During the debate on the War vote in the House of Commons on July 24th, a member ventured to voice his apprehension regarding the attitude of the workers. He pointed out that revolution was being fostered by a certain section of leaders of the people who ought to know better. He met workers who asked “are you prepared for the coming revolution ?” He regretted that this insidious kind of talk was going on, and was being glibly preached at street corners, in the midst of this great war, “indeed, as one who had been so long a workman himself, nothing could be more deplorable to him than this glib talk of red revolution and the singing of the ‘Red Flag’ when they ought to be singing the praises of our men in the trenches.”

Dear me ! How they love the working class in this “democratically constituted” parliament of ours—at least that section of the working class which is not in khaki. (Whatever a man is, or has been, the mere act of donning khaki immediately converts him into a hero). But what I like about the above is its bluntness. There is no mistaking that attitude. Its hatred of the working class is manifest. From every word or so the capitalistic venom usually permeating such utterances, “Suppression” is the key note. Yet it was uttered by a Labour member—R. Tootill.


Another of our “leaders”—J. G. Hancock, M.P. for Derbyshire, and agent for the Notts Miners—has announced his withdrawal from all association with the Labour Party in the Mid-Derby Division. Mr. Hancock has reason for his terrible sacrifice. It appears that it is “dominated by extreme Socialists,” whatever that expression may mean. So far as the writer of these notes is aware, there is not an overwhelmingly large number of Socialists in Mid-Derbyshire, though we have hopes, of course. But I suspect he means the I.L.P., with whom he was connected, I believe. If that is so, then that is quite a different thing altogether. Yet, if he claims to be a “leader” of the working class, and is scared away by the “Socialism” of the I.L.P., what hope is there for the working class from such as he ? What would have happened, I wonder, if he had been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be introduced to some real Socialists ? . . .

“Mr. Hancock places himself unreservedly in 1he hands of the Liberal Association.” That’s good. That’s a more comprehensible statement, anyway. But—isn’t it a distinction without a difference ?


Everything that ever emanated from Germany is bad—from Goethe down to German sausage. The British Press says so, therefore it must be true. That being so, the Insurance Act, a German importation, stands condemned. That is, if one prefers to use the style of argument served up each morning in the Press. We are not altogether obliged to, however, as numerous instances in its mal-administration can be quoted to prove its rotten nature, whatever its source may happen to be. I purpose quoting one in support of the assertion. It must be borne in mind that the existence of such an Act depends upon the existence of poverty and servitude before it can operate.

At a recent meeting of the National Association of Trade Union Approved Societies, held in Manchester, a representative of the Amalgamated Weavers Approved Society from Heywood brought forward the case of a woman insured under the Insurance Act, whom, he said, five doctors had refused to attend in her confinement. The husband, it was stated, went to five medical men in succession, but each declined to attend on the plea that he was too busy. Finally the woman was taken to Bury Infirmary. The child lived only a short time, and the woman died four days after admission. The Secretary stated that the Association were satisfied that this sort of thing had been going on for some time.

The explanation of the conduct of these doctors lies in the fact that the poor woman was only one of the working class, one of the “common herd.” That is but one feature of a system for which we are fighting to maintain. Workers all over the world are pouring out their life’s blood in order that the “right” to inflict every kind of indignity and torture upon us shall be the exclusive possession of one class—the master class.

This same measure, upon its introduction, was loudly acclaimed by our “labour leaders” as “the greatest Socialistic measure that has ever been placed before the House of Commons.” I leave the reader to reconcile it if he can.


About on a par with the above was the brutal contempt shown for the workers in the answer given to a question by W. E. Anderson in the House of Commons, on the occasion of the discussion of the meat question. It was pointed out that arrangements were being considered or made in Glasgow, Dundee, Hamilton, and Aberdeen for sterilising parts of specially selected carcases of tuberculous animals for sale as food to the general public. The “general public” in this case being the poorest section of the community.


Germany is now without a friend in the world, and this, according to Mr. Hoegger, the chairman of the Cotton and Wool Dyers’ Association, is bound to cause Great Britain to have an enormous trade after peace is declared. This is comforting at any rate, because we workers were beginning to think we were in for a damn bad time. For an “enormous trade” will mean lots of work, and lots of work will mean lots of—graft. That’s our portion.

“I should think,” says Mr. Hoegger, (good, old British name, that), “there is surely no British dye-user who would demean himself, under any circumstances, to enter again into business transactions with a nation which has shown itself so utterly devoid of every moral, social, military and naval sense.” (“Manchester Guardian,” 23.5.17).

There is one factor which Mr. Hoegger himself appears to be “utterly devoid of,” and that is “common” sense. Touching which the Commercial Editor of the “Guardian” comments as follows:

“Just now, we all feel like that, and many, we do not doubt, will maintain the feeling. Human nature, however, is in the aggregate incapable of doing it. We have seen in this war how the Japanese have come to the aid of the Russians, with whom they had a severe struggle not long ago, and the Russian Army, which may be taken to represent the populace, has lately shown anything but an undying hatred towards the Germans. If that is so with belligerents, is it not likely that the people of South America and of some other countries, too, will allow their resentment to die down pretty quickly ? We have to remember that business is not done with nations but with individuals, and when peace comes we shall probably hear that while So-and-So would never think of dealing with the ordinary unspeakable German, they have no difficulty in resuming relations with their former connections, those people being really an exceptionally decent sort. The Germans will take care, of course, to offer goods at low prices, and if there is a financial advantage in buying them, after tariffs have been adjusted, it does not seem likely that they will be kept out of any country very long. Profit is a greater power than hatred.”


Rev. Bernard Snell, chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, preaching at Brixton the other Sunday (8.7.17), favoured reprisals as an exercise of righteous anger. This was not the time for patience and self-control, but for letting their righteous anger have full sway in the only way that Germany understood. This gentleman evidently believes in a literal interpretation of the Mosaic dispensation. How insatiable in the matter of blood these Christian agents are, for sure ! Give him an axe, somebody, and let him run amok.



Can the human intellect, which can provide so much wealth for destruction, devise no means of diverting that wealth to the happiness and well-being of humanity ? Yes, by Socialism.

Leave a Reply