Highgate is real nice. It’s very leafy and one of my favourite places to have a potter around. It’s also where you can find Karl Marx’s grave. And where you can find people who are Socialists paying their respects to their ideological leader. And where you can find people who are just curious and want to see the grave of somebody famous. It’s also where you’ll find leeches with cameras from the Daily Mail hanging around photographing the grave of a dead man who DARED to be a Socialist academic and DARED to be the father of two prominent men in left leaning British Politics. I mean, the man in question even DARED to run away from certain death in Central Europe at the hands of the Nazis. I mean, what kind of man would do that? An effete, middle class Jewish academic whose son lives in a house valued at £1.6 million that’s who.
My Dad and I agree about most things but we don’t agree about EVERYTHING. For example, his favourite Bond Film is Thunderball whereas mine is Man with the Golden Gun. The weird thing is that despite us sharing the same DNA and him and my Mum bringing me into this world, bringing me up and loving me unconditionally we are actually capable of independent thought from one another. My Dad absolutely loves marmalade whereas I consider it too tart for a breakfast condiment. My Dad is one of the cleverest men I’ve ever met and gets more questions right on University Challenge than anyone in the history of the world ever whereas my personal best is a mere twelve right answers in one episode. It’s strange but we are capable of thinking differently to one another about certain topics. When I was in my Mum’s womb I didn’t receive all of my parents’ likes and dislikes via the placenta. They come later on, you know, once you’re a sentient being.
So, Ralph Miliband was a Socialist. So what? I’m going to start painting my argument RED now and draw a suitably Daily Mail-esque EXTREME comparison with another father and son. Mussolini was Fascist dictator of Italy (they liked red too, maybe the left and right should have decided who got to be red? It’s so confusing! Almost as confusing as the word traduce!). Romano Mussolini was Mussolini’s youngest son and he was a jazz pianist and painter. Read that again. Mussolini’s son was NOT a Fascist dictator because his father was. HOW WEIRD!? A case of a father believing in one thing and his child believing in another. UNPRECEDENTED.
Beyond all of the usual dullsville Daily Mail rhetoric around opponents to the Falklands war (TRAITORS!) and academics (PONCES!) this is a basic case of a bully taking the piss out of someone’s Dad. I’m going to pass over to my old chum Aldous Huxley to have the last word on this “One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfils our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous”. A feeling of profound virtuosity whilst simultaneously denigrating (which means traducing) the memory of a dead man? The Daily Mail might be big but it is NEVER, EVER clever.