The old old story

The B.S.P., keeping up its reputation of madness, has recently issued to its members and friends a circular entitled: “A Call to Vigorous Effort,” and with it a letter—begging subscriptions for carrying on a National Winter Campaign, to stir up public opinion in order to obtain from the master class “stepping stones to Social Democracy.”

In the letter, which is dated Nov. 4th, it states that: “In a matter of ten weeks, more progress has been made in the direction of Socialist legislation than during the previous ten years.” From this it would seem that if the war continues as long as some of the half-penny daily “military experts” inform us it will, Socialism will have become an accomplished fact !

Go ahead, then, B.S.P.! Go ahead !


But, as usual, the B.S.P. puts the noose round its own neck, for when we turn to the “Call” we find that it endeavours to describe what actually has taken place, and what the B.S.P. calls in its letter, “progress towards Socialist legislation.” It says: “The Government, which promised that the real producers and defenders of the United Kingdom should receive fair treatment, and that their dependents should be fully cared for, is breaking every pledge it made.” By the way, who produced the United Kingdom ? “Cumbersome and unworkable machinery has been set up in order to evade responsibility ; doles have been cut down below the slow starvation limits; the workers in distress are being left to the tender mercies of the ‘charitable rich’ . . . capitalists have taken advantage of Government subsidies, Government guarantees and Government protection to increase their profits.” Progress ! Socialist legislation !


Perhaps we are just getting to it. Further it reads : “Public opinion must be stirred to follow actively on the lines of National Control of Railways, National Fixation of Prices, and National Insurance of Shipping already secured.”

So far as the control of railways and the insurance of shipping goes, we venture to assert that the majority of capitalists in other industries would be only too pleased to have their profits guaranteed and secured in a similar manner. That the B.S.P. jubilates over this action only goes to prove what we have always maintained, viz., that, like the other pseudo-Socialist bodies, it is composed either of misguided mortals or deliberate frauds deluding their fellows in the interest of the capitalist class.

The Government has not fixed prices, nor can it do so. All it has done is to state a price arranged beforehand with the capitalists beyond which certain commodities must not be sold. And here again the Government took particular care that profits were not in any way reduced. It was officially stated that these prices allowed “a good profit both for the wholesale merchant and the retailer” ; and when the representatives of capitalists talk about “a good proft” they usually mean what they say. Far from the prices being fixed, they have fluctuated even more than at ordintry times. Take sugar, for instance; the maximum price has been bobbing up and down all the time, 4½d., 3¾d., 4¼d., 3¾d. and so on. And don’t forget it that in most cases out of ten the dealers charged the maximum.


The S.L.P. is also in a bad way. So bad that the editor of their official organ has to warn its readers not to understand any of the articles therein as expressing the Party’s attitude or view regarding the war. This, mark you, after the war has been in progress for three months ! In fact, he admits that he does not know what the official view is ! One of its contributors, presumably a member of the Party, says “The S.L.P.—let us admit it freely—has been taken by storm, though not so disastrously as other parties. . . . What policy does the S.L.P. follow with respect to this war ? We don’t know. We are disunited. We are groping for a lead at the present time.”

Lead kindly light !

J. W. P.

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