1920s >> 1929 >> no-304-october-1929

“Red” Vienna and “Red” London

In recent years we have heard much talk of the wonders of Vienna under its Labour Council. It has been held up as a model of “Socialist” administration, although there is nothing in its record of municipal houses and baths, etc., which has anything whatever to do with Socialism. Vienna, to many members of the I.L.P. and the Labour Party, has been the equivalent of Moscow to the Communists: a sort of Mecca.
 Now Mr. Herbert Morrison, M.P., Minister of Transport and former Secretary of the London Labour Party, has been to Vienna, and comes back to tell us that capitalism in Vienna is just like our own brand. He says (Daily Herald, 10th September) “it would be misleading to say that Vienna is, in general ahead of English towns.” There is one other little thing we learn from his visit to Vienna. That is that the Viennese Labourites are just as credulous and willing to believe tall stories as their British counterpart. To the I.L.P. Capitalist Vienna is “Red Vienna,” and to the Viennese, London, it appears, is “Red London.” In the Arbeiter-Zeitung (Vienna, 4th September), an article on the electoral successes of the London Labour Parties describes Mr. Morrison as “The man who has made London red.”


We who, unfortunately, live in London and carry on the uphill work of trying to make Socialists did not know that Mr. Morrison had already done this for us. We did not even know that Mr. Morrison and his party were trying to. So also our Socialist friends in Vienna were completely unaware that Vienna is “Socialist Vienna,” and although Mr. Morrison now informs them of this fact they still refuse to be persuaded. It requires distance to lend enchantment to the view of capitalism when seen from the angle of the factory bench, the office desk, the working class home, or the Labour Exchange.


Edgar Hardcastle