The Ralph Miliband lectures remind us how stupid ‘clever’ people can be

7 January 2013

For anybody who needs reminding of how stupid ‘clever’ people can be, can I recommend Guido’s post on the Ralph Miliband lecture series?  Each year the London School of Economics still holds an annual commemoration of the dead Marxist now best known of as the father of David and Ed.  Much that has gone wrong with our universities can be learnt by briefly considering these events.

This year the lectures will include the blogger Laurie Penny talking about ‘Women, protest and the nature of female rebellion’.  She will be doing this in LSE’s Sheikh Zayed Theatre. But best of all is to recall the 2010 lecture given by LSE alumnus Saif Gaddafi.  People really should watch Professor David Held’s introduction.  I had forgotten how funny it is.

Whilst Ghaddafi Junior grins and waves away at lackeys in the audience, Professor Held says by way of introduction:

‘Saif is committed to resolving contentious international and domestic issues through dialogue, debate and peaceful negotiations.’

Obviously this was the year before Saif began massacring everybody and promised to ‘fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet’.

But perhaps we shouldn’t dwell on this.  It could have happened to anyone.  After all, there was no sign of any of the Gaddafis being bad eggs before 2011. How fitting it seems that a lecture series named after a Marxist should develop a reputation for such foresight.

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  • foxoles

    Among the things that puzzled me about Ralph Miliband are

    1. If he came in on a false passport, how do we know he was who he said he was?
    2. How did he come to join the navy in the 1940s? I knew people in the 1970s who wanted to join the forces, and were told that it wasn’t possible, because their parents were Polish.

    • geo1671

      real stinker is?– Name Miliband is not Polish. Be interesting to know what his real name is,WhackiPeedia hides it but not his wife’s polish name. whole background article reads–hollocaust ,more like hollowcost

  • Roy

    It isn’t what strange deviant screwballs speak at the London School of Economics, but who they are explicit in not allowing the luxury of doing so, that is barbaric. In a so-called democratic country of free speech this grand symbol of polished knowledge has seen fit to refuse people who differ too much in its rarefied field of vision.

    • Colonel Mustard

      In their angst and convolutions they recreate Animal Farm almost every day – or try to – but are completely unaware they are doing it.

  • Adam

    You do know who founded the LSE don’t you?

  • andy_gill

    This bit of Held’s introduction was priceless

    “I’ve come to know Saif as someone who looks to democracy, civil society, and deep liberal values for the core of his inspiration.”

    What an unctious creeping toad.

    • Noa

      Or, to reverse the sentiment
      “I’ve come to know Held as someone who looks to dictatorship, a divided tribal, Islamic society, and deep Libyan funding values for the core of his inspiration.”

  • terence patrick hewett

    Nice haircut: all he needs now is a shave.

  • don logan

    Will David Starkey get an invite?

    • Wessex Man

      Oh yes please, the thought of the Old Queen debating with the ming Queen about things we never thought of would be entertainment of the highest order

  • Greychatter

    Ralph Milliband – thought he was called Adolph before he came to Britain on someone elses passport.

    • foxoles

      Leaving his mother and baby sister behind.

  • HJ777

    Not too many Castlemen were too impressed at having David Held imposed on their college.

  • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

    Being wrong almost 100% of the time is as valuable as being right 100% of the time.

    • Brimstone52

      Indeed, reliability and consistency takes many forms. Not all of them obvious.

      • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

        Quite right

  • Sarah

    I don’t understand. Do you want Laurie Penny to ask the LSE to rename their lecture theatre before she gives her talk – would you? To boycott the event – counter-productive, would you? Include a mention of the Middle East in her lecture – how do you know she won’t?

    How is this an indictation of her stupidity?

    • James Rider

      True that, we’ve got plenty examples of her stupidity already.

    • milliboot

      I think it was more that she is such a joke, the fact that she is invoved at all shows what a farce the “lectures” are.

