Pot pourri

That the following should have found its way into my letter-box :

Board of Trade Labour Exchanges, Clapham Junction
District Branch, 33-35, St. John’s Hill, S.W. 16th July, 1910.
Dear Sir,—There are vacancies on a railway for holiday pressure for porters—no wages—uniformed (sic) supplied and you have to rely on tips for remuneration, should you care to entertain such a job please present the enclosed addressed envelope on Monday at Walham Green Labour Exchange at 8.30 a.m.
There is held out to those suitable chances of a permanency.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed) ———,

An expectant applicant has evidently misdirected his envelope, for amongst our correspondence we find the following :

Brixton, S.W. 18.7.1910.
Dear Sir, — Your letter of the 16th addressed to Billy Muggins has been handed to me and I hasten to apply for the position of porter — no remuneration allowed, rely on tips, etc.
I shall be 28 next birthday, weigh 14 stone, am six feet high, and can lift a couple of hundredweight at a pinch. Should prefer not to work more than twenty hours out of twenty-four and before definitely accepting the job must ask to be exempted from fines of any description. Please let me know if I am permitted to retain the uniform without leaving a deposit as security when absent for my four hours rest, and state also if any charge is made for the permanent positions.
If in the opinion of the Company an insufficient return was rendered for the munificent remuneration offered, I should be quite prepared to forego one half of my salary at the end of the week.
I take it that not more than 25 per cent. of the tips received is demanded by the Company as commission on the introductions.
Yours faithfully,
X. Y. Z.

* * *

“For Mission Work in India : Wanted for 3 years or longer, foreman, total abstainer, mod. salary, with good practical knowledge of weaving in cotton, wool, silk. Also wanted some single women acquainted with hand-loom weaving and silk reeling. Write, etc., etc.” —Daily Mail , 8.6.10.

Note the “mission” work and what it accomplishes. Enquiring of a holy friar, recently, whether the Edinboro Missionary Conference was limited to ministers, missionaries, and lay workers, the present writer was informed that such was not the case, for a number of merchants, manufacturers and traders interested in “mission work” would be present. Observe the skinny arm of Capitalism beneath the vestment of the priest.

* * *

The joke of the moment is furnished by that well-known humorous journal, the Daily Express. Tariff Reform has meant a variety of things since it was dragged out of its early nineteenth century cupboard and dangled before a deluded electorate, but for the moment we are informed it spells “Industrial Peace.” And yet the adjoining column is headed in large type :


Funny, isn’t it ? The Continental worker who revels in the joy of living under tariffs is evidently unappreciative. Perhaps the sensations of starving under Tariff Reform differ but little from a lack of food under Free Trade.

* * *

W. H. Mallock, contortor of truth, clumsy botcher of figures, apologist for prostitution and poverty, etc. ad nauseum, has written another book—”The Nation, as a Business Firm.” Mr. Mallock is one of the men who may expect a boost up when the Tories go in next time. He has posed as a demolisher of the cheap, unstable rubbish of Karl Marx, chiefly by the antique dodge of attributing false statements to the authority attacked. His efforts so far have only illustrated the bankruptcy of capitalism and of its apologists. The general reader will doubtless ascribe our estimate of him to bias, but let us see how he stands with his brother apologist in the Liberal camp.

In the Daily News of 17th August Mr. Chiozza Money takes him to task thuswise :

“Incidentally he (Mr. Mallock) criticised some estimates of the national dividend which had been made by Mr. Bowley and the present writer,” but in reply they “were easily able to show that Mr. Mallock was ignorant of the most essential documents and facts pertaining to his subject matter, and that his essay in statistics was ridiculous in the extreme. “We showed, amongst other things, that Mr. Mallock was not even aware of the existence of the Inland Revenue Reports, and that he blamed officials for not publishing figures which are actually published and well known to all moderately informed persons.”

Mr. Money further characterises his work as “mere guesswork,” and suggests that after the terrible trouncing he received in the May No. of the Nineteenth Century he should have “had the courage to withdraw his book and seriously to reconsider his extraordinary statements and alleged statistics.” So much for capitalism’s High Priest.

* * *

I notice that the so-called Labour Party are beginning to feel the pinch of the Osborne judgment, which prevents the use of Trade Union funds for political purposes. If what the Clarion, Labour Leader, Justice and other reform rags have said be true, this is altogether unaccountable. Have not the sheets mentioned assured us with mighty brayings and trumpetings, that the birth of the Labour Party marked a new era in politics, that Labour at last was coming into its own ; that Labour, tired of the old parties, sick and wearied of the eternal platitudes of the “duplicate lie,” had at last turned its face to the rising sun of emancipation, and was marching for the dawn of liberty, or somewhere thereabouts ? And yet a trivial affair like the Osborne case has flattened them out like an exploded air-ball. IF the members of the Labour Party were in Parliament as the result of a class-conscious movement, IF they had SOCIALISTS behind them, the Osborne judgment would have been a tower of strength to them. But they are not a Socialist Party ; no Socialists stand behind them : they have got in by trickery, fraud, and deception. Hence these pricked balloons.


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