Thursday, January 12, 2017

What "Labour" is Doing (1926)

From the February 1926 issue of the Socialist Standard

“Advanced” people urge the workers to support the different Labour Parties on the plea that they represent the progressive element in society, and are hastening us onward to the much-desired solution of all our troubles. Times out of number we have shown that the Labour Parties act in reality as obstacles, hindering the enlightenment of the worker and do little more than aid the capitalists in their more delicate schemes.

Among the minor problems that occupy a principal place in Labour programmes is that of small nationalities.

When nothing can be done, prominent Labour leaders wax eloquent over the depressed position of subject nations, but when their opportunity comes, they do exactly the same as the governments they condemn. We witnessed this in the handling of Egypt and India by the English Labour Party during their brief period of office.

The “New Leader" (15.1.26.) sheds further light on this subject in a reference it makes to the treatment of Indians on the eastern coast of South Africa, as the following quotation will show : —
“Race antagonism, here as elsewhere. Is pressed into the service of economic jealousy. There is a voluntary repatriation scheme for Indians now in force, but it is found that those who take advantage of it are labourers, whom the planters are sorry to lose since they are more docile and efficient than Zulus. Indian traders, on the other hand, do not willingly seek repatriation, and they compete all too successfully with the Whites. It is the acknowledged intention of the Union Government that these new harrying measures should drive them out of the land, and for this South African Labour—to its shame—is jointly responsible. Yet Indian immigration to South Africa was stopped on the understanding that Indians already domiciled there should be justly treated.” (Italics ours.)
And these are the kind of people we are expected to support and assist into the seat of power at election time !

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