Skip to Content

Adam Buick

Votes for Rich Women

It has long been a socialist aim, first voiced by the Utopians, that men and women should be equal in the conduct of social and personal affairs. This was a direct challenge to the Christian doctrine that women were inferior and to the legal contract called marriage which made the wife the private property of the husband. This aim is expressed in our own Declaration of Principles: “the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex”. In other words, the establishment of Socialism would mean an end to all oppression and discrimination against women.
 
The heyday of the Suffragette movement was the decade before the outbreak of the first world war. During that period also, the Socialist Party of Great Britain was set up.

The "New" Theory of Insurrection

The French political scientist Maurice Duverger, whose books have been reviewed from time to time in these columns (see, for instance Socialist Standard of July 1966), wrote an interesting article published in Le Monde on 12 July. Duverger would say he is a socialist but, as we have pointed out, he really only stands for a mild form of state capitalism. Nevertheless his comments on the May events in France are very pertinent.
 
In his article, entitled “Une Révolution Impossible”, he. says that before May 1968 even those who stood for violent revolution had written off the developed capitalist world. Hence the popularity of Mao, Castro and Che Guevara. But after May they worked out a new theory of revolution.

Labour's New Race Law

Attacks on wages and the trade unions, defence of profits and unemployment, bringing back health charges and now, again, a colour bar law. Thus, one by one, Labour abandons its old principles, partly under pressure from capitalism, but partly also from a desire to stay in office. While economics has been responsible for the failure of Labour’s futile attempts to make capitalism work in the interests of all, politics is behind this, their second, capitulation to colour prejudice. For, as they themselves pointed out in 1962, if anything economics demands free immigration: there is a relative labour shortage in Britain which could delay expansion.
 
This shortage has existed since the beginning of the last world war.

Labour and the Health Charges

“The principle of the free, health service has been breached, and I dread to think how much that breach might be widened in future years”, said the President of the Board of Trade when he resigned from the Labour government in April 1951. He was objecting to 'imposing charges for National Health teeth and spectacles to raise money to spend on arms. His name was Harold Wilson.
 
Wilson was right. The new Tory government, elected in October of the same year announced within six months that it was to bring in prescription charges. The Labour Party was up in arms playing on its image as builder and defender of the welfare state. In Parliament they did all they could to oppose the measure.

Syndicate content