Not Guilty

The following note is part of a comment that appeared in the Hampstead News (December 13th, 1951):—

  “Embarrassing Support.—Support for Mrs. Barbara Brooke’s rent rebate scheme comes from an unexpected (and probably embarrassing) direction this week. The ‘Socialist Leader,’ organ of the Socialist Party of Great Britain (more revolutionary than the revolutionaries) writes approvingly of the scheme under the heading, ‘As a Socialist Sees It.’ They say: ‘At the risk of being shot at, we confess a liking for the Hampstead Council’s plan to fix rents of all new tenants according to the family’s total income.”’

The “Socialist Leader” is the weekly paper of the LLJP., and the S.P.G.B. is not guilty of having supported the rent rebate scheme.

It is of course characteristic of the I.L.P. to proclaim that socialism is the only hope of the working class and at the same time to be ceaselessly tearing off after all sorts of reforms of capitalism in the hope that there are other hopes to be found within the capitalist system. The one interesting aspect of the “Socialist Leader’s” comment is that the writer of it has so far glimpsed the possibility that there is something in the socialist case that he anticipates being “shot at” for supporting capitalism.

His excuse for doing so is the usual reformist case that “any scheme” which seems to give the workers a chance of getting into a council house “is worthy of support.” (This appears in a subsequent passage of the “Socialist Leader’s” comment.)

May we put it to the “Socialist Leader” that the only scheme which will enable the workers to get decent houses and decent everything else is Socialism.

Editorial Committee