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SPGB Tooting Branch

Party News: A Tooting Tootle

 A propaganda week has once more been carried to a successful issue by the Tooting Branch. Every night speakers addressed good audiences from the van in the Broadway. The merits of our literature were proclaimed, with gratifying results. Free discussion and open platform, as usual, ensured orderly meetings. The steady and persistent flow of propaganda carried on for a number of years in Tooting has its reflection in the branch membership, and the formation of a Wimbledon branch before the summer season ends is a probability as a result of good Saturday-night meetings held there. The fight is also carried into Balham (Ormley Rd.) on Thursdays in the presence of large and attentive audiences. Altogether five good meetings are held every week (weather permitting), which enables the branch to coach its half-a-dozen young speakers and so equip them for the lecture fist.

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.

From the Fighting Line

 Branches should see that reports of work, incidents of the local fight, and all matters of Party interest and propaganda value for publishing under this heading, are regularly communicated.

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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