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General Strike 1926

Editorial: The Past, the Present, and the Future

 Another year is dawning and perhaps it is as good a time as any to take stock of our progress.

 That the class struggle exists and is waged consciously by the masters should be obvious to those who have given a little thought to recent events. The struggle the miners put up and the relentless attitude of the coalowners, backed up by other sections of the employing class, makes this clearer than it has ever been.

 The general rise in wages due to war causes (though this rise lagged behind the rise in the cost of living) had given place to a general downward tendency as the shadow of war lifted. Professional politicians and Labour leaders vied with one another in helping the campaign for increased production, urging that to get back to prosperous peace conditions more goods must be produced at a cheaper cost of production. The plea was put forward on two entirely different lines, so that if one failed to catch the credulous the other might succeed.

A Strike is Fun to Some People

 How the children of the favoured section of society view the bitter struggles the workers wage for improved conditions is illustrated by the following extract. It is taken from Scott’s “Gino Watkins.” Watkins was the fearless Polar explorer who was drowned, while still under thirty, when exploring alone off Iceland in a canoe.

The General Strike referred to was in 1926.

      “He went back to Cambridge for what promised to be a busy summer term. . . . But now another interest came to distract him—the wild rumours and real disturbances in England which culminated in the General Strike. Gino’s delight in the experiences that it brought him was an example of the spirit in which the Prime Minister’s appeal to carry on as if nothing serious had happened was so naturally and successfully obeyed.

The Strike and the Vote

 Although Socialists do not exaggerate the importance of a General Election, much amusement and instruction may be derived from a consideration of the antics of the various parties involved. At the time of writing the Conservative leaders are endeavouring to insinuate into the minds of the workers that their position would have been much more favourable had several millions of them not participated in the so-called general strike of 1926.

      That Strike was directly responsible for the loss of trade and consequent failure of the unemployed to evaporate; the Labour leaders were responsible for the Strike, and have thus contributed to the sufferings of the workers.

 Thus argue the Tories.

 Of course, the leaders of the Labour Party resent this attack upon their respectability.

Editorial: The Crushing of the Miners

 The miners’ lock-out has lasted three months, during which every effort—political and economic—has been made to drive them back on the masters’ terms. The employers know well the slender resources of the workers, and they are evidently waiting till hunger has scourged the miners enough to force them back. In the meantime the owners are selling their huge stock of coal and realising the profits from the coal stores so kindly prepared by the miners in the nine subsidy months. The demand for an embargo on coal is being continually made by miners, but, after the huge betrayal of the General Strike, such a step will not be taken. The Labour Leaders in Parliament have been doing the employers’ work well, talking of "back to the Report,” "the Samuel memorandum,” "reorganisation,” and such capitalist schemes with the reduced wages and "increased unemployment” that these things mean.

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