Ralph Miliband on Labour’s last year in opposition

But that was in 1963, sixty years ago. Due to some personal reappraisals of my politics, I have been looking at the writing of Ralph Miliband and was pointed at an article he wrote in the run up to the 1964 election, called “If Labour wins”, republished in the New Left Review. I found it worth reading to observe the parallels between then and now. Wilson’s Labour were leading in the polls, the Tories had suffered the setbacks of Suez, and the Profumo affair and replaced a popular and powerful leader with a patrician land owner who was not even an MP arguable a stalemate choice between the then two leading Tory candidates.

This article contains a number of quotes from the article, as they speak for themselves, although of course I can’t help but comment. I have collected the quotes and comments into pieces on culture and comedy, economics, foreign affairs, corruption, campaigning and hope and the Labour left. … …

Nationalism and the class struggle

Nationalism and the class struggle

So many friends are considering leaving the Labour Party, for some it’s the lack of vision expressed by Starmer, for others it’s the rejection of Corbyn’s social democratic manifesto and for others it’s the collusion with the bullying bureaucracy. Others have a powerful political critique of how change happens in society and believe that the events of the last five years show that the Labour Party is not part of a better future. This has been said before by among others Ralph Miliband and so I was looking at his Wikipedia page to see which of his books was the critique of the “parliamentary road”.

There is a quote from his diary, in 1940, which today helps explain the forces behind Brexit,

The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world … When you hear the English talk of this war you sometimes almost want them to lose it to show them how things are. They have the greatest contempt for the continent in general and for the French in particular. They didn’t like the French before the defeat … Since the defeat, they have the greatest contempt for the French Army … England first. This slogan is taken for granted by the English people as a whole. To lose their empire would be the worst possible humiliation.

Ralph Miliband – from his diary via Wikipedia

Not much has changed it would seem. …

On (Ralph) Milibandism

After Ed Miliband’s speech to #lab13, the Daily Mail published an attack on him  through his father’s record, headlined  “The man who hated Britain”.  The ensuing fracas stimulated partly by Ed demanding a right of reply in the Mail is covered well by Tim Fenton at his Zelo Street blog and I point at a couple of articles below in this article’s postscript.  The Guardian in its high minded way decides to look at Ralph Miliband’s ideas to see if they could be called hateful. The article was written by Stuart Jeffries and the language is at times both highly colloquial and exceptionally direct. It’s this article that has led me to think about his ideas. …