Party News: Tottenham Branch report
Like our comrades of West Ham reported in last month’s Socialist Standard, we are neither dead nor asleep. We have held our propaganda meetings every Sunday morning and evening all through the Winter at West Green Corner, with very gratifying results. Our Comrade Anderson upholding the position of the Party against all comers, from the defenders of Total Abstinence to Universal Perpetualism, as well as the other usual “political” opponents, all of whom have alike had to depart, defeated.
The Branch membership is growing and the sale of The Socialist Standard is steadily increasing, over 100 copies having now been sold at one meeting.
A few weeks ago a meeting supposed to be in aid of the Hemsworth Miners (who had been locked out some 87 weeks) was held at our station. Three local Councillors were to speak, and when the chairman had opened the meeting one of them proceeded to address the crowd. But instead of speaking of, or on behalf of, the miners, he (presumably from force of habit) talked about himself and his activity or want of it on the local Education Committee.
Realising the trick, we planted our platform some little distance away, and very soon the people were around it, listening and applauding as our speaker showed how the poverty of the miners of Hemsworth and elsewhere, inevitable under capitalism, could be cured, but only by Socialism.
The attempt of the local parish pump politicians to take advantage of the sufferings of those people to advertise their own peculiar brand of “progressive labourism” met with signal disaster, and, losing their entire audience, all they could do was to come and ask us for a collection for them. This was refused, but they were invited to send a statement of their case with any request to our Head Office, where, we assured them, it would be generously considered – but nothing more has been heard of them.
Under the auspices of the North London District Council we have started our Thursday night meetings at St. Ann’s Road, and have met with that kind of opposition we had thought was a thing of the past, a section of the shopocracy of the neighbourhood engineering the trouble. One night one of them displayed his intelligence and skill by walking round and round the meeting blowing a penny trumpet. As this, however, did not succeed in spoiling our meeting, a professional cornet player was brought up and a chorus of half-a-dozen assisted him in making an infernal row. Some thought they were singing; nevertheless our meeting went on, and although at our last one an even more dirty attack was tried we held our ground, and finishing up with three rousing cheers for Free Speech, we assured all interested that we would be there again next Thursday, and we will.
H. A. Young