Editorial: The Crushing of the Miners
The miners’ lock-out has lasted three months, during which every effort—political and economic—has been made to drive them back on the masters’ terms. The employers know well the slender resources of the workers, and they are evidently waiting till hunger has scourged the miners enough to force them back. In the meantime the owners are selling their huge stock of coal and realising the profits from the coal stores so kindly prepared by the miners in the nine subsidy months. The demand for an embargo on coal is being continually made by miners, but, after the huge betrayal of the General Strike, such a step will not be taken. The Labour Leaders in Parliament have been doing the employers’ work well, talking of “back to the Report,” “the Samuel memorandum,” “reorganisation,” and such capitalist schemes with the reduced wages and “increased unemployment” that these things mean. The miners were prevailed upon to stop criticising the General Council and to “work together for victory,” and on such empty words the joint meeting of trade union executives to hear the General Council’s report was not held. But since then the great “left wing” leader—Mr. Bromley—has been very useful to the masters by publishing parts of the “apologia” of the General Council. Mr. Bromley’s words have been used all over the country by the mine-owners to aid them in their work of crushing the miner. The reasons given by the Council for calling off the General Strike are the unyielding nature of the miners demands, but these very demands were the ones the General Council called the General Strike to maintain! Such are the gods of labour—right wing and left wing.
After backing the wrong horses for the General Council, boosting Messrs. Bromley, Tillett, Hicks and Company, the Communists again show their uselessness by demanding “A General Council with Greater Power,” “A New Leadership” (Workers’ Weekly, July 23rd, 1926). This, in spite of their idols of the left wing, proving to be enemies of the working class.
Left to fight alone for the miserable status quo of miners’ wages and hours, the miners have all the powers—political, financial and economic—working against them.
The employers are not content to use their money power against the miner. They with their fellow property owners control the powers of Parliament—by means of workers’ votes. The owners, therefore, pass Emergency Power Acts, Eight-hour Laws, Reorganisation Bills, and thus they cement their hold over the working class. The lesson then is plain—not a change of leaders—but control of political power by a working class understanding its historic mission of abolishing miners—and all other workers’ slavery.