The evolving Miliband-Mail saga is by turns fascinating, troubling and encouraging.
The saga is fascinating because it suggests that Miliband is properly getting under the skin of the political right. His Conference speech presented a very diluted form of social democracy. It represented a tentative departure from the neoliberal consensus that has prevailed for thirty years. Yet this has provoked a hysterical reaction. The speech was immediately denounced as socialism, or worse. Yet, that interpretation could only be sustained by distracting from what Miliband was actually saying. After all, earlier this year the IMF – that bastion of leftism – suggested that it might be a good idea for the UK to consider state interventions to bring land forward more quickly for residential development. So we needn’t assume Miliband was drawing his inspiration from the confiscatory tendencies of revolutionary Marxism. In that context, you can see the Mail going after Ed Miliband’s father – playing the man not the ball – makes some sort of sense.
Which is more than can be said for the content of the attack itself. [Read more...]