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50 Years Ago: A Labour Prophet has a Fall

At the Labour Party Conference in May, 1940, when the Labour Party decided to enter the Churchill Government, Mr. Arthur Greenwood, M.P., made a prophecy about the outcome of the war:

"We shall have a trembling capitalist system which can never recover again. We shall have broken the back of the vested interests, and we can build a socialist commonwealth which will be a powerful factor in the world." (Daily Herald, May 14th, 1940.)

On the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of war Mr. Greenwood gave a message to the Daily Mail (September 3rd, 1949) which included the following:-

"This peace has not yet been won, and Britain's effort to-day must be directed towards the fullest use of all human and material resources, so as to play our part in the reshaping of the whole world."

British Capitalism is indeed in a bad way, but what the Labour Government is now doing is to direct all their efforts to trying to put it on its feet again while urging the workers to refrain from making demands that would stand in the way of British capitalist recovery. The Labour Party's latest pronouncement of policy is appropriately called "Labour Believes in Britain," not "Labour Believes in Socialism."

(From Socialist Standard, Octoberber 1949)