1900s >> 1909 >> no-63-november-1909

Islington Branch Report

THE REV. A. J. WALDRON WRIGGLES OUT OF A DEBATE

Of all the districts of London, we suppose there are few more cursed with the presence of bogus political organisations than Islington. That being so the task of our comrades has been a hard one; but in spite of that fact we are making good progress, and in the near future our membership should be considerably augmented. During the season which is now drawing rapidly to a close, very few Sundays have seen us absent from our station in Finsbury Park, where principally through the valiant efforts of our comrades Anderson and Fitzgerald good meettings have been held, sales of the SOCIALIST STANDARD and other literature being phenomenal.

Early in the year we had a debate with Mr. J. S. H. Taylor of the Anti-Socialist Union. Anderson held the fort, and, needless to say, did not have much difficulty in demolishing the arguments of his opponent, who, much to the amusement of the audience, occupied a deal of his time in enquiring of the chairman if his time was nearly up.

Owing, we suppose, to the lamentable display given by Mr. Taylor, another member of the Anti-Socialist Union—Mr. A. F. Collins—expressed his desire to “wipe the floor” with Anderson. We assented, and after some negociations, a date and subject were agreed upon. Much to our surprise, however, we received at the last moment a card from our opponent, saying that in consequence of some misunderstanding with his “chief,” he was forced to break his appointment as he had to speak at Parliament Hill. He was determined, however, that the debate should come off, “even if I have to resign” (yes, I don’t think). Needless to say we have heard nothing since—a nice way of wangling out of an awkward situation.

We have been in correspondence with that astute defender of the Gospel, the Rev. A. J. Waldron, Vicar of Brixton. On the 7th March last the “reverend” gentleman was lecturing at Stanley Hall, Tufnell Park, N., and in the course of his remarks he had the temerity to assert, that “the condition of the people would be infinitely worse under Socialism, and only by conforming to the teaching of the Nazarene will any improvement of their social condition be attained;” and further that he was prepared to maintain that position in public debate. The effect of such a statement upon the Socialist is, of course, electrical. One of our members who was present accepted the challenge on behalf of the Party. Since then we have been vainly trying to bring the beggar up to the scratch. His first letter, dated 27th March, stated that if we could give him choice of dates after Easter he would be glad to debate. We replied that we would meet him anywhere at any time. We waited about two months for a reply, then threatened him with the publication of the correspondence before, on June 25th, “his reverence” replied regretting the delay, and asking for the name of our representative. This we duly forwarded but have quite failed, in spite of repeated applications, to obtain any further communication from Mr. Waldron.

If this should meet the eye of this champion of God we may inform him that in spite of his M.A. degree, and any other assistance, earthly or unearthly, he may obtain, we are prepared at any time to put up against him a workman, who, taking his stand upon the impregnable rock of Socialist philosophy, will have no difficulty in riddling the case for Christianity, of whatever brand, as being of any use whatever to the working class.

As will be seen in another column, we are running a series of Thursday propaganda meetings at the Co-operative Hall, 144, Seven Sisters Road, N., commencing Thursday, 4th November. They promise to be particularly instructive and we extend a hearty welcome to all workers in the neighbourhood to attend.

A Social and Dance will be held on Saturday, 6th November, at Grovedale Hall, Upper Holloway, N., in aid of the “SOCIALIST STANDARD Guarantee Fund.” We trust to comrades and friends to make it a success financially by purchasing tickets, and thereby assisting in our efforts to make the STANDARD that powerful weapon which shall materially help us in striking at the ramparts of capitalism.

EDWIN F. JOAD,
Branch Secretary.

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