1910s >> 1910 >> no-71-july-1910

Editorial: Sold Again!

When the General Election was being fought we pointed out again and again that the struggle over the Lords’ Veto was nothing but a sham fight. On Parliament assembling complete proof of the truth of this contention was given by Mr. Asquith (“treacherously,” the Labour Leader said) refusing to deal with the House of Lords as the first item of business (“treachery” in which the Labour Party assisted).

 

Pressure from the Irish Party and a few of the left wing of the Liberal party forced the reluctant Government to bring forward the Veto, concerning which a series of resolutions was passed by the House of Commons.

 

All this, of course, was very annoying and very awkward for the managers of the Liberal party, who found themselves in a deuce of a quandary, and had no relish for the task they were forced to handle in some way. How to get out of the difficulty was a question that worried them sorely.

 

In the midst of their perplexity relief came to them suddenly and from an unexpected quarter. The King died. It is indeed an ill wind that blows no good to anybody. With his accustomed thoughtfulness, his quite remarkable faculty for doing the right thing at the right moment. King Edward had provided a splendid pretext for abandoning the sham hostilities against the Lords. In a few hours the capitalist press had so completely engineered the public feeding, that to have remained true to election pledges would have been accounted sacrilege ranking with the sin against the Holy Ghost.

 

So, when Caesar, having assuaged his grief in sack doth and ashes, had led his flunkey home again, the bitter enemies buried the axe under the turf of national mourning, reached across the grave of the dead monarch as it were, and shook hands.

 

 

Edward the Peacemaker !
So the Veto is dodged and the working class providentially (it is important to observe the finger of God in it all) add again.

 

Acting upon (as the Press glibly puts it) “instructions received from very high quarters” (himself in all probability) Mr. Asquith proceeds to arrange a conference with the Opposition (!) leaders for the purpose of deciding how they will clip the wings of the intolerant Lords without in any way reducing their power of flight.

 

A lovely farce! But who shall say it will not play its part ? Of course, as far as we, who have never attached any importance to the question of the Lords’ Veto, quite apart from the matter of the sincerity or otherwise of the pronouncements of the other political parties regarding it as far, we repeat, as we are concerned, there is no cause for complaint; but it is interesting to note how deplorably easy it is to bluff the workers into the belief that such an event as the death of a king is a sufficient reason for throwing overboard the chief plank upon which the election was fought.

 

And, as far as the capitalist Press can influence the working class, such tactics will prevail. But even now we may almost put a term to the period when the workers allow others to do all their thinking for them. The lying Liberals and canting Conservatives may win this time and the workers be sold again and yet again, but every day has its lesson for the workers. Thus the horror of Whitehaven is a counterblast to the “mourning” mummeries for the official head of British capitalism that all the canting hypocritical letters of “sympathy” from titled persons cannot belittle.
So year by year the light grows stronger, and the number who can see things in their true perspective grows greater, and the whirligig of time, with his innumerable lessons of experience, sweeps us on, much more rapidly, perhaps, than even the most far-seeing of the master class imagine, toward the period when the working class will conquer the powers of Government for themselves, and enter into possession of the world as they make it, to be “sold’’ no more.