“Socialism in Paddington”
Under the above heading a somewhat demoralising discussion has been carried on in the columns of the local Press, during which the S.P.G.B. in general and the Paddington Branch in particular have been favoured with the biased opinions of certain “well-educated, reasonable people,” such being duly appreciated and assessed at their true value.
Undoubtedly much of this anonymous animosity was created by the wilful misrepresentation and historical lies that the cunning Anti Socialist and his co-partner, the Christian Socialist (!) are endeavouring to spread in this locality of extremes. In particular, a “Socialist” curate has been making himself conspicuous in that devilish direction by attempting to discredit our party by stating that “the SP.G.B. is an obscure little sect, numbering (at the most) some 200 members in the whole of Great Britain.”
As several supporters of our propaganda enquired whether such was true, a letter from the present writer was published in the local Press, in which it was pointed out that if the membership of the S.P.G.B. did not exceed 100 that of itself would not prove that the Party’s principles were wrong.
It is clear that this genial cleric pinned his faith to numbers and not principles, and that his conception of a Socialist body is one that commences its career with a million members and dwindles down to a few choice spirits to perpetuate the species.
The sycophantic attitude of these “Socialistic” sky-pilots becomes apparent upon reflection. They are Anti-Socialist spies seeking to permeate the Socialist movement with the chloroform of a dead religion. It is all humbug to say that Socialism is based upon Christianity or “the Sermon on the Mount,” because neither Theism nor Atheism can be the basis of asocial system.
Another correspondent put forward the suggestion that the time had arrived when their united energies should be concentrated against “the only party worth talking about; the party of revolutionary Socialists ; the S.P.G.B.” He proposed immediate action being taken to smash the branch up, because he felt convinced that when the S.P.G.B. citadel has been demolished and the rubbish cleared away, the Socialist movement in Paddington will cease to be a fighting force, and will gradually fade.
This hostile announcement acted like a tonic on the branch, who replied by advertising a series of lectures on Socialism at the “Prince of Wales,” Harrow Road. It was proclaimed that our object in holding these lectures was to give citizens an opportunity to discuss the question of Socialism and all its implications, and we invited opponents to attend and submit questions, or state their case against us from the platform. With what result ? The week’s mission was a great success. Large and attentive audiences listened to the exposition of Socialism, and the collections and sales of literature were very good. And from the enquiries that were made concerning the party the branch confidently expects an increased membership.
Our Secretary is at all times ready to enlighten any wage-worker who is desirous of joining the Socialist Party. If there is any doubt or difficulty that wants explaining, now is the time to have such matters cleared up. Our branch meeting is held for that purpose among others, and we cordially invite our fellow workers in Paddington to bestir themselves, throw off the shackles of superstition and ignorance, and join with us in securing our emancipation from the thraldom of capitalism by the institution of Socialism.