The “Right to Live Council” which, I am authoritatively informed, has no connection with the “Right to Work” Council, nor with any other of the countless myriads of organisations all existing to affirm the right of somebody to do something (or someone) has issued a Declaration of Principles of an exceedingly noteworthy Character. I do not know the author but if I had the pleasure of his acquaintance I should certainly felicitate him upon tbe very scholarly way he has followed paragraph by paragraph, line by line and word for word, the Declaration of Principles which The Socialist Party of Great Britain drew up at its inception and which appears in every issue of this journal.
I do not accept the suggestion of unblushing plagiarism which accompanied the manifesto when it reached me, preferring to regard it as a remarkable manifestation of the working of imitative subconsciousness which, as is well known, frequently erupts in a manner calculated to induce the belief (in the uncultured only) that the medium had (if it is a literary “case”) lifted his matter “entire.” That this was not so in the instance of the “Right to Live Council” will be at once apparent to the discriminative from the fact that here and there, subconscious coherency seems to desert the medium, and, flung back upon his own resources, he is forced to fill in the breaks with transparently original matter. It is unfortunate perhaps that the original matter makes hash (colloquially, I believe, “Pork” or “Tripe”) of the whole document, but as we are not considering it as a contribution to the intellectual wealth of nations, but rather as a curious psychological study, that point need not be greatly laboured. “The Right to Live Council” (at one shilling per councillor) has arrived, and if it only plays the triangle in the “Labour” Band it is, I suppose, doing as well as the pianist who constituted the orchestra of a certain mining camp theatre and who was protected by a large placarded appeal to the chivalry of the audience in these terms—”Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best” !
“The object of Socialism was to harmonise these conflicting interests of Capital and Labour.” Of course. If there is no class war these interests can be harmonised—easily. But as there is a class war, as witness the ” conflicting interests” of Capital and Labour,” the “silver-tongued orator” of the I.L.P. is talking nonsense. If I.L.P. speakers paid less attention to the thing they speak with and more attention to the things they speak, there would not be so much occasion to deride the stupidity of their utterances as at present there is. I must add that the orator in this case was Philip Snowden, M.P., speaking at the Earlsmead Council’s School as reported in the Tottenham Wednesday Herald for November iWth, 1903.
“Municipal Socialism.” The Bushey Urban District Council has unanimously decided to increase the wages of their scavengers from 11/- to 14/- per week. This rise from comparative comfort to absolute luxury may well be regarded by all real friends of progress with profound misapprehension. It is notorious that a sudden access of wealth invariably has demoralising effects which find expression too often in riotous debauchery and this fact coupled with the knowledge that it is the ratepayers’ money which the Bushey Council are pouring out with such a lavish hand, will, we fear, place a weapon at the disposal of the enemies of municipahsm which they may use to the disadvantage of the revolutionary spirits on this revolutionary public authority. The Bushey Council should proceed with greater circumspection so that they may escape the charge of extravagance and the opprobrium that attaches to action possibly product of licentiousness and thriftlessness in the scavengers as well as dissatisfaction and unrest among those whose lot has not been cast in such easy places.
G.A.A.—Letter with enclosures duly to hand and contents noted. Sorry we cannot hope to find room for publication.
“BAKER,” (Bromley)—Thanks. We are always glad to receive trade union statistics and other T.U. information.
T. GIBSON, (Chelmsford)—Your suggestion to hand and receiving consideration.