How to be independent
After the General Election came the L.C.C. elections. The Labour Party and I.L.P. ran candidates in eight constituencies, but it is not true to say contested, as in only one of the eight did they run a full ticket.
As is well known, each constituency has two seats, yet the “Independent” Labour Party ran only one man in each of seven districts. Why ? Because they knew their position was hopeless without the help of the progressives (Liberals). They ran two candidates at Woolwich only, where the Progressives had none. Even then they lost.
In Bermondsey and Kennington where the Progressives ran two official candidates, the I.L.Peers were defeated. In Bow and Bromley, North Lambeth, and Poplar the one-and-one idea was followed with the result that Lansbury, F. Smith and Ensor were elected. And Mr. Robert Williams claims these as Socialist victories and calls the three a “Socialist group” !
Another I.L.P. member—C. L. Jesson—followed the example of the Fabians and ran as a Progressive in Walworth, and was returned.
Evidently the I.L.P. idea of “independence” embraces bargains and joint candidatures with their supposed enemies. These are their boasted “glorious victories,” the fruits of their superior tactics and ability. But the workers may be sure that the “Independents” will support the Proressives every whit as heartily at Spring Gardens as the Labour Party does the Liberals at Westminster, and for the same reason—their seats are the gift of the capitalists.