Answers to Correspondents

JOHNSON (Hulme), writes “Having bought your paper, The Socialist Standard, and seen you have many times said the workers don’t pay the rates, I should like to ask you (1) Why do the capitalists not let the workers know they do not pay same ? (2) Why Mr. Geo. J. Wardle recently said at the Grand Theatre, Manchester, that the workers pay the rates—they pay everything ? (3) Mr. Masterman, M.P., at Crewe, 12 Nov., 08, said ‘But much as he would like to relieve taxation from every class, if he had to choose between the man with 18s. a week and the man with £2,000 a year he should have no hesitation in saying it was more desirable as a matter of national politics to relieve those with the smallest incomes.’ I should like to know who are up the pole, they, or I.”

We point out to our correspondent that the capitalists do, when it suits them, “let the workers know they don’t pay” the rates, for evidence of which see Chiozza Money’s “Riches and Poverty,” pp. 79-80 (People’s edition). With regard to the second point, Mr. Wardle probably knows no better. His statement quite bears out our contention that the members of the Labour Party are, to put it mildly, confusionists. The Socialist contention, of course, means that rates are not paid out of wages. Perhaps even Mr. Wardle would not claim that the workers pay for “everything” out of their wages. As to the third point, Mr. Masterman knows his business. Slim capitalist politician that he is, he knows the use of such verbal trickery when working men are to be bamboozled. Apart from the question at issue, wage-workers are vastly more interested in high municipal expenditure, involving employment, than they are in high or low rates. If our correspondent will read the article on the subject in the June ’05 issue of this journal, he will then be in a position to decide for himself who is “up the pole.”

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