ninety-fifth best Etonian in his year possibly be? Read this thread, and you will get your answer.

          • telemackus

            Eton will be the first to be nationalised under our national socialist leader Ed. We will bring outcasts like you back into the fold when you see how we goose step back into power.

            • David Lindsay

              I am many things, but I am not an outcast…

              • telemackus

                Read the responses to your posts here chum before saying that.

                • David Lindsay

                  Oh, I had assumed that you were referring to people who mattered.

                • telemackus

                  Look up the psychotic condition relating to those who must have the last word. It might shut you up for a bit, though I doubt it. Juvenile egotism and inadequacy amongst the symptoms.

                • David Lindsay

                  Ooohhh, I have stung you hard. Goody, goody gumdrops.

                  You already don’t matter, and you are technically supposed to be in office for another year and a half yet.

                  Councils, not only Labour ones, are already stopping the enforcement of the Bedroom Tax, on the grounds that it is now as good as abolished. Expect an awful lot more of that sort of thing.

                • telemackus

                  What are you babbling on about? I am a supporter of Ed and Ed and Yvette and look forward, like you, to a 1000 years of national socialist rule.

              • HJ777

                You’re not many things.

                You’re far too limited and have far too little experience to be ‘many things’.

                • David Lindsay

                  And again. Oh, this is fun. Normally, people have to have lost first. But we may look forward to a year and a half of sour grapes from people who are notionally still in charge, but not actually in charge of even the tiniest thing. Bliss.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                You are a nobody.

              • tastemylogos

                certainly intellectualuy so.

          • HJ777

            Academically speaking, pretty good.

            Eton is a very big school with over 200 boys in every year and entry is highly selective.

            Whether you believe in the merits of highly selective schools or in a supposed duopoly of ‘best’ universities (I don’t) is another matter.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Where did you go tom school, old felow? And did it stop you going to a good university?

            • telemackus

              From his Blog:

              Proprietor, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Lanchester Review since 2013. Majority Shareholder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Lanchester Press since 2013. Charity volunteer and administrator since 1994. Freelance journalist since 1996. Supply teacher and market research worker from 2002 until prevented by disability. Member of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham since 2006. Preventing the University of Durham’s undergraduates’ degrees from getting the way of their education since 2000. Elected Parish Councillor from the age of 21 until I stood down voluntarily in 2013. During that time, Lanchester was among the first in the country to secure power of wellbeing, power of general competence, and Quality Parish Council Status. At 21, I began eight years as a governor of a primary school which, at the time of my appointment, still had the same Headteacher as when I had been a pupil there. Three weeks short of 22, I found myself in the same position when I began eight years as a governor of a comprehensive school. Since May 2013, I have been a member of the Community Panel advising Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

              Mad as a box of frogs and thick with it.

        • David Lindsay

          Ed in his time of need

          That is certainly one way of describing a 14 to 17 per cent lead in the target seats.

          • telemackus

            The other psychosis you should look up is the constant repetition of insults or meaningless data to support a deep level of insecurity. Little children and insane inmates do it. You need to see a doctor chum.

            • David Lindsay

              I think that we can all see the insecurity here, although I wouldn’t accuse anything to do with you of depth.

              Neither you nor your daddy can sack or evict me, and that blows what little mind you have. How can such a person possibly exist?

    • HookesLaw

      No they are not.

      • Lady Magdalene

        OK ….. I will accept that they are spending even more. They are donating even more to the EU. They are borrowing even more and spraying it around in International Welfare.

        • HookesLaw

          Labour gave up part of the rebate
          Cameron obtained a cut in the budget
          Your spoutings remain rubbish

          • Lady Magdalene

            Cameron obtained a cut in the budget by agreeing to pay ‘sweeteners’ (another word for bribes) beforehand. And, although the budget had a miniscule cut, the British contribution increased.
            Are we supposed to celebrate this?

    • Smithersjones2013

      Cameron’s no democrat…..

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