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SPGB Burnley Branch

Party Notes

Two Party candidates are contesting local elections in Burnley and three in Tooting, and full advantage is being taken of the special facilities thus offered for propaganda.

 Elsewhere our comrades are in evidence. In Islington, where the “Social-Democratic” and the “Progressive-Labour” wings of the Liberal Party are opposing each other, our branch is running a special mission exposing both and urging the workers to abstain from voting either for those who support capitalism because it pays them or for those who support it in order to “reform” it.

Party Notes


 The Manchester Branch continues to go “great guns,” and the local S.D.P., I.LP., and other reform organisations must be heartily wishing our members with their inconvenient truths anywhere but where they are—and that is mainly where the reformers make their own public pitches. Being beaten whenever they allow themselves to be drawn into discussion upon the position and tactics of their own parties, they now refuse to answer questions from any of our speakers (following a line that has offered a way of escape elsewhere) and when forced into some recognition of the S.P.G.B., have recourse to the customary misrepresentation of our attitude, and vilification of some of our membership.

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Early Election Campaigns

After seventy years of Party activity it is worthwhile drawing attention to the early moves toward contesting parliamentary elections. In November 1906, two years after the formation of the Party, the Battersea Branch issued the first Election Manifesto, in connection with the local Borough Council elections. Twelve members stood as candidates for the various wards.

The Socialist Standard for December 1906 commented: — “All the candidates fought on the Election Manifesto published in our October issue, a few were distributed in each ward. They had no programme of ear tickling, side tracking, vote-catching ‘palliatives’ and did no canvassing. The candidates were practically unknown and had not climbed into popularity on the backs of the working class, by posing as ‘leaders’ of unemployed deputations, ‘right to live’ councils, and similar confusionist conglomerations”.

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