For the benefit of my foreign readers let me explain that The Mail printed an article on Saturday by Geoffrey Levy, one of its regular commentators, on the subject of Ed Miliband's father. In it, Levy accused Miliband snr. of hating Britain. Miliband jnr., understandably but stupidly, threw a public hissy-fit and demanded a right of reply which was granted today. In its own defence, The Mail supported Levy's attack and their right to print it.
I suppose the first question that comes to mind is why The Mail would even bother putting the boot into a man who died 20-odd years ago. But as they point out, Miliband snr, was not an ordinary man; he was from his earliest years a devout Marxist and his entire adult life in academia was spent in a passionate advocacy for and on behalf of revolutionary Marxism. Both of his sons were welcomed at the table of the many Miliband dinner parties at which their father and his cronies and allies discussed the fluctuating possibilities for extreme Left-wing revolution. It is now generally reckoned that both sons lapped up the essence of the arguments although David, when he 'grew up', began to distance himself. Ed, by all accounts, did somewhat similarly but only slightly by comparison. It seems totally reasonable to me for The Mail to dig into the history of a man who was a seminal influence on his son who is close to achieving the premiership of our country. Here is part of their reason in their own words:
How can Ralph Miliband’s vision be declared out of bounds for public discussion — particularly since he spent his entire life attempting to convert the impressionable young to his poisonous creed?
Indeed, his son’s own Marxist values can be seen all too clearly in his plans for state seizures of private land held by builders and for fixing energy prices by
More chillingly, the father’s disdain for freedom of expression can be seen in his
son’s determination to place the British Press under statutory control.
I notice that Miliband jnr. does not take exception to any accusations that his father was a revolutionary Marxist, he only objects to The Mail suggesting that his father 'hated Britain and the British'. But surely, if throughout your adult life you advocate the overthrow and destruction of all the institutions that have grown up in Britain over the centuries, that is more than just prima facie evidence that you detest all that you see about you. In the end, Miliband snr. even grew to detest the Labour party for its perceived ineffectuality.
It is true that Miliband snr. did not join the Communist Party, rather tellingly, he preferred to keep inventing small agit-prop groups on the extreme Left not least, I suppose, because he would then be 'Top Commissar'! Even so, for an educated man who lived through the melancholy history of 20th century Europe and who was privy, thanks to living in a free country like Britain, to the monstrosities and perversions of Marxism in action in Russia, not to even question the possibility that Marxism was an evil creed, is damning beyond anything The Mail can say about him.
Miliband snr. was then and remains today a fair political target, and if the likes of 'The Graun' and The New Statesman starting weeping their crocodile tears into the very fine clarets they usually drink, then just pause, and ask yourself what they would be writing if Cameron's old pater had once been a member of the National Front. Somehow, I doubt that finer family feelings would stand in their way!