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Clarion

Labourism: A Confession of Failure

 Mr. A. M. Thompson of the Clarion, was one of the founders of the Labour Party. He has, throughout a long career, consistently opposed the formation of a definitely socialist organisation striving for Socialism, on the specious plea that the workers could not afford to sacrifice possible present gains for the sake of a solution of the whole problem of their poverty through a Socialism which could not be obtained immediately.

"Half a loaf is better than no bread ”— so declared Thompson and his fellow Labourites. We opposed that view then, as we do now, on the plain ground that people get what they fight for. If they fight for reforms, they get reforms but not Socialism. Whether reforms are worth struggling for is another point. Experience always testifies that they are not.

Blatchford, Jingo & Patriot


    Where He may lead I'll follow,
           My trust in Him repose,
    And every hour in perfect peace
            I'll sing, He knows, He knows.

Robert Blatchford

Robert Blatchford recently resigned his post on the Sunday Chronicle and Sunday Herald. The reason he gave was that he was "tired of all this dirty business of lying about the Labour Party and similar tactics" (Daily Herald, January 7th, 1924). This sounds fine, and it drew from George Lansbury a column of extravagant appreciation, but when one remembers something of Blatchford's career it seems particularly out of place that he, of all men, should be praised for his independence and disinterested enthusiasm for Socialism. He had in his own words "been associated with these papers for seven years," and during those years had reached the point of repudiating most of the views of his youth, including all that he ever held of Socialism. He had shown himself one of the most violent of the stop-at-home fighters who gloried in the knowledge that the workers were butchering each other for the class Blatchford was serving.

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