How David Horowitz Revealed the Truth about Ralph Miliband’s Legacy

What it should teach the British Left.

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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.’"

 Ed Miliband’s father, the story continues, was a full-throated Marxist, committed to nationalization and harsh socialist policies. Levy paints the senior Miliband as a man who hated the country he adopted as his own when he sought refuge from Nazi Germany, a man who was critical of the Soviet Union but still believed it was socialist, and who thought Gorbachev had successfully “democratized” Soviet society. Nothing had changed in his belief system, he wrote, since the time when as a young man, he made the pilgrimage to Karl Marx’s grave in 1940, when he wrote that “I remember standing in front of the grave, fist clenched, and swearing my own private oath that I would be faithful to the workers’ cause’”. Now Miliband is buried in a grave 12 short yards from Marx’s grave, and his tombstone bares the inscription “Writer Teacher Socialist.” He had dedicated his life, he wrote near the end of his life, to realizing the socialist dream, and preparing the ground for “such an alternative.” With Ed as Prime Minister, Levy concludes, “perhaps that ground is indeed now being prepared.”

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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