1920s >> 1927 >> no-278-october-1927

Editorial: Capitalism in Queensland. Ferocious Labour Government

For years we have warned the workers against the danger of Labour Governments. Capitalism can be administered, as regards essentials, only in one way—the Capitalist way. Whether the administration calls itself Liberal or Tory, Communist or Labour, matters nothing to the working class. In our issues for December, 1923, and February, 1924, the position and activities of Labour Governments in different Australian States were fully dealt with. A recent incident should serve to drive home our lesson that Socialism is the only remedy, and a “Labour” Government is an enemy to be fought, not an ally to be supported by those who desire to establish Socialism. The Queensland railwaymen tried to help some workers who were on strike in the sugar industry. The “Labour” Government met this sympathetic action by dismissing the 11,000 railway employees, and was able to force them to desert the strikers and go back to work. Thus Queensland is vindicated as a territory which is still safe for Capitalism.

Three points are worth notice in this little incident. The first is that we see here Labour Government forbidding sympathetic strikes, yet how our own Labour Party has howled because the Conservatives have threatened to limit sympathetic strikes.

The second point is that the I.L.P. in this country has for years supported a useless, programme of nationalisation and other reforms of Capitalism similar to that put in operation in Queensland. In particular, it has sold since about 1917, and is still selling, two pamphlets with the lying titles “Socialism in Practice” and “Socialism in Queensland.” In fact, not the slightest attempt has yet been made by the Queensland or any other “Labour” Government to establish Socialism. How does the I.L.P. justify this Capitalist propaganda. Do they favour the prohibition of the legal right to strike?

Thirdly, for those who imagine that the existence and powers of a House of Lords are questions of first-class importance, it is useful to remember that Queensland long ago abolished its Upper House. When it is necessary to crush revolt among the workers, a single chamber in the hands of a “Labour” Government in Queensland can be as drastic and as brutal as anything England or the U.S.A. can show, and what is of more importance from a Capitalist standpoint, it can act so much more promptly than can a cumbersome two-chamber system.

(Editorial, Socialist Standard, October 1927)

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