1950s >> 1958 >> no-641-january-1958

That £75,000 “Pie in the Sky”

“And that inverted bowl we call the sky,

Whereunder, crawling, coopt—we live and die,

Lift not your hands to it for help,

For it rolls impotently on, as thou or I.”

Of all the “carrots” that have been dangled before the credulous eyes of the working class (as a loophole for the individual escapologist from wage-slavery) the £75,000 Treble Chance Pools craze certainly takes the proverbial “biscuit.”

Look in any G.P.O. any Friday during the football season and the sight of the queues of budding entrepreneurs for emancipation, feverishly filling in coupons and buying endless postal drafts, is enough to gladden the heart of any government bondholder, let alone the Pools firm’s shareholders.

The giddy idea is to forecast eight draws in one column from about 54 matches—despite the odds against same being in the region of several millions to one.

Capitalism is certainly the gambling system par excellence—from the glittering casinos of Monte Carlo and the Riviera (to say nothing of the fashionable English, Continental and American race meetings) where patrons— drawn from the parasitical “elite” of the international capitalist class—”relieve” their ennui frittering away some of the “filthy lucre” filched from the international working class via the medium of the wages robbery system.

On the other hand, the small-town back-alley dog tracks or the slot-machine craze of Las Vegas, where the lure of the “Almighty Dollar” is too much for working class flesh and blood—writhing under a frustrating poverty-ridden system of society—to withstand.

Certainly a few may hit the “Jack Pot” and deliver themselves from bondage, but, for the vast majority, defeat is inevitable and the slough of despair under capitalism is a “bottomless pit.”

“Let Not Ambition Mock Their Useful Toil”
By and large, trying to emulate a Lipton or a Nuffield or to “Win the Pools” is merely a form of procrastination on the part of those who produce the wealth of the world and in whose hands lies the future welfare of society as a whole.

Instead of being “led up the garden path” by the “success” propagandists of capitalism or by the social bait of a chimerical £75,000 and allowing their life span to “slip through their fingers” struggling in comer shops, offices, mills, mines and factories, trying to get a foot on the proverbial “bottom rung’’—the workers of the world should “support” their own “horse,” which is entered in the “race” for their emancipation—the Socialist Party— which has a “ton” in hand of the “opposition” and with their class conscious support can achieve the Socialist Revolution.

As it is, the years roll on and capitalism is still our unwelcome companion, spreading the diseases of Nationalism, Commerce and Religion, together with the eternal “success” phantasy ad nauseum to ourselves and our children. Confusion enough when it comes to educating them for their real social responsibility—the organsation and achievement of Socialism. Be that as it may, the world organisation for Socialism, with 53 years’ “spade” work behind it and equal to the task which lies ahead, will not be found wanting when the mighty organism of the world-wide working class shakes off its political confusion and sallies forth to claim its social heritage— a place in the Socialist “sun.”

Finally, and using Thoreau’s words—”As in the long run man only hits what he aims at, he better aim high” — let us make our “target” nothing short of revolutionary scientific Socialism, from which we can all reap a richer and socially more satisfying “harvest” than any improbable parasitical “successful entrepreneur” existence within the profit system.

G. R. Russell