Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Ed Mili's Grammar Lessons

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Ed Mili's Grammar Lessons

Article excerpt

To the second-floor Commons lair of Ed Miliband in the Norman Shaw South building -- a mix of 1920s grand hotel and dour provincial dole office. The Labour leader has hung posters from his party's past to brighten the corridors, an appropriate choice for the son of a celebrated Marxist historian, even if Dad Ralph had no faith in parliamentary socialism. Stephen Twigg, the un-twiglike shadow educashon secretary, may need to look away should he endorse Michael Gove's intention to extend existing grammar schools. A1959 election poster declares: "Give the children a chance -- scrap the Eleven Plus. Vote Labour." Seven Labour governments later, collectively serving 24 years in power, and grammar schools survive. Miliband, Jr should put that down as a broken promise.

Politicians don't buy books, preferring to leaf through the index in Waterstone's to check for a mention. One tome many a nervous New Labour figure may hope to evade, however, is Revolutionary Communist at Work: a Political Biography of Bert Ramelson. The industrial organiser of the Communist Party of Great Britain enjoyed below-the-radar relations with many a fellow-traveller in the Labour and trade union movements during the strike-torn 1960s and 1970s. Marxism to militant moderation is a well-trodden path for New Labour, but I hear certain luminaries hoped to leave their past behind.

The St Paul's encampment uncovered a dislike of tents by Douglas Alexander, Labour's spokesman on events abroad. Wee Dougie, I'm told, would ban all camping - legal and illegal - if tyrant for the day. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.