A Young Man in a Hurry

Mr. J. R. Clynes, M.P., is certainly a “young man in a hurry.” During the Kirkdale Election he declared that the Labour Party would have been well worth creating if in the next ten years they did nothing more than settle the question of old age pensions. So there you are, you “too old at forty” wage slaves, you “scrapped” merchandise, (“scrapped” because the Workmen’s Compensation Act, for the passing of which Mr. Clynes and his Labour Party friends claim such credit, has decided your employers only to run risks with young and active men), give them time (ten years) and this precious, enthusiastic, impatient, impulsive Labour Party will settle the question, of old age pensions. And how will they “settle” it? Mr. Will Thorne, M.P., as a member of the S.D.F. is pledged to “free and adequate State pensions or provision for aged and disabled workers,” but what constitutes an “aged” worker is not stated. As members of the I.L.P., Mr. Thorne’s fellow-officials of the Gasworkers’ Union, Messrs. Clynes and Pete Curran are pledged to “State pensions for every person over 50 years of age, and adequate provision for all widows, orphans, sick, and disabled persons.” But as members of the “Labour Party” all three are restricted to “five shillings” (a whole five shillings, accompanied by a tract warning the recipients not to waste it in riotous living) per week to all workers over 65 years of age. And as Messrs. Clynes & Co. speak, not as members of the I.L.P. or S.D.F., but of the Labour Party, it is on the five shillings a week basis that they will settle the old age problem and they want ten years to do it! These be stirring times !

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