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Socialist Party Debates

Party Notes and News

A report by the Propaganda Committee discloses the fact that 200 people attended the (small) Conway Hall on Sunday, February 22nd, to hear the debate between Com. Turner and Raj. Hansa on "Is Parliament the Way to Socialism?" We regret the inconvenience caused to the many persons who had to be turned away owing to a "packed house." Many friends and sympathisers have told us that the debate proved to be very instructive and stimulating, and this is borne out by the figures for the sales of literature, and the contribution to our funds resulting from this meeting. Just over £2 worth of pamphlets, etc., were sold, and the collection was nearly £4.

Debate: Labour Party and S.P.G.B.

A Debate was held at the Working Men's Club, Holborn, on Friday, October 19th, on the question: "Which Party is working for Socialism, the Labour Party or the S.P.G.B.? There was an audience of 500.

The Case for the Labour Party

For the Labour Party, Mr. G. H. Loman, prospective Labour candidate for Kingston, first congratulated the S.P.G.B. on their analysis of the social system and the class struggle, which was the most clear, lucid, and logical which he had ever read. The Labour Party had the same object—Socialism. Its express aims were peace, freedom and justice among the nations; equal opportunity for all men and women for a healthy, self-respecting existence; and to convert industry run for private profit into a planned national economy.

Sir Keith Joseph Meets the SPGB

Philippa Fawcett College 24th April 1975

Speakers: E. Hardy, SPGB, v Sir Keith Joseph, Conservative


The Philippa Fawcett is a teachers' training college. The debate was held during the afternoon and was attended by about 250 people, mainly students. Two south London newspapers and The Times had reporters and photographers present, but only the briefest of reports appeared. The following précis is from a tape recording.

Each speaker made a twenty-minute contribution. This was followed by a period for questions, to which both speakers were invited to reply. There was a final winding-up of five minutes for each speaker. The debate was attentively listened to and fairly conducted throughout.

Sir K. Joseph

Guru on the Spot

Roger Scruton arrived early to debate with the SPGB in Guildford. The debate wasn't due to start till 8pm, so one of the members suggested I take him to the pub across the road for a drink.

He ordered Irish Whisky and we started to talk. I was interested to see the human side of a man I only knew from difficult-to-read books on politics and philosophy, a highly reactionary weekly column in the Times and highbrow discussion programmes on radio and television. I'd read in the press that he was arrogant, conceited and intolerant. I found him modest and likeable and the more we chatted the less accurate the press descriptions seemed to be. I asked what had made him accept our challenge to debate and he said that he thought that opinionated people like himself should be called on to defend their opinions in public.

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