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Guy Aldred

Mr. Aldred — An Explanation

 In our issue for March we published an article, “Muddled Critic of the S.P.G.B.,” commenting on some remarks about the S.P.G.B. made by Mr. Guy Aldred in his journal “The Word.”

 In the April issue of “The Word” Mr. Aldred published our article in full and said that he intends to reply to it in his next issue.

 In the meantime, in the April issue, he deals angrily with one passage in our article. Mr. Aldred had earlier written that the attitude of the S.P.G.B. at the 1951 election was “the result of its 1950 experience at the ballot-box.”

 To this we replied: —

Muddled Critic of the S.P.G.B.

 The following reference to the S.P.G.B. was published in the December issue of “The Word” which describes itself as “an organ of the United Socialist Movement, edited and published by Guy A. Aldred.”

       “There is also the attitude of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, who issued a manifesto urging people not to vote until everyone had joined the S.P.G.B. or became a Socialist. This curious attitude— which approaches Anarchism—was the result of the 1950 experience at the ballot-box. Carefully analysed, the attitude of the S.P.G.B is seen to be one of futility and hypocrisy. Instead of uniting at this time of crisis in a stand against war and rearmament, which could have been done without a single sacrifice of principle and actually with a great advantage to the propaganda status of the S.P.G.B., members of this stupid and stagnant party wrote ‘S.P.G.B.' across their ballot papers.”

Must the Workers Control Parliament?

In the July issue of the Commune, Mr. Guy Aldred devotes some space to a criticism of the Socialist policy of gaining control of Parliament. He takes a number of passages from the report on the debate with Mr. Maxton (published in the June "S.S.") and appends his comments. He quotes correctly enough the statement that the "armed forces are provided for annually by Parliament," and then devotes a paragraph to "proving" that "Parliament does not provide the armed forces by annual voting." By the substitution of the word "provide" in place of "provide for," he is able to disprove something which we did not say. It is true that Parliament does not vote each year an Act to sanction the existence of an armed force. What it does have to do each year is to pass the Army (Annual) Act without which the maintenance of discipline would become impossible, and it has to vote each year the monies needed for the upkeep of those armed forces.

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