The Walthamstow electorate had two capitalist candidates to choose from. Of course, it was left to the S.P.G.B. to point out this aspect of the situation. During the week preceding the election the Party members held meetings practically every evening, all of which were very largely attended and attentively followed. A leaflet, brief but to the point, was distributed throughout the division, pointing out that Liberal and Tory were equally the enemies of the working class, and advising the latter to abstain from voting, and to write “Socialism” across their ballot papers.

This caused consternation in the enemy’s camp, particularly among the psuedo-Socialists. The Executive Council of the Social-Democratic Party published a manifesto (passed by the local branch by a majority of about four after two or three special meetings had been held) calling upon the working class to vote Tory. “Treachery and lying” said these fine judges of treachery and lying, “are even worse than arrogance and brutality.” Even so, but in their case the deeper dye of the first named abnoxious qualities does not cover up the persistent stain of arrogance and brutality. Said the manifesto further: “Fellow Workers, both the capitalist factions are your enemies. . . . Vote, therefore, against Simon.” The logic of the “therefore” is, of course, irresistible, and doubtless it constrained multitudes to vote for Johnson, one of “the Tories who, during their 17 years tenure of power proved themselves quite as indifferent to the welfare of the people at home … as Liberals and Radicals.” (Justice. 29.l0.10.)

One thing, at least, the S.D.P. succeeded in doing during the election, that is, in showing again what an anti-working-class party they are.

Their decision to vote Tory was probably the result of the discussion in Justice a few months back on what they should do with their votes.

The I.L.P. also issued a manifesto urging the workers to vote against the Liberal on the ground that he refused to give a definite promise that he and the Liberal party would work for the reversal of the Osborne judgment. This was distinctly funny, for, as the Tory papers pointed out at the time, Mr. Johnson, the Tory candidate, had stated very clearly that he upheld the Osborne judgment. That a large number of the workers saw through the I.L.P. trickery is certain, particularly in view of the fact that only ten months previously the same party were shouting themselves hoarse advising the electors to vote for Simon !

However, if figures count for anything, the combined efforts of the I.L.P. and S.D.P. had little other result than to expose their own weakness, for the Liberal increased his majority by 571 votes, while the total poll was 2,677 less than at the General Election.

J. T. B.

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