While the debate rages as to whether Mil The Younger was best advised to go into battle against the diktats of the Daily Mail and its legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre, one part of the row, Miliband’s father Ralph, is in danger of having his work misrepresented as the Mail attempts to lump together anything to the left of itself as part of some great Stalinist conspiracy.
What's f***ing wrong with smearing dead lefties, c***?!?
And that would be to do Miliband père a disservice: although there were those who were prepared to turn a blind eye to the excesses of Josef Stalin, he was not one of them, and we know this because the Maily Telegraph, demonstrating that it really was once a paper of record, has made available its obituary from 1994. The contrast between this and the Mail’s rantings could not be more stark.
“Professor Ralph Miliband, who has died aged 70, was an inspiring teacher of politics and an internationally renowned figure of the British Left. Though committed to socialism, he never hesitated to criticise its distortion by Stalin and other dictators ... The ideal he sought was a democratic and open Marxism” the Telegraph obit began. Now let’s look at the Mail’s take.
“It is all too easy today to forget that Marxism supplied the philosophical underpinning to a monstrously evil regime. Under Stalin’s Communism, countless millions were murdered, tortured, starved to death, executed or sent to endure a sub-human existence in the gulags. The arts, newspapers — justice itself — were ruthlessly controlled by the commissars. Freedom of expression was purged”.
Meanwhile, deep within the bowels of Northcliffe House ...
Dacre, even if he did not write those words, certainly approved them. The rant continues by labelling Ralph Miliband as a “useful idiot”, which in this context means an apologist for Stalin. That the Daily Mail’s editor could not tell the difference between the stance of Miliband père and that of the Soviet Union of the 1930s is not a credible idea: this is a deliberate distortion just to get at the son.
The Tel obit also tells “Miliband was never a cloistered academic. From 1964 he edited the annual Socialist Register. An entertaining and witty speaker, Miliband was able to stimulate debate as well as to clarify complex ideas. He was in demand throughout the world, especially in North America. A man of great warmth and generosity, Miliband was endowed with an infectious sense of humour”.
And that is where Paul Dacre cannot compete: the Mail’s editor is, by contrast, a cold, calculating, humourless, tediously boring, bullying lump of boiling, raging anger whose generosity extends only to those who will afford him total, unquestioning and cowering loyalty in exchange. He is in demand only by those who want to make money out of the Daily Mail, and who do not question their editor’s morals.
Paul Dacre would not have reached up to Ralph Miliband’s ankles. The end.