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February 1920

Government by Labour

A question which has recently aroused considerable controversy is, "Can Labour Govern?"

Socialists are not so much concerned with the question of whether Labour can govern as whether it should, or, to put it in a better way, whether Labour need govern. And on examination of the facts the only possible conclusion we can arrive at is that it need not—and should not.

It is significant that neither of those who have hitherto contributed to the discussion have defined their terms. In this they are quite consistent with their past record. For when apologists of capitalism and their henchmen—the self-styled "labour leaders"—are discussing a given subject, they never attempt to define the terms which they use; the only apparent reason for this is that they know that to do so would be to remove the blinkers from the eyes of those to whom they are appealing.

However, I will rectify the omission.

Practical Politics

Socialists have often been told that they are not practical, that their ideas are of a visionary character, and that they lack knowledge of political affairs. Let us see how far this stock argument of the "anti" is correct.

In the sixth clause of its Declaration of Principles the Socialist Party states: " . . . the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers . . . " That is to say that Parliament, which passes the laws, the Cabinet, which frames them, the officials at Whitehall and elsewhere who execute them by giving orders to generals and judges, who in turn direct soldiers and policemen, all have one common object, which is to


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