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Labour Party

Where Reformism Fails

The dispute between Reformists and Socialists is not a very easy one to disentangle. This is partly due to the variety of arguments put forward by reformists, but above all to the failure of reformists to grasp the Socialist explanation of the problem that has to be solved.

The problem is not that of a social system that is satisfactory on the whole and only needs improvements here and there. If it were the reformist would be on the right road —but then there would be nothing in the Socialist case for the abolition of Capitalism.

Activities in West Ham: Labour Party Shirks Debates

It is becoming increasingly evident that the districts of both West Ham and its eastern neighbour, East Ham, are not going to be such happy hunting grounds for the activities of the vote-catching political confidence tricksters as they have hitherto been. Slowly, but surely, the workers here are learning the real position. This encouraging state of affairs is mainly due to the efforts of the West Ham Branch. Our propaganda meetings have been held regularly throughout the season; outside Forest Gate Station, and at the corner of Kempton Road, East Ham, on Wednesday and Sunday evenings respectively.

Book Review: 'The House the Left Built'

Disorderly house

'The House the Left Built: Inside Labour Policy Making 1970-1975', by Michael Hatfield, (Victor Gollancz, £8.50)

After its defeat in the 1970 General Election, the Labour Party set about formulating a set of policies to ensure its speedy return to power. It eventually produced what Hatfield calls “its most left wing programme in thirty years”, and his book aims to trace the process whereby these policies came to be adopted. As a study of the day-to-day exigencies of capitalist politics, The House the Left Built is mostly unilluminating. It does reveal the unprincipledness of Labour politics and the lack of democracy in the Labour Party, but it is hardly worth paying £8.50 to be reminded of this.

Short Story: 'Decisions'

The race is on for the Labour nomination at Northloft, a safe seat where the present MP, Fred Parcel, stands down at the next election. Northloft lies athwart a main line railway which in the nineteenth century changed it into a blackened industrial suburb. Some famous Victorian capitalists set down factories there, with terraced streets with workers' homes in red brick and grey slate. Between the wars council estates were laid out and then came wedges of speculatively-built, cherry-blossomed semis whence clerks set out each day to ride on the railway to the office.

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