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Party News Briefs

St. Pancras Branch continues to thrive. With an encouraging increase in membership it is making the Party’s name known in the St. Pancras area. It has an average branch meeting attendance of 75 per cent. of its membership. Successful literature sales are reported from a canvass at some flats in the Euston and Camden Town districts. Arrangements are being made for a series of indoor meetings to commence early this year. The branch is also organising a series of social evenings to be held on the first Saturday evening of each month commencing in January.

Death of a Socialist Pioneer. Comrade W. J. C. of Sydney, Australia, has sent us the following notice on the death of an old comrade in Brisbane General Hospital, one of a small body of Socialist pioneers who have carried on the struggle in Australia, Comrade Bill Casey.

Can the Welfare State Survive?

With the deepening of the world economic crisis and the inevitable increase in unemployment, homelessness and poverty, pressures on welfare agencies world-wide are increasing. Governments are being compelled to review their public spending budgets in an attempt to meet these problems.

Here in Britain the Chancellor, Norman Lamont, has emphasised the Conservatives' commitment:

    "to reduce the proportion of the nation's wealth pre-empted by the public sector . . . Recession inevitably makes that difficult for a while, as output shrinks while rising unemployment pushes up spending. So public spending as a proportion of GDP will rise for a couple of years. But as the economy recovers we need to get it back on a steady downward trend (Daily Telegraph. 24 July)."

He went on to say that the "total level of public expenditure must be fixed on the basis of what is affordable".

Socialist Jailed in Sweden - 'Times' Uninterested

We publish below a copy of a letter sent to the Editor of The Times but not published


Presumably it was the unexpectedness of the suggestion in the Freedom House study that civil rights are at risk in Sweden that led you to headline (2/1/73) this aspect of Peter Strafford's report from New York. It comes as no surprise to us. At this very moment our comrade Ake Spross, who shares our stand against all war whether classed as national defence or imperialist aggression, is in prison for refusing to join the army of a country much publicised as a haven for G.I.'s objections to their government's current war. His incarceration may be less harsh (than) in other countries but the very efficiency of Swedish state-capitalism will ensure that upon release employment prospects in his chosen field will be considerably diminished. Sweden as a refuge evidently does not extend to the Socialist objectors to service in her own forces.

Yours truly,

K. Knight,

Letters: Remembering the Past

Next month will be the centenary of the formation of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. To mark this, the Socialist Standard will be expanded to 48 pages (the price will remain the same), with articles about the activities of the Socialist Party over the decades and how others have seen these as well as on our specific contributions to the development of socialist theory. In anticipation, we publish below some of the contributions we have received.

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