We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

That’s not an insult to your parents. THIS is an insult to your parents.


The man who hated Britain: Red Ed’s pledge to bring back socialism is a homage to his Marxist father. So what did Miliband Snr really believe in? The answer should disturb everyone who loves this country.

– Geoffrey Levy, in a hit piece in the Daily Mail aimed at Ed Miliband.


I am at no loss for information about you and your family; but I am at a loss where to begin. Shall I relate how your father Tromes was a slave in the house of Elpias, who kept an elementary school near the Temple of Theseus, and how he wore shackles on his legs and a timber collar round his neck? Or how your mother practised daylight nuptials in an outhouse next door to Heros the bone-setter, and so brought you up to act in tableaux vivants and to excel in minor parts on the stage?

Demosthenes, in a hit piece aimed at Aeschines.

17 comments to That’s not an insult to your parents. THIS is an insult to your parents.

  • Regional

    Ed Taliban forgets that socialism can’t work because of the massive overheads that it places on enterprise.

  • Rocco

    Ooh, Demosthenes, you bitch!

  • Rob

    A bit catty. I think Demosthenes would write for the Guardian.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    English has lost much of its savor since Elizabethan times. I remind the gentle reader of:

    Seize him, kill him, gut him, pluck him and rend him asunder.” (From an Elizabethan recipe for chicken fricassee.)

    Still, I’m rather proud of my comment in another context: “God knows if this man’s parents are more to be pitied or despised.”

  • Charles Pooter

    £10 says you got that quote when looking up the meaning of aporia. I know I did after reading about the “aporia of the European people” in an earlier linked piece 😉

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Mr Pooter – you are absolutely right, but my £10 stays home with me where it is loved, because I admitted it.

    That could be a clue in a detective story.

  • Lee Moore

    Rob : “A bit catty. I think Demosthenes would write for the Guardian.”

    Spot on. Mary Renault’s Fire from Heaven is quite a fun novel about Alexander the Great’s youth, in which Demosthenes plays a bit part. Demosthenes is not a fan of Philip or Alexander. And it’s fair to say that Mary Renault is not a fan of Demosthenes. After lots of fighting speeches against the Macedonian barbarians, Renault has Demosthenes deciding to fight at the Battle of Chaeronea, at which the civilized Greeks expect to squish the uncouth Philip once and for all. Demosthenes allows himself the luxury of mentally composing a few lines for future speeches along the lines of “As you all know, I was at Chaeronea….”

    Unfortunately, the battle doesn’t turn out quite as Demosthenes expects and Renault gets in a lovely dig describing the aftermath of the battle :

    “The knot of young men was still resisting.
    ‘We should get away,’ said the older man in the middle, urgently. ‘We shall be cut off. Look, you can see, look round.’
    ‘We’re staying here,’ said the young man who had assumed command. ‘You go if you want, we’ll never notice the difference.’
    ‘Why throw away our lives? Our lives belong to the City. We should go back and dedicate our lives to restoring Athens.’
    ‘Barbarians! Barbarians!’ yelled the young man to the troops outside. They replied with some uncouth battle-cry. When he had time to spare, he said to the older man, ‘Restore Athens? Let us rather perish with her. Philip will blot her from the earth. Demosthenes has always said so.’
    ‘Nothing is certain, terms can be made…Look, they have almost closed us round, are you mad, wasting all our lives?’
    ‘Not even slavery, but annihilation. That’s what Demosthenes said. I was there, I heard him.’

    ‘This is madness, madness,’ said the middle-aged man. I’ll have no more part in it.’ Dropping shield and spear, he scrambled over the far wall. Only one man, inactive with a broken arm, was looking when he shed his helmet too.
    The rest fought on, till a Macedonian officer came up, calling that if they surrendered the King would spare their lives. At this they laid down their arms. While they were being marched off…one of them said to the rest, ‘Who was the little fellow who ran away, the one poor Eubios was quoting Demosthenes to?’
    The man with the broken arm, who had been a good while silent, answered, “That was Demosthenes.’

  • Regional

    Lee Moore, he who runs today lives again to run another day.

  • veryretired

    I’m not sure if this is too far OT or not, but check the article at The New Criterion, “The Anglosphere Miracle”. I linked through Powerline.

    It makes in a very clear way the argument I have struggled to make both here and at Chicagoboyz—the intrinsic value of our own unique culture.

  • Julie near Chicago

    David Horowitz and Ralph Miliband were once comrades. Mr. Horowitz wrote:

    Ralph Miliband, an English Marxist, author of Parliamentary Socialism and other works, who was my mentor during the years I was in England 1963-1967.

