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strikes

Editorial: The Past, the Present, and the Future

 Another year is dawning and perhaps it is as good a time as any to take stock of our progress.

 That the class struggle exists and is waged consciously by the masters should be obvious to those who have given a little thought to recent events. The struggle the miners put up and the relentless attitude of the coalowners, backed up by other sections of the employing class, makes this clearer than it has ever been.

 The general rise in wages due to war causes (though this rise lagged behind the rise in the cost of living) had given place to a general downward tendency as the shadow of war lifted. Professional politicians and Labour leaders vied with one another in helping the campaign for increased production, urging that to get back to prosperous peace conditions more goods must be produced at a cheaper cost of production. The plea was put forward on two entirely different lines, so that if one failed to catch the credulous the other might succeed.

The Strike and the Vote

 Although Socialists do not exaggerate the importance of a General Election, much amusement and instruction may be derived from a consideration of the antics of the various parties involved. At the time of writing the Conservative leaders are endeavouring to insinuate into the minds of the workers that their position would have been much more favourable had several millions of them not participated in the so-called general strike of 1926.

      That Strike was directly responsible for the loss of trade and consequent failure of the unemployed to evaporate; the Labour leaders were responsible for the Strike, and have thus contributed to the sufferings of the workers.

 Thus argue the Tories.

 Of course, the leaders of the Labour Party resent this attack upon their respectability.

The Strike and its Lessons

 A million miners are out on strike. From the ferment around us one might think they were asking for the mines. Every foul epithet and calumny is being hurled at them by the hireling Press. It is they who are unpatriotic; it is they who are ruining the trade of the country; it is they who are bringing the people to starvation. No one suggests that the mine-owners, who cling so tightly to the last atom of profit which they can screw out of those who go down into the pits, are culpable.

 Of course not. Is it not only fair and just that capital should have its reward? and who can say that the mine-owner is any too well recompensed for his risk and his labour? Not the capitalist papers, certainly.

Woe to the Vanquished


 Evidently the capitalist class were convinced of one thing by the railway men’s strike, and that is that under the present conciliation scheme the long, dreary delays in dealing— or pretending to deal —with matters in dispute gave a good excuse for a strike. Hence the appointment of the Royal Commission to investigate the workings of that scheme and to report changes with a view to the prompt and satisfactory settlement of differences, directly the men had been swindled over the strike and persuaded to return to work by their treacherous leaders.

 This commission has, after examining a number of witnesses, issued its Report, and the most satisfactory result has been the derision and repudiation by numbers of the men of this document, signed though it is by Arthur Henderson, “Labour” M.P., as chief decoy duck for the Liberal party.

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