1920s >> 1922 >> no-210-february-1922

Pocket and Principle

“Beware of all other classes.”—”No matter whom it shuts out, go through with, it—make them line up with the worker . . . or else shut the door on them” . . . “If a man is a member of the B.S.P., the S.P.G.B., the Herald League, the Salvation Army, the Anarchists, no matter what organisation or group, if his income is more than £5 weekly . . . he is not a member of your class.” (E. T. Whitehead, the “Spur,” June, 1920.)

Whitehead did not explain who were “all the other classes.” He also did not attempt to support this weird idea of his by evidence, but palmed it off on poor old Marx. The sequel, however, is amusing.

Since those days Edgar appears to have prospered. He is now the employee of the Communist Party, that curious compound of the “B.S.P., the Herald League, the Salvation Army, ” etc., etc. He has also passed the £5 line, which for him parts the sheep from the goats. “Change the manner of getting the living . . . from working to cadging . . . the ideas change at once.” (“Spur,” as above.)

Are Whitehead’s words to be applied to himself, and is this the reason why our wartime pacifist is now a full-blooded Bolshevik?

The “Herald” completes the chapter. A New York report in the issue for 14th January, 1922, reads as follows:—

“Edgar T. Whitehead . . . . the representative of the Communist Party of Great Britain on the Workers’ International Famine Relief Committee . . . . arrived as a first class passenger aboard the “Baltic.” (Italics mine.)

R. Bird

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