    In his book The Politics of Bad Faith (which is very good — there are probably used copies on Amazon), one of the chapters is an Open Letter to Ralph Miliband, at the end of which the above quote appears as Footnote [1]. The Letter is online at


  • CaptDMO

    “…who kept an elementary school near the Temple of Theseus”
    I can certainly imagine(judging from “other” Greek “traditions”), but I can’t find any reference on politically correct web-search outlets why this might be gravely insulting.
    Any specific reference would be helpful before I adapt a modified version of Demosthenes plaint- for
    “shock and awe” effect upon “elite” debate derailment practitioners.

  • Lee Moore

    I read it as Elpias keeping the elementary school – no insult. And Tromes being a slave of Elpias – insult. Likewise I think the insult about his mother was the “daylight nuptials in an outhouse” – I think the reference to Heros the bone setter is merely adjectival to the outhouse, not a fresh insult.

    What a splendid expression daylight nuptials is. I believe that familiarity with the classical world is sufficiently limited these days that one could use “daylight nuptialist” of a fellow panelist on Question Time, with no fear at all of being pulled up by the compere.

  • PeterT

    What does the phrase mean exactly?

  • Lee Moore

    I think the suggestion is that while Heros treated bones, Aeschines’ mother treated boners. Also on a professional basis.

  • Paul Marks

    Ralph Miliband remained a Marxist to his dying day – no amount of horror led him to repent. Instead he just whined how X, Y, Z country was not practicing proper socialism. And what is proper socialism – like Karl Marx himself (with his I will not write the menus of the future…) Ralph Miliband was careful NOT to describe how socialism would work in practice.

    Raloh Miliband would not describe how socialism would in practice because he knew if he tried to do so, people with a knowledge of economics would should his socialism was nonsense ((that was the same reason Karl Marx never described how socialism would work in practice – all the guff about how it would be “unscientific” to try and describe how socialism would work was just the evasion of a a profoundly dishonest man).

    Think about it – 150 million people were murdered by the socialists in the last century, and there is Ralph Miliband still playing stupid games (refusing to describe plainly how socialism would work – for fear that socialism would be revealed as nonsense).

    Ralph Miliband was a monster – and his son “Ed” Miliband repeatedly cited him in his comments as leader of the Labour Party.

    Cited Ralph Miliband not as a monster – but as a noble man whose vision he (“Ed” Miliband) wished to see put into practice.

    Even AFTER Mr Levy revealed Ralph Miliband as the monster he was – the front page of the “Guardian” newspaper (the central newspaper of the British left) defended Ralph Miliband collectivist vision as “Justice”.

    The left have repented nothing – if they had their way they would plunder and murder as they always did. And all for a vision that they themselves KNOW is false – hence their evasions.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to condemn the “Jewish Chronicle”.

    A front page story condemns the attack on Ralph Miliband as anti-Semitism – without providing a shred of evidence that Mr Levy (the person who wrote the article) is an anti-Semite. The same front page article also cites “McCarthyism” as anti-Semitic.

    Joe McCarthy an anti-Semite – that would have come as news to his deputy (whom he promoted over the head of Robert Kennedy – thus dooming himself by denying himself the protection of the Kennedy family) Roy Cohn.

    Still I will learn from it – perhaps the next time Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard are attacked (perhaps by some phony “libertarian”) I should just denounce the attacker as an anti-Semite …..


  • Lee Moore

    A fellow called Levy is an unlikely anti-semite. The anti-semitic charge is just the usual “Raaaaacism !” response to any kind of attack which hits home. It’s much easier to gain the sympathy of the bourgeoisie by saying the Daily Mail is racist, than by saying the Daily Mail is wicked for being strongly opposed to people who preach violent revolution and the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. The Michael Howard was born Hecht wink-wink saga didn’t bring the anti-“Raaaaacism” folk out in force cos Howard was on the wrong side. It’s just politics as usual.

    I have a little more sympathy for utopian socialists who claim that true socialism hasn’t been tried, real world “socialist” regimes being perversions of the true faith. What pro market person hasn’t had to grit his teeth at the quantity of statism present in “capitalist” countries ? Nevertheless, free market folk do have to concede that real world capitalist regimes are recognisable approaches to what they would like. The problem with utopian socialists is that after a couple of dozen experiments at socialism, if it always turns into a blood soaked disaster with the peasants driven to eating the leaves off the trees, common sense would lead a sane person to query the basic design.

  • Paul Marks

    Good points Mr Moore.