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The Liberal Party

50 Years Ago: The Grim Liberal Record

It is 40 years since a Liberal headed a government, but as the opposition or as ministers in coalition governments they were always to be found backing up the employers and the government against the workers, and providing legalistic arguments and formulas to justify capitalist exploitation and repression. Liberals were in the MacDonald National Government which in the nineteen 'thirties actually did reduce the pay of teachers and civil servants without any sort of agreement on their part; just as Liberals had six years earlier helped to defeat the miners in the General Strike. And it was the Liberal Lloyd-George whose Geddes Committee in 1922 recommended saving money by larger classes, reducing teachers' pay, cutting down civil service staffs and giving postmen cheaper uniforms.

Should the Working Class support the Liberal Party?

S.P.G.B. LIBRARY, No. 7.

The Socialist Party versus The Liberal Party

Being a Report of a Debate Between J. FITZGERALD,

Representing the Socialist Party of Great Britain

And H. RICHARDSON, M.P. (Peckham)

 

AT THE Liberal Club, Elm Grove, Rye Lane, Peckham, S.E., on June 1st 1911

SUBJECT - “Should the Working Class support the Liberal Party?”

-----------------------

ONE PENNY

Should the Working Class support the Liberal Party?

A DEBATE

 

THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. J. E. Dobson)

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Date: 
1911

The Lying Land Campaign: The Socialist View

The Cause of the Shindy
At a time when the toilers are engaged in a bitter struggle with the employers, the Liberals are busy diverting attention to the “wicked landlords” and their “unearned increment”. The dockers being “done down” by a Devonport, are told to tax land values. The miners, vainly seeking 5s. a day, are urged to support the Single Tax idea. The railway men, cursing Conciliation, are advised to levy the ducal landlords.

The Land Tax campaign serves the Liberal manufacturers well. Labour unrest is exploited to turn the minds of the workers away from the real question to the old bogey of taxing land. The policy of smothering men’s bitter feelings against the Devonports, Thomas’s and Hugh Bells, has, however, a more palpable and material driving force behind it. Hence we note from the Liberal Press that a wealthy and influential committee has been formed to boom the Land Tax campaign.

The “Reform Bill”

After long years of promise the Liberal Party have drawn up a Suffrage Reform Bill. With a long sham fight about “Home Rule” and “Welsh Disestablishment” in front of them, the measure seems to have had its last and first reading.

Although a majority of the Liberal Members of Parliament have “won” their seats by reason of their sympathy (real or feigned) with “Woman Suffrage”, that proposition is left entirely out of the Bill! Many of the Liberal employer M.P.’s are now opposing female franchise on the grounds of “unfitness”, calmly ignoring the fact of the millions who are “fit” enough to make huge fortunes for Liberal masters in the factories and mills. But such hypocrisy is in keeping with Liberal traditions!

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