Mr. Lloyd George on his mettle
After Mr. Bryan, Lord George. Mr. Bryan declares that if his scheme of Free Trade in Trust articles fails, it must mean the growth of a definite Socialist Political Party. Mr. Lloyd George declared at Birmingham on October 22nd, that the period had arrived when the Liberal Party was to be put to the test. He said that
“the new movement represented a real upheaval due to the impatience of the people of the slow progress made by existing parties in redressing wrongs . . . No wonder the people asked ‘why all this tarrying and dallying?’ They said to the old political parties, ‘If you are in earnest you are bunglers ; If you are not in earnest you are rogues.’ The answer rested with the Liberals during the next three years . . . The people had said to them, ‘We are going to give you your chance, but it is only a chance.’ The whole future of the Liberal Party depended upon the practical answer they gave to the expectations of the people.”
So in three years’ time if the Liberal Party do not remove the conditions that give rise to the complaint of the people (vide Lloyd George), “Here you have been tinkering for generations with reform, and the end of it all is slums, pauperism, and great want in a land of plenty,” the Great Liberal Party will deserve to go. We have no fear but that they will so deserve. The “great want in the land of plenty” is due, as has been proved time and time again in these columns, to the private ownership of the means of living, i.e., capitalism, and nothing short of the abolition of capitalism will abolish that “great want.” The Liberal Party represent the capitalist class and we shall watch with interest capitalism proceeding to abolish itself.
After three years’ more tinkering the condition of the workers will not have improved, and the efforts of the liberals, “bunglers or rogues,” will have failed. And then Mr. Lloyd George says the new movement will grow and displace the bunglers. As in the case of Mr. Bryan’s proposals the alternative has already commenced to develope in anticipation of the failure of the capitalists’ suggested remedies for the evils of the system they are so concerned to conserve.