Skip to Content

The Attitude of the SPGB During the Strike

Our attitude towards the General Strike was determined by the following considerations. The limits of trade union action; the determined attempts by the employers to depress wages since the great war; the evils of leadership; the lack of understanding on the part of the workers; and the fact that, in the last resort, power rested with the Government backed by a non-Socialist working class.

We pointed out at the time of the general strike that the workers should remain in complete control of the movement and not allow themselves to be hood-winked into a worse position than before the strike. And, above all, not to follow the stupid slogans of the communists to place all trust in the leaders. After the strike the communists put the blame for the failure on the very leaders they had urged the workers to trust, and advocated fresh leaders from the same group that had influenced the collapse.

Although the possibility of a general strike had been in the offing for some time the trade union officials and their supporters had made no effort to prepare for such an eventuality, whereas the employers had completed their plans long beforehand.

After the strike we made the following comments in the June 1926 Socialist Standard:

    "The greatest trade union action that was ever taken in any country was closed by the most gigantic swindle in the whole history of trade unionism. . . . The splendid solidarity of the rank and file, along with their studied refusal to follow the maniacs who advised the formation of "Workers Defence Corps" and other methods of crude force are healthy signs of the beginnings of an understanding of their slave position that forms the first step in the work of establishing Socialism."

Gilmac