As the campaign manager for the Ralph for Leader bid, I feel it falls to me to describe what happened today. What we have seen is that Ralph’s son Bert has beaten his other son, Ernie, to become leader of the Labour Party. This isn’t to say the Ralph didn’t put up one hell of a good fight.
Taking his cue from global capitalism, Ralph has arisen in a zombie like state at several points in these last few months, to lay claim to his rightful position as head of the Party he despised for so many years. Who will forget that moment when his half rotting corpse managed to trounce Diane Abbot in the identity politics game. It was certainly a close call to see who was more under-represented in British politics: dead white male marxists or living black female soft-socialists.
And I will always smile when I recall Ralph on Question Time, crankily wandering onto the stage half way through to throw a pint of his own blood over Ed Balls. Oh how we laughed. It’s been a good campaign.
But a new dawn is upon us, and Ralph is quite tired now. The Labour Party must lurch forward again, with Bert at the helm, to lead the muppets in cabinet yet further into the brink, away from unions of which he has never been a part, away from the constituency he has only represented for five years. But in the words of Ralph, we can take this comfort:
“Socialist democracy would have an inherent bias against great executive power being power being vested in the hands of any one individual, whether president, chancellor or prime minister. Such a concentration of power means that major decisions are made without much or any reference to anyone outside a small coterie of advisers. Prime ministers in capitalist democracies are generally rather more constrained in the exercise of personal power than presidents elected by universal suffrage, but experience here too shows that a prime minister determined to exercise great power has a good deal of room to do so.
“It would be naive to think that this can easily be avoided, whatever the system. But it is nevertheless worth saying that a socialist democratic regime ought to enshrine the principle of ‘collective leadership’, and ensure that no single person should be given a preponderance of power. Socialist democracy would establish a political climate in in which great personal power would be viewed as an undue and dangerous privilege, and any ‘cult of the personality’ taken for an unacceptable deviation from democratic values.”
(Ralph Miliband, Socialism for a Sceptical Age, 1994)