[Snowden and “One Law for the Rich”]

Mr. Philip Snowden, the Socialist M.P. for Blackburn, who recently distinguished himself by terming the working classes of this country “the drink-sodden democracy,” is evidently aspiring to be called to that Palladium of privilege, the Peerage. He has now boldly entered the lists as the champion of “one law for the rich, another for the poor.” He writes in the Christian Commonwealth: “The Suffragettes are women of education and culture, accustomed to comfort, cleanliness, decency, and refined habits. To them the conditions which the chronic prisoner would regard as comparative luxury are cruel, indecent and degrading. Treatment as ordinary prisoners is inflicting upon the Suffragettes a punishment far greater than the same punishment is felt to be by the ordinary woman law-breaker. On this ground these women ought to be placed in the first division.” In the eyes of the law, Mr. Snowden, all are supposed to be equal. You were sent to the House of Commons by the “drink-sodden democracy” to advocate the cause of the poor and oppressed. If the conditions of imprisonment “are cruel, indecent and degrading,” how is it that you have never lifted up your voice in Parliament to have our inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners brought into conformity with modern progress ? Instead of doing this, however, you feebly suggest that Suffragettes, because they belong to the wealthy class, should receive exceptional treatment when they break the law, although the regulations which at present govern His Majesty’s prisons are, if anything, too good for the ordinary inmates. Not even a “distressed duke” or a “bold, bad baronet” has had the hardihood to give vent to such views, and we hear there is much joy in the ranks of the wealthy at the prospect of Mr. Snowden’s renunciation of the Democratic principles which caused his election.

“The Pepper Box.”

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