From Our Branches


Last month we were, according to a certain “organ of Social-Democracy,” financially ruined for months to come. We had also been “effectually disposed of” by—of all the good and harmless persons in the world—Mrs. Jarvis! who, together with other champions of irreconcilable and uncompromising class consciousness (S.D.F. brand), did their little best to help return candidates in whose programmes the eye of Faith, peering through the most perfect of microscopical appliances, would have failed to discover a distinctive labour characteristic, and who appealed piteously for votes on the ground that they would look after “the best interests of all”! Yet we have quite cheerfully commenced to financially ruin ourselves some more by running a series of meetings in the Market Place on Sunday evenings, at which we shall be pleased to welcome S.D.F.’ers or what-not, and to make clear how well Mrs. Jarvis (or whoever was responsible) has succeeded in deluding the writer of the note referred to into believing (if indeed he did believe) that we were disposed of. Nothing, says the report of the S.D.F. oracle, was spoken but undiluted Social-Democracy, Thus:—

We want the children brought up with wills free and strong in the image of God.
Socialism means the abolition of idlers at both ends of the scale.
Socialism means a fair return to the workers for their labour.
Etc., etc., ad nauseum. Samples of diluted Social-Democracy would be interesting.

We took the opportunity the elections presented to distribute some thousands of a special pamphlet dealing with the local situation. Of course the wrath of our “labour leaders” was aroused, but they will doubtless recover. We are quite ready to justify our action on the public platform as they well know, and that is probably why they give our public platform a wide berth.
The Raunds strikers passed through this town twice. The “Labour” Party supplied tea the first visit. The Liberal Party did ditto the second. Effect—confusion worse confounded.
And there are so few of us to clear the issue and keep it clear. But we go forward doing all a few men may, knowing that the future is with us ; that we hold the key to the door through which the workers must pass to their emancipation. And it is well.—THE BRANCH.


We have emerged from winter-quarters and initiated our 1905 open-air campaign. On May 7th we had an excellent meeting in Finsbury Park, with plenty of questions and opposition, 50 copies of the Party Organ sold and a good collection. A local supporter of Mr. Percy Alden, Liberal and Labour Candidate for Tottenham, challenged us to debate. We at once closed with the offer, and on Sunday, 14th, the encounter took place. An ex parte statement that we had the best of it may scarcely be a fair way of putting it, but at any rate the meeting was large, so was our collection, and again we sold 50 copies of our paper. On the following Wednesday we engaged the enemy at Highbury Corner, and forced the representatives of the local I.L.P. to accept a challenge to debate, which comes off on Wednesday, 24th May. This will afford us a good opportunity of exposing the pretensions of those who are trying to resuscitate the I.L.P. in Islington, and of exhibiting in their true colours the mar eadh Socialists. In Islington, as in other parts of this country, those who call themselves Socialists can be divided into two classes, viz., those who believe in Socialism and those who don’t. It is our business to get those who believe in Socialism to join the S.P.G.B. and to keep those who don’t outside until they learn something of the science of working-class politics. At Highbury Corner two men came forward to join our party. On Sunday, 21st May, we were again in evidence in the Park where we held a large audience for two hours. One new member handed in his name, 50 copies of our Organ sold, and a good collection taken up. It is only fair to mention that no other organisation claiming to be Socialist has held an audience in Finsbury Park for the last three Sundays, although they have held meetings. We don’t mind this in the least. Soon the workers on Islington’s heights will realise that the S.P.G.B. is the only party of the workers. Saoghal fada dho !—CONCHUBHAU.


We congratulated ourselves upon the result of our first Sunday morning meeting this season, but our success was also our undoing. We had a large audience, sold over two dozen standards, and had many questions and some teetotal opposition. But the police discovered that the meeting was a danger to the electric trams, or that the trams were a danger to the meeting, or something to that effect, and when we again essayed to hold a meeting in llford Broadway on the following Monday evening, the “force” prohibited it, and we were perforce compelled to seek a fresh location. But we shall make a good station of this by sticking to it and not disappointing our audiences. There is no question about the interest displayed by the public in our position. It is to them a welcome change from the attempts to confuse Socialism with Christianity and the perpetual glorification of municipal profit-mongering to which the speakers of a local “Socialist” body mainly devote themselves, what time they are not supporting Liberals for municipal elections. We have held meetings in Romford and Barking, and hope in the latter town to revive that revolutionary spirit which the confusing tactics of the S.D.F. turned Labour Fakir politicians have almost crushed out. At the last General Election the S.D.F. supported the Liberal candidate in this division, but we have made it quite clear that we shall oppose them all. We are not of those who advise the working-class to vote for their class and then blame them for the result.


Enthusiasm is working wonders in West Ham. We are having good and attentive audiences, both here and in East Ham, in the former case drawn chiefly from those to whom it is necessary to break the news very gently that they also are of the working-class, but so far we have had no fatality. The worst of messing about with ink, worrying over details of profit and loss, and looking like bosses is that it leads to so many cases of mistaken identity. Many are wroth to find that the profits are somebody else’s while the losses are theirs. The local “squints” continue to shape their course by the rule of “don’t let ’em see any red, Sir !” but there are signs of mistrust of those who see round corners. Especially is this the case in East Ham, where we hope to establish a branch almost immediately.—A.E.J.

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