1930s >> 1931 >> no-325-september-1931

What the I.L.P. Have Done for the Workers

When we ask the I.L.P. why they support the Labour Party, in view of its non-Socialist programme and actions, we are always told, in reply, that the justification lies in the fact that the Labour Party helps the workers to obtain “something now.” In the New Leader for June 12th, 1931, is a statement issued by the National Administrative Council of the LL.P. concerning its relations with the Labour Party. It contains the following :—

“It must be noted as a remarkable fact that to wage a Socialist fight .against the poverty of the working class is made more difficult when a Labour Government is in power than at other times, and that obstacles are put in the way of, and threats directed against, working-class organisations maintaining that fight.”

If the I.L.P. believe this, why did their members in Parliament continue to keep the Government in office?

They cannot even pretend that they try to “wage a Socialist fight,” for Mr. John Beckett, M.P., one of their members, declared in an article in the New Leader (June 6th, 1930) that—

“Every fight put up has been for purely moderate and reformist measures,  strictly in  line with election  promises and  Party policy.”

And even if the I.L.P. were to fight for what they regard (wrongly) as Socialist measures, nothing worth while would result for the workers. Mr. P. J. Dollan, a member of the National Administrative Council, writing in Forward on January 10th, 1931, stated :—

“There is nothing in the history of European democracy to equal the progress of evolutionary Socialism in this country within the last quarter of a century. Practically every reform urged by the I.L.P. in the ‘nineties, and many more not in the I.L.P. programme have been realised.”

In other words, the present appalling’ condition of the working class is the result after the application of “practically every reform urged by the I.L.P. in the ’nineties.” We have never said anything half so damning of the I.L.P. as this. Yet Dollan, far from being ashamed, far from being prepared to drop reforms and take up Socialism, can actually think of nothing better than to waste a further 25 years on more I.L.P. reforms!

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