    • mattwardman

      I don’t think anybody needs any more indications of LPs detachment from reality,

      • Eddie

        Indeed. This is the same Laurie Penny of course who comes from a rich Boho family which moved from London to Brighton (no doubt to get away from all the blacks in the awful sink comprehensives in the capital), where little Penny wise went to Brighton College, private school du jour for the leftwing hypocrites of Sussex.
        Maybe she can give a lecture on how to be a hypocrite? I am sure all the million-pound home owing Marxist academics at the LSE (whose role model is comrade Millband esnior himself) can help her put if she gets stuck.

        • Dan Grover

          I disagree with more or less everything she says, but it’s hardly reasonable to call someone a hypocrite because of where their parents sent them to school. Because she went to a private school, is she now beholden to the views of pro-capital, pro-market forces out of necessity?

          I went a state school. Am I a hypocrite if I defend fox hunting?

    • Rhubarb

      Laurie Penny is one of the finest satirists in the country. She is like a character out of P.G. Wodehouse and has provided the best free entertainment I have seen in years.

      I love it when she becomes all self righteous and squeaky about a subject about which she knows nothing.

    • Daniel Maris

      You’re a keen feminist Sarah. Let’s see if Ms. Penny supports her sisters suffering under the lash of Islam – the women who can never lay a charge of rape for fear of ending up in prison themselves, the women who aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, the “women” married off as young as 9 in honour of the practice of the founder of the religion, the women whose testimony is worth half that of a man in court, the women who the religion says may be beaten in marriage, the women who, if they are lesbian, may be kept locked up in the family home and never allowed out (according to Sharia law) and the women of non-Islamic religions subjected to absolutely appalling abuse in Islamic countries.

      I await her address keenly.

      • Michele Keighley

        Excellent analysis of the problems Daniel – where is your next public lecture on this subject being held?

      • Colonel Mustard

        A “keen feminist”. That’s one way to describe it I suppose.

  • Austin Barry

    “This year the lectures will include the blogger Laurie Penny talking about ‘Women, protest and the nature of female rebellion’. She will be doing this in LSE’s Sheikh Zayed Theatre.”

    Laurie Penny is, famously, a former burlesque artist. If she is planning on getting her kit off in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre this surely will be a marvellous example of ‘the nature female rebellion’ against Islam’s misogynistic strictures – except, of course, that feminists would rather remain silent on that issue.

    Still, the remote possibility that Ms Penny will be prancing in the nip will have me furtively heading towards the LSE.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      ” remote possibility that Ms Penny will be prancing in the nip will have me furtively heading towards the LSE.”

      Whereas you would stroll quite openly into a strip joint, the shame is in the LSE, not the burlesque.

      • Noa

        It’s extremely unlikely to imagine that any right thinking chap passing the entertainments of Dean Street in order to join the comradely vapidities celebrating the father of New Labour’s own Cane and Abel.

        • Austin Barry

          I suppose the irony is that there are likely to be more onanists in the LSE on any given day.

    • Sarah

      Feminists come from all parts of the political spectrum. Not wanting other people to get in your way is not something that is confined to the left.

      • Colonel Mustard

        But what about when you get in my way when you are wanting me to get out of yours? Not wanting other people to get in your way might not be something that is confined to the left but the special way they go about it is.

        • Sarah

          Can you provide an example?

    • Daniel Maris

      “Silent” is almost an understatement when you consider the (morally correct) campaign against apartheid in South Africa that was accompanied by so much noise from the left in general and feminists in particular. I really can only think they are silent because deep down they are not really feminists.

  • Colin

    “After all, there was no sign of any of the Gaddafis being bad eggs before 2011. ”

    I’m assuming that you’re trying to be ironic here?

    • andagain

      I think that is a safe assumption. At least in this magazine.

    • David Lindsay

      I wouldn’t bet on it. Murray supported the “rendition” of British Citizens to that regime.

      • racyrich

        Do you refer to that well known Englishman, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group?
        I do so hope no harm has come to him.

  • LordBlagger

    There’s there’s Adolf’s father, who was even worse that Saif when it came to getting people killed.

  • LordBlagger

    Why don’t you use his real name? Adolf Miliband

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