It doesn’t matter how much Ed Miliband’s lip quivers, his dad was, as The Daily Mail suggested, a far left wing intellectual whose gratitude to the country which took him in extended only to wishing it might be dismantled, root and branch. That Ralph Miliband was also an urbane north London émigré does not alter, either, the fact that he was, like so many academics, seduced by Marxism.
Our universities are virtually the only places in the civilised world where this absurd and discredited creed continues to prosper; much of it today is simply attitudinalising nonsense; when Miliband began his work, under the tutelage of the horrible Harold Laski, it was a potent threat to our way of life.
Some of Geoffrey Levy’s hatchet job on Ed’s dad was thin gruel: I do not blame the bloke for moaning about how nationalistic the Brits were when he first arrived. We probably were. And it is true that while he was a Marxist, he resisted the siren call of the vile CPGB, which is to his credit. I’m sure he was also a lovely dad and held dinner parties every bit as agreeable as those now hosted by his son.
But his political beliefs, and springing from those his dislike of Great Britain, suggests to me that Levy’s piece was largely justified and it will be interesting to see if Ed disowns the revolutionary element of his dad’s socialism with as much vehemence as he has defended his reputation.