By the Way

The “Daily News” (28.8.13) once again tells us how old people taking their 5s. portion of “rare and refreshing fruit,” reduce the wages of those with whom they live. It says :

“A family of seven . . . five of whom are in receipt of old age pensions, are living near Redhill. . . . With the 25s. a week received from the State, supplemented by the earnings of the younger men, the family are able to lead a happy and comfortable life.”

So the cunningly schemed old age pensions relieve the rates at the expense of the “earnings of the younger men.”

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Whilst the anti-Socialist is fond of mouthing the old drivel that Socialism will break up the family life, the following is worthy of notice. Perhaps it is because of the frequency of the smashing of homes and breaking up of families under capitalism that the anti-Socialist prophesies it for the future :

“John littlewood, 59, was charged with beg­ging. He was standing in the gutter playing a whistle. Addressing the magistrate he declared that wherever he applied for employment he was always met with the reply : “You are too old.”
“I have a very good certificate here from Chatham Dockyard. I was 18 years there. . . I had a good little home, but I had to part with it bit by bit.” (“Reynolds’s,” 31.8.13.)

Too old at 58, says the employer ; too young by eleven years, says Mr. Lloyd George. This was evidently a case for the magistrate—or the undertaker.

The one, you see, can restore his “family life” for a month in the stone jug, while the other can put him into the way of having a nice little wooden hut all to himself, which he would be allowed to hold in peaceful possession until landlords are no more and bum-bailiffs cease from troubling.

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The Right Hon. David Lloyd George made a speech a short time since dealing with the arma­ment question. Of course he had to refer to “social reform,” and then he informed the capitalists how they would benefit by it.

“When they came to social reform and im­proved the conditions of the people they improved their health and their efficiency, purely as means for the production of wealth. . . It was no good saying they were spending 20 millions on insur­ance and old age pensions. They had got to look at the other side of the ledger, and that was worth a good deal more than 20 millions a year.”

It is interesting to note the utterances of this oily-tongued hypocrite, for when he is addressing his paymasters he specially emphasises the benefit that will accrue to the capitalist class as a result of Liberal “social reform”—”purely as means for the production of wealth.” Yet this is the man who, a few years ago, told us that “No one can really honestly defend the present system.”

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In a leading article in “Reynolds’s” (24.8.13) devoted to the increase in the prices of food and and other commodities, the writer showed the hopelessness and futility of the workers clinging to the gospel of Liberalism as a medium for their salvation. Let me quote two passages.

“In no other country has there been the same press of social reform measures ; in no other country has there been the same effort made to grapple with poverty.”

And again :

“In spite of all our social reform agitation, in spite of Compensation Acts, Wages Boards, Old-Age Pensions, and National Insurance, powerful forces have been at work to keep a vast mass of our people from getting away from the edge of the precipice of starvation.”

What an admission of failure ! Could any indictment of mine be stronger ? After seven years of Liberal rule and unparalleled trade boom, a large mass are on the verge of starva­tion ! Were we not told by a leading light of the Liberal party 1908 that they were going to “strike starvation for ever from the dark category of evils with which honest men and women are beset” ? Liberalism has been tried and found wanting. Socialism alone contains the remedy.

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The ” Christian Commonwealth” for August 27th contains an article from the pen of Philip Snowden, M.P., dealing with the Chesterfield election, and once more is the attitude taken up by the Socialist Party justified. Under a subheading “A Myth Exploded,” he tells us that :

“The result of the election has shown that the late member was in no sense an independent Labour member. It has shown that the claim that the Labour Party in the House of Commons represents electors who have been alienated from Liberalism and Toryism, and who believe in a Labour Party independent of both, is a myth. To try to keep that myth alive is neither possible nor honest. It is perfectly true that there is in the constituencies a very great volume of opinion which is in favour of independent Labour representation. In the industrial con­stituencies it probably represents 25 per cent of the voters. But the Labour Party in the House of Commons has not been returned solely by that section of the electorate. Its members sit in Parliament because in four-fifths of the cases some understanding or arrangement has been made with the Liberals. Under such circumstances it is ridiculous to expect that Labour members will quarrel seriously with the party by whose goodwill they hold their seats.”

Mr. Snowden goes on :

“Over anxiety to get its nominees into Parli­ament has led to compromise and bargaining in the constituencies, and anxiety to keep in Par­liament has prevented the carrying out of a fighting policy.”

Such is the confession of this leading light of the “Independent” Labour Party. It shows once more that these fakirs are nothing more than office seekers, trading on the ignorance and mal-education of the workers,

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It would be interesting to know the object of the visit paid by the Rev. C. F. Blyth to the flat kept by a young woman. Was he desirous of seeing her about her “spiritual welfare” ?

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“Birds of a feather flock together.” Mr. J. Ramsay Macdonald, now that he is temporarily released from his arduous labours in Parliament and India, has been enjoying a game of golf with Mr. Asquith, of Featherstone fame.

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In view of the recent railway disaster at Aisgill, all new readers of this journal should pro­cure the issues from June and read the articles “Public Safety v. Railway Profits.” It will be seen from these that such accidents are bound to result from the cheeseparing policy of the companies, and that the only object of the Board of Trade enquiries is to blind the public to the fact that their lives are placed in the keeping of overworked and underpaid men, operating rotten engines, and supplied with bad coal.


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