You may not know the name Ralph Miliband, but by now, the late Marxist professor is a household name in the UK. He was the father of the Labor Party’s leader and possible future PM, Ed Miliband. When the conservative Daily Mail ran a story about the father’s influence on his son, the controversy began.
It started with an Oct.1 story by Geoffrey Levy, in which the journalist wrote that young Ed wants nothing less than to fulfill his father’s dreams, and return England from the legacy left by Margaret Thatcher to a new 21st Century socialism. “Ed is now determined to bring about that vision,” Levy writes. “How proud Ralph would have been to hear him responding the other day to a man in the street who asked when he was ‘going to bring back socialism’ with the words: ‘That’s what we are doing, sir.’”
That one article began the fierce war of words. Ed Miliband told the press that he found the story “appalling,” and “responded by accusing the paper of peddling “a lie” and trying to ‘besmirch and undermine’ his dead father for political ends.” He wrote: “Fierce debate about politics does not justify character assassination of my father, questioning the patriotism of a man who risked his life for our country in the Second World War or publishing a picture of his gravestone with a tasteless pun about him being a ‘grave socialist’”.
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