Only a short while ago we were constantly informed that our heaven-sent Liberal Party were cutting a new road for the aged poor—”through fields of waving corn.” In this connection we notice that Mr. Bowerman, M.P., is in favour of an increase on the present allowance to old-age pensioners as they are “hit by the war on everything they buy.” He further states that “a question was addressed to the Prime Minister, but, I regret, his reply was by no means favourable . . . The expense to the State is pointed to as a reason for rejecting the claim.”
Doubtless many of “our State pensioners,” as Mr. L. George terms them, who left the “house” to spend the evening of their days in the “chimney-corner” will now have to choose between starvation and the house.
The military pickle now being served up should be the means of arresting the attention of the workers and giving them food for thought. In spite of declarations of truce various sections of the master class are engaged in attacking one another. This reminds us of the old adage, “When thieves fall out,” &c.
One organ of the masters, in waxing wrath over the question of recruits, and particularly with regard to the age limit being extended to 40, tells us in a moment of candour that :
“One of the first acts of the Coalition Government must be to remove the present unjust system of obtaining expensive recruits by telling the right kind of man that he must come to his country’s aid.”—”Daily Mail,” 22.5.15.
The “D.M.” is, of course, concerned with the £ s. d. part of the business, hence the words “expensive recruits.” For we are previously told that “most men of that age (40) are married, and married men ought not to be asked to go to the front while the young slackers and shirkers are left untouched.” Hark, ye, my single brethren, your masters want cheap recruits !
From another source we cull the following :
“There is no room for deadheads. We have suffered long enough for those that we have, and they must be quietly and effectively dropped. . . . The leader we have got [Asquith] the ‘brains’ must be found.”— “Reynolds, 23.5.15.”
We could hardly go further ourselves.
We have from time to time referred to the poverty of the working class and to their heroic endeavour to exist in this happy Christian land. That this poverty condition is consequent upon the private ownership of the means of life is seldom seriously challenged. Sometimes our critics think we are apt to exaggerate this poverty. In view of this we, therefore, welcome the following with reference to the Clyde engineers :
“Many of the workmen are drawing bigger pay than they ever did in their lives before, and are able to command luxuries which they could not afford before the war”—(“Sunday Chronicle, 23.5.15.)
No, we don’t think luxuries are the ordinary lot of the Clyde engineers.
S. W. T.