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Idle Rich

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.

Short story: A Leisured Class

 Open Letter to Mike, ESQ.

Dear Fellow-traveller Mike,

 You do not know me, and I only know you are Mike because your mate called you by name. You sat at the other end of the ’bus and discoursed of a leisured class; and the mate agreed with all you said. I am sure you are a nice man. Your turns of speech showed that you read; and I think you would be found in the gallery at the Old Vic. on Shakespeare and opera nights. I should have liked a word with you, and as I did not get it I write you a letter. If you do not see it, perhaps others may who think like you.

"In spite of all these socialists say,” you observed, "there’s a good deal to be said for a leisured class. Think of the special benefits it can give to society, having so much time and opportunity.”

The Other Eden

“The historic mansion known as York House, Twickenham, is being offered for sale by private treaty. . . .     Lady Ratan Tata now finds it larger than her requirements, and hence it is in the market. The estate contains eight acres of grounds, surrounded by a high brick wall, with rose garden, Japanese garden, and lawns and terraces by the river. The grounds boast a cascade lit by electric light and ornamented by groups of marble statuary. Opposite to the terrace and boathouse is the east end of Eel Pie Island, which is part of the Property. "—Star.

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Newport, Monmouth, Trades Council has conducted an enquiry into local housing conditions.
“One case of which it has cognisance is that of a widow whose husband was killed in the war. The only sleeping accommodation she can find is in the same room with two youths, aged 17 and 16 respectively, who are not related to her."—Daily Herald.

Domestic Servitude or Socialism?

 The signs of social change can be easily noticed and interpreted because of their present prominence. One of the most distinct is the parasitism that makes its presence felt everywhere to-day. The amount of wealth wrung out of the wage-slaves has increased so greatly and so rapidly that it has enabled the plutocracy to run their many residences with a magnificence and display greater than ever before. What was considered lavish and luxurious a generation ago is put in the shade by the prevailing ostentation and splendour. The rich vie with one another in their extravagance.

 A remarkable feature of modern society is the small number of the population who actually engage in wealth production. The percentage of the population who are really producing is declining daily, and the Reports of the Government Census of Production have proved it.

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