2010s >> 1905 >> no-07-march-1905
Party News: From Our Branches
The condition of the Peckham Branch is very satisfactory. A few open-air meetings have been held when weather permitted. Our members meet regularly for economic study and discussion and are preparing themselves for the season of open-air propaganda. The tone of the membership is admirable: the idea is to steadfastly advocate the social revolution and to leave to compromisers their rose-water for the plague.
Mr. Herbert Burrows, lecturing recently in Camberwell on the unemployed question, argued at the outset that until the workers become class-conscious, and understand the nature of the class-war, no project intended to remedy unemployment can succeed, and then preceded to advocate the institution of farm colonies, in conjunction with communal workshops in urban centres, mutual exchange of produce, and distribution of surplus amongst the producers. Then, seemingly aware of the incompatibility of his contentions, the lecturer endeavoured to show that, while his proposals were not the solution, they were the “seeds of the solution” of the problem. These colonies and workshops, once established, would by their extension and development—one almost sees the S.D.F. sowing and some helpful capitalist administration supplying the water—“dislocate capitalist industry”! Replying to criticism by our comrades the lecturer condemned as futile his own scheme by pleading that it was advocated “only as an infinitesimally small and temporary” measure of relief at the present time. A report of this meeting appearing in “Justice,” designated those who failed to be charmed by Mr. Burrows’ utopian illusions, “impossibilists” ; and the honest reporter was so “amused” by the criticism that he appears to have forgotten that Mr. Burrows was twice challenged to debate the unemployed question, but made specious excuses and declined. The lecturer, however, less discreet than his reporter, asked how he would classify one who, proclaiming the class-war, votes for capitalist candidates, emphatically pronounced such person a fool. Mr. Burrows should be more careful of his public utterances in Camberwell! Vive la Commune!
W. G. Killick