“The Anti-Fascists”. Their rejoinder and our reply
Our reply will be brief. It is a dirty game you play. It is exactly the game we expect the Fascists to play, and we are well prepared to meet it. You would suggest that we are not willing to disclose all (italics, please—they were yours) our books to the public. Very well, examine them for your¬ self. They are here. Will it be necessary to turn out our pockets also? They are very light—and that by reason of our Socialist activity. We can prove that, too.
We note also that Mr. “H.,” like Mr. “A.” and the Fascists we have had to deal with, prefers cover. Fortunately, we have others means of defending ourselves, and need not depend on the very precarious indulgence of that abstraction you call Ed. Com.
You will note that we address you as “comrades,” and that we subscribe ourselves.
Editor, The Clear Light.
Mr. Holdsworth seems to find it difficult to believe that any statement can mean just what it says and no more. We said that freak organisations are usually fair game for the political job-hunter, and further that if the N.U.C.F. made all its meetings and books freely accessible to the public as does the Socialist Party, it would show that it is not so affected. Instead of telling us that the N.U.C.F. does, or will, allow the public free access to all its meetings and books, Mr. Holdsworth offers to let us examine the books; something we are not the least concerned to do.
The remarks on “cover” are merely silly. We published a criticism of the N.U.C.F. Its validity depends on the nature of the evidence provided, but instead of answering the charges made, Mr. Holdsworth prefers to beat the air about a supposed accusation, which was, in fact, never made at all. The soundness of the charges does not in the least depend on the identity of Mr. “H.” It is perhaps for this reason that Mr. Holdsworth prefers not to accept our invitation to defend the N.U.C.F. in our columns.
In passing, it is interesting to note that the N.U.C.F. is also guilty of the “crime” of publishing contributions in its organ without disclosing the identity of the writer.
We do not know what Mr. Holdsworth was trying to express by the words, “precarious indulgence of that abstraction you call Ed. Com.,” but it certainly supports our charge that the literature of the N.U.C.F. is obscurely written.
Why Mr. Holdsworth calls us “Comrades” we do not know? We do not know that we have done anything to deserve this, “the most unkindest cut of all.” We have made it perfectly clear that we regard the N.U.C.F. as an anti-working class organisation. We gave our reasons and our evidence and are still waiting for Mr. Holdsworth or some other representative to explain why we should alter our opinion. Our columns are still open for them to do so.
(Socialist Standard, July 1925)