Ralph Miliband didn’t hate Britain – and neither did my friend Lou

3rd October, 2013 11:30 am
I didn’t know Ralph Miliband, although I knew many who did. But I did know Lou Kenton, of the same generation, also a Jewish Marxist, who distinguished himself as a volunteer ambulance driver with the International Brigades in Spain and doing successful battle with Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts in Cable Street in London’s East End.
This was at a time when Viscount Rothermere’s Daily Mail enthusiastically bellowed ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’, while prominent members of the British Establishment, including from the Royal family, were busy appeasing the Nazis and hunting wild boar with Herman Goering in the forests of East Prussia. This was a time when the Midlands Industrial Council – full of Tory donors – enthused over Hitler’s brave new World and the Duke of Windsor shook hands with the upstart German Chancellor. Lest it be forgotten, had Hitler’s armies defeated Britain, it was his intention to instate the Quisling Duke on the throne – which is why Winston Churchill had him bundled off to be Governor of the Bahamas.
Lou would have been the first to volunteer that he was more ‘hand than brain’, than Ralph Miliband. But he shared the solidarity and internationalism that distinguished such a remarkable generation whose formative experiences in a country that had given them and their families refuge from from persecution, gave them special reason to love the spirit and generosity of the people of these islands.
I worked with Lou when we raised funds for trees to be planted aroujnd the Czech village of Lidice, liquidated by the Nazis, in reprisal for the assassination of one of the architects of the Holocaust, Reinhard Heydrich. Lou, like Ralph Miliband, never abandoned his Marxist beliefs. For Lou the Soviet invasion of Czechoslavakia in 1968 saw him abandon the Communist Party for the Labour Party.
Just because people like Lou had no time for the rotten British Establishment – and thought – to coin a phrase, that Britain ‘could do better’, could not, in the wildest stretch of the fevered imagination of Paul Dacre, mean that he hated Britain.
Both Lou Kenton and Ralph Miliband would, I suspect regard the current, deeply unpleasant background racket from the puerile right wing and a newspaper editor, who should know better, as time to, in the words of George Washington; ‘Guard against the imposture of pretended patriotism’.

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  • Jeremy_Preece

    Well said Mark

  • leslie48

    Please to see further leaders and organisations expressing concerns about this vitriolic attack on the Leader of the Opposition; Nick Clegg has cleverly turned around the accusation against Ed Milliband by saying the D/Mail ‘vilifies modern Britain’ itself on a very regular basis. The Jewish Chronicle ( not a left wing journal itself ) has unusually and only after a great deal of consideration and consultation claimed there is a whiff of anti-antisemitism in recent Mail coverage.

  • OpenSideFlanker

    As Ralf Miliband didn’t like our Constitutional monarchy, didn’t like the Church, didn’t like the press freedom, didn’t like the Army, was even hostile to our Parliamentary democracy, its fair to ask what did he like? and when so many dislikes mount up its fair to conclude that he actually did hate Britain.

    The defence put up, by Ed Miliband to counter the claim of his hatred of our country was that he was refugee. Well that isn’t a matter of liking a country, it wasn’t a matter of choice, but of necessity that he ended up here. And his military service, well we had a lot of Polish pilots fighting WITH us, as a means to liberate their country, it would difficult to say they were fighting FOR us. So was Ralf Miliband fighting FOR us, in light dislike of all things British possibly not, may be it was to fight against the Nazis that was the motivation, or even the best route to help out the Communists of the Soviet Union. After all Burgess, Maclean, Phiby all fought ‘for’ this country, but their loyalty was elsewhere. So military service during the WW11 is not proof of liking a country.

    • John Ruddy

      He probably liked the fact that Britain is a country of free speech, where someone could express views about the monarchy, the church etc, and not be branded a traitor, like you would in some dictatorship.

    • Amber_Star

      Perhaps he liked people & thought they deserved better than the institutions which they had; as did the people themselves. Attlee’s Labour Party was voted into government with a mandate to help people & put in place new, better institutions, not prop up the ailing ones which served only a monied elite.

    • treborc1

      Respect is earned and Miliband father did fight for this country, to me that puts him miles ahead of those that did not because dad was able to pay for the son to be doing something else.

      Those that put their lives on the line for this country have a right to moan about it.

    • Darren Cahil

      And your point is?

  • Rob Harries

    I’ll tell you who he did hate though. The Labour Party.

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