Labour Party’s ‘Dramatic Move’

The “independence” of the Labour Party and their “hostile” attitude to the capitalist class are ably demonstrated by the following statement:—

“The Labour Party yesterday decided upon a dramatic move in connection with the pending bye-election at Hanley and Crewe. Unless the Liberal candidates in the two constituencies are withdrawn the remaining members of the party will follow to support their nominees. The Government would thus be deprived of 44 votes which it has been able to count upon in all serious trials of strength with the Opposition.”—”Daily Chronicle,” 3.7.12.

That the absence of the Labour Party from the House of Commons will mean a loss of 44 votes to the Government can be explained only by the fact that their action differs in no way from that of an admitted Liberal. If a given number of Liberals—no matter by what name they call themselves—leave the House, the strength of the Government is for the time being reduced ; but should they be opponents who absent themselves, the position of the party in office will be strengthened.

The “Labour Leader,” in referring to the late member for Hanley, gave all the explanation required to account for their faithful support of the present Government. They said in their issue of July 10th :—

“Mr. Edwards was first returned, to Parliament as a Liberal, and he used the Liberal electoral machinery ; therefore the seat is claimed as Liberal—despite the fact that Mr.. Edwards has acted with the Labour Party since 1910.”

He owed his seat to Liberal support, and consequently acted as a Liberal. The same applies to all other so-called Labour members—they accept the Liberal programme in order to secure Liberal votes and support.

The fact that Mr. Edwards has acted with the Labour Party since 1910 is considered sufficient by them to uphold their claim upon Hanley as a Labour seat. If we follow this argument to its logical conclusion, the Labour Party, by acting with the present Government since 1906—not to mention their previous actions—give the Liberals every claim, not only to Hanley, but to every other Labour seat.

A leading article in the “Daily Chronicle” (4.7.12.) puts the position in very few words:—

“On the three occasions on which he contested Hanley and won Mr. Edwards stood as a Labour man. Of course he had the support of the Liberal element, and the backing of the Liberal organisation, and undoubtedly he represented Liberalism as ably and well as he represented Labour.”

If we delete the last word, of the quotation,. and substitute “Enoch Edwards,” there is no comment to be passed upon the statement.

The same article also pays a tribute to the new Labour candidate.

“There is, too, this consideration—the probable Labour nominee, Mr. S. Finney, is a man of the Edwards stamp, thoroughly reliable and moderate. It is not as though Liberal support was asked for for an extremist and an untried man.”

To say that Mr. S. Finney is of the Edwards stamp is another way of informing their readers that he is a Liberal, and is thoroughly “reliable” in his support of the Liberal Government, when they murder workers in the interest of the master class.

A. L.

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