1900s >> 1909 >> no-52-january-1909
Party News: The Anti-Socialists at Tottenham
Tottenham—where the I.L.P. have long since ceased from troubling and the S.D.P. are at rest—has been honoured. The Anti-Socialist Union decreed that our time had come. Tottenham was to be saved from us, and we of the S.P.G.B. were to be finally and definitely put to rout. Well, we heard of the coming conflict, and trembling—with joy awaited the day of battle. Did we prepare to meet them by attacking their meetings, singing and shouting “Red Flags.” etc., and generally behaving as hooligans to prevent them getting a hearing? No, such inwardly tactics would have implied a lack of confidence in our own propaganda, and is at all times an insult to the intelligence of the people. Knowing the work we have accomplished in Tottenham, and that no real argument can he brought against Socialism as propagated by the Socialist Party, we at all our meetings advertised the ruining of the Anti-Socialists, and advised our hearers to attend their meetings, listen courteously to what was to he said against Socialism, and judge for themselves. At long last they came—they saw and were conquered! Down upon Tottenham swooped the legions of the Anti Socialist League. Three or four specially prepared gramophonic orators, each guaranteed to we able to emit “Daily Expressions” about Socialism for at least ten minutes headed each attack.
Two such attacks on Sunday evenings fizzled out immediately our ordinary meeting commenced; then a Saturday evening appearance was tried, but again they packed up their traps and stole silently away, leaving large and enthusiastic audiences listening to our speaker. Despite reports to the contrary in the Daily Express, there was no organised opposition, no fighting, there was no I.L.P., either, to applaud or assist them at those meetings—only laughter and jeers at the ignorance of the Anti-Socialists. With their armoury of absurdities they courted disaster and were defeated—and disgraced. Complaining that they had been denied a hearing, they were offered a platform with a guarantee of a peaceful hearing, but refused. They funked the debate they challenged us to. They referred us to their head office, who refuse to take up the challenge, and now, exeunt the Anti-Socialist Union. It is to be placed on record that a “Tottenham Labour League” has been brought into existence by a few local politicians seeking notoriety, “to fight the Socialists of Great Britain/’ and taking up the cry of the unemployed in the interests of the master class, have successfully wrecked what little organisation the unemployed had. In this they were assisted by men who still claim membership in the I.L.P. and S.D.P. The President of this precious “Labour” League is Councillor A. E. Harvey, I.L.P. Its Vice-Presidents include several well-known local Liberals. Their actions are being watched by the local branch of the S.P.G.B., and should that league live much longer it may be the subject of a future note.