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Marie Stopes, Reformer

There are no good or bad reforms. Some people believe there are bad and good reformers. A prototype of the former might be, say, David Lloyd George. Cynical, ruthless, utterly venal and depraved, be actually told the House of Commons during the first World War that he could have put one million more men in the trenches by 1916 if it bad adopted his Health Insurance Act in its entirety in 1911.

Another such slick operator was the Labour Party's Herbert Morrison, who knew very well what it was all about, but chose to kid the voters that the London Transport Act was "an instalment of Socialism". On the other side of the coin, our admiration is often asked for the genuinely sincere and self-sacrificing idealist who, consumed by the justice or logic (apparent) of some proposal, devotes his or her life to its implementation. Such a one was undoubtedly Marie Carmichael Stopes.

Short Cut to Nowhere

"I do not expect to be still alive at Christmas!" This dramatic message was delivered to a crowd of Saturday afternoon shoppers. The speaker then urged her audience to write to their MPs, to Khrushchev and to Kennedy, imploring them to ban nuclear weapons. For this was Autumn 1961 and The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was flourishing.

Eagerly I approached a CND supporter and introduced myself as a Socialist. Warmly greeted, I was handed a leaflet, with the assurance that CND drew its support from all shades of political — and non political — opinion. I quickly expressed my opposition to all war and was introduced to a Pacifist. Then I pointed out that to campaign against particular weapons whilst supporting the social system that gave rise to wars  . . . But the Pacifist had turned away and my erstwhile friend of the leaflets had moved on!

Debate: 'What Are We Going to do About Capitalism?'

Public Debate at Conway Hall, London, between...

Peter Tatchell (Human Rights Campaigner)

Clifford Slapper (The Socialist Party of Great Britain)

with thanks to Stephen Oberauer for filming the debate -


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Unemployment - Cause and Cure

There are now upwards of 1 1/4 million workers registered as unemployed in Great Britain. How many there are not registered, and how many are working short time, it is impossible to say, but we may safely assume that there will be, before this winter is out, more than 1 1/2 million men and women, boys and girls, able and willing to work, but prevented from doing so. The present depression began at the end of 1920 and shows no sign of lifting, and it is no longer sufficient for Ministers to prophecy improvement; even the most credulous workers are now unwilling to believe in the early coming of the long deferred revival.

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