Tribunes of the People

To those who follow the sequence of political events with anything like interest, the extraordinary mental muddle manifested by some of the men whom the L.R.C. are content to pay at the rate of £200 per annum (200 dirty pieces of gold as the chairman of their group, Mr. John Burns, has so amiably phrased it) in connection with the Unemployed Bill, cannot have escaped notice. Before it passed the Commons Mr. Keir Hardie rose to explain that he had no hope, personally, that the bill could be of any use whatever, but as Mr. Crooks was somewhat sanguine in the matter he would be prepared to support it.

After the Bill had passed, Mr. Crooks is reported as having given it as his opinion that he was afraid the Bill was of no practical utility. So that Mr. Hardie supported the Bill knowing that it was useless because Mr. Crooks thought it wasn’t, and Mr. Crooks supported the Bill because he thought it was of some use and only afterwards found it wasn’t. Of the two which laid himself open to the greater censure—Mr. Hardie for voting against his knowledge on the recommendation of a man who apparently had no knowledge, or Mr. Crooks for voting on a subject requiring knowledge before first of all obtaining that knowledge ?

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