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Robert Blatchford

Editorial: Blatchford, War and Socialism

 Upon the cue of the General Election, the Conservative party has acquired the services of (for the moment) a most useful journalistic hack. We refer to Mr. Robert Blatchford, the idol of the multi-coloured conglomeration, the Clarionettes. An able writer or speaker who will (for a consideration) beat the big drum of "the country in danger," "the peril of invasion," etc, is sure of a large hearing in the present state of mind of the working class. This the Tories well appreciate, and their object in giving "Nunquam's" German War Scare and pro Conscription twaddle such enormous advertisement through their perhaps most widely read organ, the "Daily Mail," and elsewhere must be patent to all.

 Meanwhile Socialists have an account to settle with Blatchford. This man has for many years taught in gentle phrases what millions have in all confidence mistaken for Socialism.

Blatchford, Jingo & Patriot


    Where He may lead I'll follow,
           My trust in Him repose,
    And every hour in perfect peace
            I'll sing, He knows, He knows.

BLATCHFORD UNDER THE HARROW

 Between the nether millstones of the Socialist attitude upon the question of invasion, and the Liberal Manchester Guardian's answer upon the facts of the present German scare, Robert Blatchford has been rather pitiably pulverised. The Socialist Party derides Mr. Blatchford's passion for lamp-black and lightning, and repudiates his attitude upon war as upon other working-class questions; and the Manchester Guardian, with a single splutter of the pen, has killed the only alleged fact upon which Mr. Blatchford built up his war scare articles. His 200,000 Germans practising embarkation are now, as he himself admits, as dead as doornails. It is true Mr. Blatchford admits his error (as to the 200,000). There was. indeed, nothing else for it. But he still holds to the idea that we are in danger of invasion.

Book Reviews: 'Why You Should be a Socialist'

Infantile Disorders

'Why You Should be a Socialist', by John Strachey. Gollancz, 2d. 1938.

'Why You Should be a Socialist', by Paul Foot. Socialist Worker, 35p. 1977.

Strachey's pamphlet sold over 300,000 copies before the war. It is not difficult to see why. It was simply-written and readable, and the early chapters gave some enlightenment about the class division in society, wages and capitalist production.

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