UK politics is always interesting. This I find amusing and great fun. Especially since it is a fight between two parties neither of whom commands my very great respect.
The Daily Mail’s coverage of Ed Miliband’s father and his Marxism as that of a man who hated Britain is getting much coverage in the UK’s press and radio. The BBC radio news coverage – which I generally have on in the background – spent many minutes on the subject. I am just listening to “Red” Ken Livingstone defending both the Milibands but he is a little incoherent. He admitted that Miliband Jr. must have got his values from his father. But Pater Miliband, it seems, must be excused his Marxist views because he was just an academic. Ken doesn’t like the Daily Mail at all – since they once offered his former wife £10,000 for her story – which they would write. But even he was not very scathing about the Mail’s coverage!!
Ed Miliband has already earned the title of “Red” Miliband after his play last week threatening to regulate energy prices. He is also known to be an ardent supporter of regulation of the press. This is not of course full-blown Marxism but such plays are not inconsistent with being a budding Marxist. He cannot repudiate being labelled “Red” since he is courting the left wing of the Trade Unions but he would prefer not to have the word as a title. ( Red Arthur Scargill and Red Ken being examples to avoid). But he is now caught in a tough place. His every defence of his father – which is politically necessary to demonstrate his family values – takes him closer to being labelled a Marxist.
Red Miliband’s lurch to the Left is a rejection of Blairism and New Labour – and that is probably to his electoral advantage. Not on grounds of ideology but for the contempt that Blair now arouses. But if he is seen to be returning to Harold Wilson’s “bend with the wind” brand of socialism it will not be to his advantage. And if he is seen to be a closet Marxist then he could blow his chances at the next election.
There are some opinions that the whole circus is to Red Miliband’s advantage. I am not so sure. It seems to me that he is now caught between being labelled “Red” or being labelled a Marxist and neither is good for his electoral chances.
Even more amusing is that even the Labour press (the Mirror and to some extent the Guardian and the BBC) are rather full of support for Ed Miliband but rather muted in their criticism of the Daily Mail. They don’t like Miliband’s views on Press Regulation.