1920s >> 1928 >> no-286-june-1928

Socialism and Reform.

 Mr. F. L. Rimington (Leicester), in the course of a long letter asks several questions. (1) Would the S.P.G.B., with only a minority of M.P.s in the House of Commons, adopt any “meantime proposals” while working for the return of a majority? The answer is that Socialist candidates would fight elections as candidates of the S.P.G.B. on our programme of Socialism, not on a programme of reforms or “meantime proposals.” They would be elected by the votes of Socialists wanting Socialism, not by reformists still imbued with the idea that capitalism can be “reformed” out of existence. If they or the Party adopted “meantime proposals” the Socialist electors would seek to further their object—Socialism—and thrust us and our meantime proposals aside. Possibly Mr. Rimington or other readers may be interested in the further point as to whether Socialist M.P.s would vote on particular questions arising out of capitalist administration. That would depend on the nature of the question. A situation might, for instance, arise when capitalist parties were divided for and against war. Should such a question arise, Socialist M.P.s would naturally be required to cast their votes against a course which would lead to the destruction of working-class life and health. That is a matter not for the M.P.s to decide but for the Socialist Party to decide on the merits of each case as it arose. The Socialist Party would, of course, make it clear that such action was in line with working-class interest and not based on the reasons which underlie the action of the capitalist parties.

(Socialist Standard, June 1928)

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