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Labour Government

Book Review: 'Labour Marches On'

Labour Party Apologetics

'Labour Marches On', by John Parker (Penguin, 1s. 6d.)

Mr. John Parker's book, "Labour Marches On" (Penguin, 1s. 6d.) is a haven of peace after the exhausting thunder of its companion volume, Hogg's "Case For Conservatism." Mr. Parker writes quietly and modestly, and makes one think of him as a nice, modest man. After reading his book one realises that, in the matter of political understanding, he has plenty to be modest about.

When Labour Ruled (1)

On 3 September, the Rt Hon Baroness Castle of Blackburn appeared on the Channel Four "Opinions" programme to urge us not to let that marvellous achievement, The Welfare State, be taken away from us. She reminisced for half-an-hour upon the setting up of the National Health Service and how the post-war Labour governments engaged experts to explain to them what poverty was, so that they could devise schemes like Family Allowances in an attempt to combat it.

While fondly remembering her own part as plain Barbara Castle in all the this, she seemed to forget her part in Labour's other record on poverty: its consistent and often vicious efforts to hold down wages—at the same time as inflating the currency to make them worth less.

Sting in the Tail

Tory caring

Sir Louis Blom-Cooper and Professor Elaine Murphy have been sacked.

They used to work for the government-funded Mental Health Act Commission. This is a body set up to protect the rights of patients compulsorily detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act.

Louis and Elaine were experts in the field of Mental Health. They were chairman and vice-chairman of the committee. They worked their socks off in their endeavours to protect the mentally disabled.

They were sacked because they warned the government that inner-city mental services were "in crisis". They claimed that seriously disturbed patients were being discharged too early to make way for even more disturbed people. They said:

    "Psychiatric wards were so overcrowded that patients had to share beds and sleep in corridors." (Observer, 24 April)

Review: Students; Labour in Office; Immigration

Why Students Demonstrate

As any surviving Suffragette will agree, demonstrators, in their time, are rarely popular—a fact which contains the seeds of its own consolation. Most workers, accepting their lot, are quick to condemn anyone who tries to disturb their apathy with protests drawing their attention away from the television set and onto social problems.

So it is that the students are denounced wholesale, as long haired layabouts who dissipate wildly generous grants in promiscuous sex and punch ups with the police—and their horses.

This, of course, is a maliciously distorted picture. The majority of students scrape by on meagre grants, and have to swot hard for the simple reason that, being workers, they must pass their exams on schedule. Even the small minority who may go in for violent demonstrations are by no means the dirty villains they are made out to be.

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