Skip to Content

A Labour Party Promise and a Capitalist Admission

Mr. Tom Shaw, speaking at Wandsworth on December 16th, 1929, gave the following interesting pledge on behalf of the Labour Party: —
 
  We make no apology for saying that the instant we are powerful enough to do it, poverty shall be abolished.
—(“Evening News,” 17th Dec.) 
 
The “Evening News,” in an editorial, expressed its doubts about the matter :—
 
That is not the maundering of a street-corner spell-binder. It is the considered utterance of Mr. Tom Shaw, one of His Majesty’s principal Secretaries of State in the Labour Government and incidentally the man who once complained piteously that he could not produce a remedy for unemployment “ like rabbits out of a hat.”
 
We make no apology for saying that though Mr. Shaw and his friends should be returned to Parliament with no opposition at all poverty will not be abolished. We venture to add that the type of mind that could produce such a statement as Mr. Shaw made at Wandsworth last night will never decrease poverty, let alone abolish it.
 
We are strongly of the opinion that the “Evening News” is right; we also do not think that the Labour Party will succeed in fulfilling Mr. Shaw’s promise. We are quite certain that poverty will not, and cannot, be abolished under Capitalism, although the administration of the system is in the hands of “Labour” men. But what surprises us is the further admission of the "Evening News” that the problem has not been solved in the U.S.A., which the “Evening News” is always telling us to imitate.
 
 We might begin by reminding Mr. Shaw that the world has never been without poverty and that in the United States to-day, the richest nation in material wealth that the world has ever known, there is plenty of it—not relative poverty merely, but want and destitution.
 
Next time we are invited to copy American methods, perhaps the “Evening News” will tell us in what way “want and destitution" in the U.S.A. are preferable to “want and destitution” in the United Kingdom."