50 Years Ago: Labour Government Fiasco

We have just witnessed the inglorious exit of the second ‘Labour’ Government after more than two uneasy years of office—two years of deserted principles, political bargaining, and cowardice. During that time the cherished theories of the Labour Party have been tried, and every one found wanting, and abandoned. The Labour Party was to be a “high wage” party. More than four million workers have had their wages reduced since Mr. MacDonald became Prime Minister in June 1929. The Government confessed its inability to prevent the reductions, and indeed played an active part in some of them—notably those affecting its own employees. It was confident that unemployment could be reduced by means of its schemes of development. Yet we have seen unemployment mount to a record figure, 2,700,000; the percentage of insured workers on the register equalling the highest previous figure (23%), attained under Mr. Lloyd George’s government in 1921.

[From an editorial The Great Fiasco—Contemptible ‘Labour’ Government, published in the Socialist Standard, September 1931.]