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February 1924

Editorial: A "Socialist" Government


We are on the eve of great events—at least, Mr. Garvin, of the Observer, says we are!

      “The reason is that to-morrow in this country will see the end of the last purely Conservative Government—none of the same name is ever likely to exist again—and will instal the first Socialist Government in its place."

We really must take exception to this constant tying of the labels “Socialist” and “Marxian” to the Labour Party. It is not fair. Mr. 'Ramsay MacDonald has frequently pointed out that the Labour members are thorough gentlemen, that they do not propose to disturb seriously existing relations, and that “moral flourishes” will be one of the principal weapons. And is not Dr. Addison one of their pillars?

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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