Skip to Content

General Strike 1926

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.

The Strike

The largest battle in English industrial history is over and the wounded are being carried off the field.

The first point that strikes one, after making the necessary allowance for the intimidation of the nervous, is the amazing solidarity of the workers on this occasion. The consciousness, dim though it may have been in the main, that they must make common cause and stand together, though only one section was being immediately attacked.

The next point was the demonstration of where the power really lies in modern affairs. The control of the governmental machinery gave the masters the key to the situation.

Syndicate content