Skip to Content

Ernest Bevin

Progress and Reaction

 Already, before the war, there were numerous critics of the turn which human affairs had taken. The promise which early capitalism appeared to hold out to mankind had not been fulfilled. The industrialisation of the nineteenth century may have seemed then to open up new horizons of unlimited wealth for all. The social stagnation of a feudal agrarianism was swept away impetuously as machine upon machine fertilised man and nature into heights of productivity hitherto undreamt of. Economists and philosophers combined in lyrical praise of the new social order, and predicted that humanity had at long last entered the portals of a social system that could guarantee material well-being to all. "The greatest good of the greatest number” was the assured estimate of the new society's potentials.

Labour Leader's Misconception About Socialism

 Mr. Arthur Deakin, the Acting Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, has taken his place among those self-appointed authorities who instruct us about Socialism.

 Trailing along behind Mr. Morrison and Mr. Bevin, he announces (Tribune, May 14th) that the Essential Works Order is not merely a triumph of Trade Unionism, but “a lasting factor" whose retention in industry "Socialists" should support.

 The unanimity with which all these leaders agree that “the existing restrictions must be retained, and even extended.” after the war makes us suspect that they know something.

 If they are to be believed, the postwar world will be very much like the present, with Control of Employment by the National Service Officer, Rationing, Registration, and other “benefits" in full blast.

The Post-War Mirage

 Turning aside from the horrors of the present, people are thinking about the world that is to be when the war is over; or, more accurately, a few people are telling the others what kind of world is being prepared for them. Socialists welcome this interest, but are alive to its dangers. It is so easy for those workers who are not experienced in political and economic questions to be taken in by proposals that are useless or worse than useless, and what is at once obvious to the Socialist in all these proposals is that none of them are even fresh—all have been tried before and found wanting.

The 61st Trades Union Congress


Ben Tillett's Day Out

 The 1929 Annual Congress of the T.U.C. was held this year at Belfast under the chairmanship of Mr. Ben Tillett, M.P.

 What decided the choice of Belfast, we do not know. That Belfast is far enough away to preclude the embarrassing presence of embittered workers from the mining and cotton districts is fairly certain. Windy platitudes, therefore, had free play.

 Mr. Tillett’s presidential address was received by the Press with more than the usual flattery that is doled out to the trade union and Labour leader.

Syndicate content