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Hyde Park

Book Review: An I.L.P. Evangelist

An Evangel of Unrest: The Life Story of Bonar Thompson. 1/-. From the author. (Marble Arch, W.l.)

 Bonar Thompson
tells his life story in his usual style, from the days of unemployment processions in Manchester to his C.O. days during the so-called Great War. He pays tribute to our Party’s unswerving attitude during the war, but makes the curious statement that the I.L.P. was as firm as a rock against the war. He avoids the gymnastics of Ramsay MacDonald on the question and the association of the I.L.P. as an integral part of the Labour Party which joined the War Government.

A Week of Meetings in London

Party News

The Socialist Party of Gt. Britain organised a demonstration for Socialism in Trafalgar Square on Sunday afternoon, September 3rd. Despite uncertain weather there was a large crowd throughout the 2½ hour meeting, listening to the socialist case and putting questions to the speakers.

Over £16 worth of socialist pamphlets and journals were bought by interested workers, including 480 copies of the Socialist Standard. (In addition 300 Socialist Standards were sold in Hyde Park on the same day.) Our introductory leaflets in different languages were also much in demand and helped us to explain the Socialist Party’s position to workers from France, Germany, Turkey, Vietnam and elsewhere.

A photograph of the meeting which appeared next day in The Times picked out very nicely one of our slogans calling for “Abolition of the Wages System”. Surely the first time that phrase has appeared in those august columns!

Our May-Day Meetings

All our members who organised and took part in the meetings and sale of literature on May-Day in Hyde Park are to be congratulated upon their magnificent efforts.

The two propaganda meetings were well arranged for such an occasion. Two vans were so placed that, with large banners bearing the name of the Party, our presence in the Park could hardly go unnoticed by anybody. Comrades Rubin, Turner, Ambridge, Otto, Clifford, Cash, Kilner and Willmott addressed well-ordered and attentive audiences, each from a different angle, driving home the soundness of the Socialist Party position, with the result that nearly 1,400 copies of THE SOCIALIST STANDARD and a large number of pamphlets were sold.

Another gratifying thing was to see a number of "old faces," sympathisers of the Party, who expressed their delight as seeing the S.P.G.B. once more laying low the lie of our being nothing but "armchair philosophers." Bravo!

Obituary: Tony Turner

News of the death of A. W. L. (Tony) Turner in a Cape Town hospital in February at the age of 83 will awaken memories in many older readers. He joined the Party in 1931 and resigned in 1955 after a series of acrimonious disputes.

Tony was accused of an anarchism that was incompatible with Marx. He had taken up a completely pacifist view together with Tolstoyan ideas about the socialist future—small-scale, a vastly simple society, that anticipated subsequent thinking amongst people like Ivan Illich, Fritz Schumacher and Edward Goldsmith.

Many members felt the difference should have been containable in a party seeking world revolution. If market society was replaced with production for need it was inconceivable that the result would take the same form everywhere.

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