Skip to Content

Reforms

Do Social Reforms Kill Socialism?

 The "Dole" and the Workers

"What is the effect of the dole upon the mental attitude of the workers? Does it make them more acquiescent towards capitalism"

Old-Age Pensions: A Typical Reform

At the time that the OLD AGE pension measure was passed by Parliament it was pointed out in this journal that its chief purpose was to save the rates. It was to encourage old people to starve outside the workhouse rather than go in and be kept at treble the cost by the ratepayers. Evidence of this fact has been repeatedly given, and to-day, owing to the enormous increase in the cost of living, the old-age pensioners are dying off like flies. Such paragraphs as the following speak eloquently of this :

    "'LIFE ON 1s. 6d. A WEEK.”
      "'If they can live on Is. 6d. a week each and don't get starved, a good many of us eat too much,' said the coroner at the inquest on a Bethnal-green woman aged 70. She and her aged husband had lived on the latter's a old-age pension of 5s., out of which 2s. was paid in rent. Occasionally the man earned an odd 6d. The doctor said that death was not accelerated by want."

Editorial: Socialism and the Unemployed

 THE recent Manifesto of the S.D.P. (or is it S.D.F. ?) should more properly be dealt with in our “Literary Curiosities” column ; for a more remarkable document probably never emanated from any political organisation. As a pronouncement of a “Socialist" Party on so important a question as that of the unemployed it is even more remarkable.

 The banquet and the pageant in honour of the Kaiser’s visit is “a studied insult to the unemployed of this country," although why so more than the Lord Mayor’s Show or any other feast we are not informed. Yet only three lines lower down this “studied insult" is referred to as a “cool manifestation of indifference to the wants of the workers," while yet another change takes place a little further on where the "cool indifference" becomes “a piece of wanton insolence.”

The Labour Party and the Unemployed

Labour Statesmanship

The question of unemployment was the first to occupy the preliminary conference of the Labour Party at Hull. “Important” speeches were made by the “statesmen of labour," and a no less “important” resolution was passed.

Mr. Pete Curran said: “Until we are in a position to utilise the legislative machinery of the country for the purpose of curtailing the income of the rich who are in possession, and in adding to the income of the poor, we shall never solve the unemployed problem.”

Mr. J. R. MacDonald, in moving the important resolution said: “Unemployment was now part and parcel of our industrial system; it was produced by the system with the same certainty and accuracy with which the industrial system produced profits.”

Mr. O’Grady in seconding that resolution .said: “The present industrial system was a machine turning out profits on the one hand and unemployed on the other. It was inevitable that it must be so.”

Syndicate content