1940s >> 1947 >> no-509-january-1947

Electoral Activity

 Clause 8 of our Declaration of Principles commences with a punch—”The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist.” This war the Party has carried on ever since our declaration of principles was first drawn up. Always we have attacked the parasites, their henchmen and apologists with the weapon of Socialist knowledge. Literature on all aspects of the Socialist case against capitalism has been issued; an enormous amount of effort has been expended by Party speakers and others in addressing meetings or discussing with fellow workers, in an endeavour to make more Socialists. This work goes on and will continue until our class has completed its emancipation.

 Until recently, our opponents have been able to put up a pretence of ignoring the Party, referring to it as a “small party,” not to be bothered about, or if noticed, to be sneered at in the usual manner of those who cannot, or dare not, answer our case. The following decisions and actions have compelled them to take notice.

 In 1927 a meeting of Party members, held in the Friars Hall, Blackfriars Road, London, decided that the Party should contest Parliamentary Elections as soon as possible. At the following General Election it was proposed to contest North Battersea, the job of candidate being delegated to Comrade Barker. In this constituency there were represented the Tory, Liberal and Labour Parties. The possibility of the Socialist Party making a fourth created quite a stir in North Battersea. Unfortunately it remained a possibility only, as there were not sufficient funds to meet the £150 which has to he paid in the form of the deposit. From this time on we slowly built up our Parliamentary Fund. It was slow work, as a large number of our members were out of work or getting a living with difficulty. However, we built up this fund sufficiently to contemplate contesting a seat in 1939 General Election. The outbreak of war, with the postponing of elections till the cessation of hostilities, led us to abandon the work we started in 1938 at East Ham North, which was the chosen constituency.

 The General Election, held after the termination of the war, gave us our chance at North Paddington, where we went into action with £230 in the Parliamentary Fund. This fight cost us £900, most of which was contributed by members and sympathisers during the Election. The cost to our General Fund was £130.

 As members, readers of the S.S. and a lot of people who had never before heard of the S.P.G.B. know, we contested the bye-election at N. Paddington. This time the cost was £560, and again the funds came in to meet the need.

 There is one outstanding feature we have noticed as a result of these contests: it is that there are far more workers prepared to listen and read about Socialism, than many of us believed. To have been at our meetings would have cured any one of pessimism; the reception of our canvassers was also very sympathetic, and the amount of literature sold was also a very encouraging feature.

 The S.P.G.B. is definitely on the attack at the place where it hurts the enemy most, that is, the seat of power. We know the struggle is hard, it may he long and bitter, but still we shall go on determined to wage war as we state in Clause 8 of our Declaration of Principles quoted at the beginning of this appeal. Yes, it is an appeal! We want to contest more than one constituency at the next General Election, and the amount of money in the Parliamentary Fund will be one of the factors that will determine how many we shall contest. Donations to this fund should be sent to E. Lake, at 2, Rugby Chambers, Rugby Street, W.C.1, marked “Parliamentary Fund.”

Remember our class enemy will not in future be able to ignore us. Your donation will help us to forge the ammunition to carry on the fight.

Parliamentary Committee.

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