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Labour Party

Mr. Enigma

Once again he's in the news. Once again his name is plastered across the front pages of the national newspapers. Once again he is accused by his Labour colleagues of splitting the party ranks. Once again he has given his opponents scope to make political capital out of his manoeuvres. His supporters applaud, his enemies jeer, he is at the same time a political opportunist, a public-spirited citizen, a Russian agent, and a man of principle. Mr. Aneurin Bevan, the enigma of British politics, has returned to the arena.

The first shot was fired in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 15th April. In the debate which followed Mr. Eden's announcement "that he and Mr. Dulles were ready to examine the possibilities of a defence pact in South-East Asia" (News Chronicle, 14/4/54), "Mr. Bevan has brusquely forced his way to the dispatch box to announce stringent criticism of a proposal which Mr. Attlee had, to a large degree, accepted" (News Chronicle, 15/4/54).

Socialism and 'The Third International'

The Socialist Party of Great Britain stands for the International Organisation of the Working Class for the achievement of Socialism throughout the entire Capitalist World. It is not sufficient, however, for parties to call themselves Socialist or Communist to arouse our desires to affiliate with them. To be worthy of the name and to be useful in the struggle for Socialism, every party must be based upon a recognition of the class struggle and the line of action necessary for the workers to achieve victory over the capitalists.

Has Bevan Sold the Pass?

A lot of people who have for years worshipped Aneurin Bevan have now turned against their hero because of his support for the H-Bomb at the Labour Party Conference. Bevan says that he is as strongly against the bomb as ever he was and that his speech and vote at Brighton (decided on "after a lot of agonising thinking"), were only designed to find "the most effective way of getting the damned thing destroyed": but this a bit too subtle for those who have passionately believed that Bevan was hundred per cent against the bomb and now find that he isn't.

But actually the disgruntled Bevanites have little ground for complaint for, as it happens, Bevan has changed his politics hardly at all. If any deception has been carried out it is their own self-deception; an obstinate refusal to take note of that Bevan has for years been saying and doing.

Ernest Bevin

About twenty years ago, at a Trade Union conference, a delegate who is now a member of the S.P.G.B., rose to speak. The problems before the conference, he said, must be examined from the standpoint of the workers' interests and from no other. He argued that the interests of the workers were opposed to, and irreconcilable with, the interests of the employers: that to view any matter from the angle of national interest, or, the benefit of the industry, was to see it through the employers' eyes and that would not help to solve any working-class problem.

Mr. Ernest Bevin rose to speak. After a few mildly flattering remarks about the previous speaker he declared that he also, at one time, had held similar views. But, he added, with the accumulated wisdom of passing years, he had discarded such notions until now he regarded them as the immature ideas of his youth.

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