[Marxism] Ralph Miliband
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 2 11:56:09 MST 2004
(Reading this carefully, one might conclude that it is not so odd that
Ralph Miliband's sons are leading Blairites.)
In the house of the rising sons
Ralph Miliband was one of the most charismatic and influential
socialists of his generation. His sons David and Ed are stars of New
Labour. Is theirs the story of the British left? Andy Beckett reports
Read In the house of the rising sons part two
Saturday February 28, 2004
Near the centre of Hull, in a long, slightly gloomy house with not many
decorations other than books in double rows on metal shelves, there
lives a watchful old socialist called John Saville. He is 87. He has
been a member of the Communist party, a target for MI5, and a critic of
the Labour party for longer than Tony Blair has been alive.
Yet now and again, Saville receives an unlikely visitor. "David's
dropped in on his way to his constituency a couple of times," says
Saville casually, sitting in his study with a polemic, On The Mass
Bombing Of Iraq, resting against his chair. "David" is David Miliband:
Blair's head of policy from 1994 until 2001, now an MP, school standards
minister and, according to plenty of political forecasters, a possible
future prime minister.
Miliband is 38, almost half a century younger than Saville, and, on the
surface at least, a more orthodox New Labour figure would be hard to
imagine. For his increasingly frequent media appearances, Miliband
favours pinstriped suits, American-sized smiles and fluent Blairite
jargon. Saville wears cardigans. It is impossible not to wonder what
they talk about. "I do not, in fact, quiz David about his politics,"
says Saville. He gives an intriguing explanation for this unexpected
restraint towards a New Labour politician: he considers himself "a close
member of the Miliband family".
Behind this remark lies a whole lost continent of political history.
From the early 1960s until the early 90s, working from the same
overflowing study in which he sits now, Saville edited one of the
foremost English language journals of the international left, the
Socialist Register. His more famous fellow editor was David Miliband's
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