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Labour Party

A Question for Members of the Labour Party

The modern propertied class, like their slave-owning predecessors, get something for nothing. They can live without working. They live on the surplus products of the wealth-producers, while the latter obtain only a subsistence wage, more or less. The propertied class live on the backs of the working class, but they do not put it as crudely as that. They call it rent, interest and profit, and hedge it about with legal safeguards and moral disguises. They are full of promises of better things for those whom they exploit. They will, as Tolstoy said, do everything for the workers except get off their backs. The workers, therefore, must perform this parasite-shedding operation for themselves. They do not lack counsellors, prominent among them being the Labour Party. In endless pamphlets and speeches the Labour Party promises to put things right. It will do so, it says, by nationalisation, public control, State regulation, investment boards and so on.

The Labour Party is Not, and Has Never Been, a Socialist Party

The recent furore in the press and within the Labour Party itself over whether the Party will admit to its ranks “Marxists” has been the cause of much debate concerning the origins of Labourism. Tony Benn, a member of the Government, defended the notion that Marxism has had a strong influence in developing the Labour Party. Benn’s claim is spurious and unfounded: the rejection of Marxism, and hence revolution, fated Labour to follow a reformist path leading to the inevitable disillusionment of its members.

Editorial: Cripps and the Labour Party

Political  groups are nowadays two-a-penny. Facing the Tories, National Liberals and National Labour Party, which make up the Chamberlain Government are the opposition Liberals, the Labour Party and its affiliated parties, the Co-operative Party, the I.L.P. and the Communists. Then there is Lloyd George’s Council of Action, the Labour Co-operative joint campaign, the Churchill-Sandys-Atholl  'Hundred Thousand' movement, and the latest addition, the Cripps' Manifesto for an alliance of all genuine friends of democracy and opponents of the Chamberlain Government. Sir Stafford Cripps argues that if all the genuine friends of democracy got together, they would be numerous enough to defeat Chamberlain at the next election, but lots of genuine friends have lost no time in telling Cripps that he is a disruptionist, and they will have none of him and his movement.

Labour's Plan for Capitalism

Millions of workers will vote Labour in the next election; for many of them it is a habit. But like watching the Boat Race or going to church, the tradition of blind allegiance to the Labour Party is on the decline. Some Labourites are turning to that gang of political tricksters, the SDP, with their instant policies to suit all prejudices and their moderate vision of a capitalist system in which the exploiting and exploited live in perfect consensual harmony. The politicians who dominate the Labour Party are worried by the mass exodus of members, supporters and voters from their ranks. Having in the past gained working class allegiance by the most sickening opportunism, the Labour Party is now viewed as no more capable than any others of eradicating the inherent ills of capitalism.

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