Nottingham Branch Report
DIRTY ANTI-SOCIALIST UNION TRICK AT THE LACE TOWN.
Since the formation of the Nottingham Branch last July we have been spreading that working-class enlightenment which must precede the workers’ emancipation. We soon got to grips with the enemy, and a debate was fixed up with a follower of the “meek and lowly one.” Comrade Anderson did the needful, and we disposed of a good deal of literature and increased our membership, besides showing the antagonism between Socialism and religion—a gratifying result.
Next the Anti-Socialist Union made an appearance and held at meeting on the Market Square. We promptly challenged the speaker. a Mr. Glover, to debate, and to our surprise and delight, he accepted the challenge, and said he would be prepared to meet our representative on the following Sunday. Evidently he was unaware that a branch of the S.P.G.B. existed in Nottingham, as I will shortly show.
We made the necessary arrangements for the debate, and them on the Saturday our opponent informed the branch that owing to the religious objections of his Conservative friends, he could not debate on the Sabbath. Yet on the same day he advertised the debate in the local Press, and was in the Market Place with his carriage on the Sunday night.
Mr. Glover’s object was obvious. He asked from the carriage if there was an I.L.P. man who would take the platform. A member of the S.D.P. got up, and, as might be expected, Mr. Glover dealt with the reform position, the refusal of the Labour Party to support the Woolwich amendment, Right to Work Bill, etc.
The brave defender of capitalism, after this honest and clean and typical Anti-Socialist manoeuvre, wrote to the head office of his Union saying that the “Socialist Party” had funked the debate.
This proves our contention that the A.S.U. have nothing to fear from such conglomerations of freaks as the S.D.P. and the I.L.P.
Several lectures have been given at the Notts Cosmopolitan Debating Society by our comrades Anderson, Fitzgerald, Neumann, Kent and Watts, on subjects appertaining to that working class education which it is our mission to extend. Space will not permit me to give an account of all the good work done by these lectures. The last of them was on “Socialism and Religion” and our comrade the lecturer gave the “rainbow-chasers” something to chase.
One apathetic reformer wanted to know when we are going to stop pulling to pieces and begin to construct. The answer was when we have cleared the rubbish out of the way.
Note: “The details for the SPGB’s Nottingham Branch in the June 1911 issue of the Socialist Standard were as follows:
L. Shearstone, Sec., 4, Balfour Rd. Branch meets 1st and 3rd Sats. at 7 30 at Cobden House, Peachy St.”