Superb Ian Aitken article on the Ralph Miliband/Mail controversy

Chemnitz - Marx MonumentIan Aitken in the Guardian has written a superb article on the Ralph Miliband/Mail affair. You can read it in full here. One thing I am very pleased about, is that the article kills the myth that Marxism and the Soviet Union were one and the same thing.

Here are some quotes from the article to tempt you:

(The Mail) seems to believe that anything less than a certificated enthusiasm for the Queen, the Brigade of Guards and the Church of England disqualifies one as a genuine patriot.

It finishes brilliantly as follows:

…the idea that being a Marxist, whether consciously or unconsciously, makes you a de facto traitor is both absurd and outrageous. No one at Clements’s table supported the Soviet version of Marxism, and Ralph Miliband was the most eloquent among us in denouncing it as a distortion of true Marxist teaching. He believed passionately in the good old British values of tolerance and generosity, from which he had benefited.

Yet those, of course, are precisely the values that the Daily Mail rejects, not only in the case of Ralph and Ed Miliband, but in its overall coverage. Its aim is a strange one: each morning it wants to enrage its readers about some feature of contemporary British life, such as a judge being over-lenient with a criminal, a hospital messing up an operation, or too many crooked Romanians getting through our borders.

The message is: there you are, that’s what Britain is like these days, isn’t it awful? So we can deduce that the Britain the Daily Mail is loyal to is not contemporary Britain but a legendary Britain of some golden age in the distant past, when everything was shipshape and Bristol fashion and Oswald Mosley was firmly in charge. If anyone hates contemporary Britain, it is the Daily Mail.

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One thought on “Superb Ian Aitken article on the Ralph Miliband/Mail controversy

  1. Ian Aitken wrote, “the idea that being a Marxist … makes you a de facto traitor is both absurd and outrageous. No one at Clements’s table supported the Soviet version of Marxism …” Surely this implies that anyone who supported the Soviet version of Marxism was indeed a traitor. This is just as much a smear against Marxists as anything that the Daily Mail wrote.

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