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Working Class Poverty

"I've always been respectable"

 The peace of mind of ordinary English people has been disturbed! A widow has been sued for possession of her flat at Bow County Court, on the ground that she was an annoyance to other tenants in the house. The annoyance was visits by a man she intended to marry.

“The thought of a couple living in the house adulterously. perhaps, and certainly immorally—worried them,” said the prosecuting lawyer. When asked “What is your attitude to this man living with this woman?” a tenant of the basement replied, “I take a very poor view of it. I’ve been married 28 years and I’ve always been respectable.”

 Counsel for the Defence: “The fact that two people who are sleeping together have no marriage lines, doesn’t make their conduct an annoyance to people in an adjoining flat.”

A Visit To Lancashire

 Very tired, I strolled out of London Road Station, Manchester. Its tall grim buildings lent small contrast to the litter-ridden streets. It was cold, and grime hung to every wall. Not yet 7 a.m., and already the streets were cluttered with people—or are these workers people? Early bent with age, the sickening look of lifelong servitude clouds their faces; old macs, lifeless trousers, and a quick walk; working automatons, fed and kept to make a profit for their bosses.

 At that early hour cars were still asleep and their wealthy owners turned weary heads around soft pillows. Crowded buses filled the roads and as if to pack them tight, bicycles long past their age of safety cut everywhere between them.

 Later, as my train pulled out of Victoria Station, I realised how little changed was Manchester. There seemed to be small concern about the slump which was gnawing at its guts: 100,000 on short time, 30,000 dismissed.

Another Quack Remedy

 With the multitudinous “remedies” for the unemployed problem, one wonders why it should exist at all, or, at any rate, why it is allowed to assume the alarming proportions it does each winter. Notwithstanding stone yards and emigration, Queen’s Funds and the rest, however, the problem remains, and what is more important, increases. But at last the "first practical proposal” has been made. It emanates from that quarter from which one would anticipate “practical” proposals.

The Tragedy of Middle Age

 The Manchester Guardian of June 8th and 9th, 1937, publishes two articles dealing with the unemployed women in the cotton towns. Socialists are continually being told that Socialism will destroy the sanctity of the home and family life, and the Guardian gives some interesting examples of what capitalism has done. The article commences:

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