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50 Years Ago: When disaster strikes

When a train crash occurs and there are many killed public sympathy is instantly aroused.

As soon as the first announcements are made and the newspapers start to convey the story to every street corner, the chief topic of conversation becomes the disaster. Everybody is expressing sorrow and saying how terrible the whole thing is. The recent treble train crash at Harrow and Wealdstone, like all similar accidents, did not only bring forth verbal expressions of sorrow, but also many acts of humanity, self-sacrifice and social feeling. Rescuers worked day and night. In some instances people collapsed from fatigue, so desperate was the task of freeing trapped passengers.

People from nearby houses tore up bed linen to provide bandages for the injured, many made their homes available to accommodate people with relatives in hospital.

All these and many other acts of sympathy took place quite voluntarily without any form of coercion, yet there are opponents of the Socialist Party who claim that human nature stands in the way of Socialism.

(from an article by H. B., Socialist Standard, December 1952)