Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Obituary: Moses Baritz (1938)

Obituary from 31st March 1938 issue of the Manchester Guardian

Mr. Moses Baritz
Mr. Moses Baritz, the well-known Manchester lecturer on music, has died in the Manchester Victoria Memorial Jewish Hospital at the age of 54. He was one of the earliest advocates of the commercial recording of classical music for the gramophone. Among his musical interests the history and aesthetics of opera took first place. He accumulated a vast store of knowledge of opera and, in particular, of Wagnerian music dramas. He lectured many years ago on classical music to working-class audiences, and when broadcasting opened out unlimited fields for the spread of musical appreciation he was one of the first to give radio talks on music and gramophone lecture recitals. A friend said of him yesterday: "He was possibly the first serious musician to advocate the use of the gramophone in the recording of major works, and he had the satisfaction of seeing his policy realised. For many years he was lecturer and musical adviser to the Columbia Graphophone Company, but he steadfastly refused to go to London to live, maintaining that the cultural facilities were better in Manchester. He also said that he could not do his work without the use of the Henry Watson Music Library, which, in his opinion, was the best of its kind in the world. As a man he hid a very generous disposition under a certain brusqueness of manner."

His interests were not only musical. He lectured in the United States, for instance, on economics as well as on music. He will he remembered as a leading figure in the lively debates of the Manchester County Forum before the war and he was known or. many platforms as a forceful advocate of Socialism. Research into the associations of Marx and Engels with Manchester was a particular hobby of his. and until recently he had been collecting material for a book on the subject.

*     *     *     *     *

The Socialist Standard obituary for Moses Baritz can be accessed at the following link.

40 Years On (1966)

From the May 1966 issue of the Socialist Standard

The “General Strike" of May 1926 was of course not a general strike—but it did not need to be. It brought the level of production for the year down by about a third—equivalent to the effect of a major slump, and its cost to the capitalist class was put at £100 million or more. The industries wholly or partly called out on strike in support of the miners were transport, printing, iron, steel and metal and heavy chemicals, building, electricity and gas; and the Ministry of Labour estimated that the numbers involved totalled about 1,600,000, in addition to over a million miners. This was nearly half of all trade unionists at the time (5½ million) and nearly sixty per cent of the 4,366,000 who were affiliated to the T.U.C. Among the strikers, as Lord Citrine points out (he was Acting General Secretary of the T.U.C. in 1926) were “hundreds of thousands who had never been out on strike in their lives". The supporting strikes lasted for nine days though the miners continued after the others had gone back and some of the coal fields did not give up the struggle until December. ,

The total of working days lost in 1926 reached the highest figure of all lime, 162 million working days which may be compared to between two and three million days a year in recent times.

Lord Citrine, in an interview, published in the Sunday Times Magazine Supplement (10.4.66) claims that “It was not a defeat for the trade unions”, and if we leave aside for the moment the miners and the thousands of workers who were victimised, there is some truth in this. It was an unprecedented demonstration of working class solidarity, and employers, in face of it, did not feel emboldened to try a general move for wage reductions and longer hours and the official index of wage rates stood at the same level at the end of 1926 as it had at the end of 1925 (as also did the cost of living index).

For the miners however, it was different: in addition to wage reductions their hours were lengthened by half an hour or one hour a shift, with increases of 1½ to 2½ hours a week for surface workers.

In the twenty years before 1926 there had been a lot of propaganda in this country for the general strike, either in support of wage claims, or to stop war or as syndicalist “take and hold” action, but in the event the determining factor was the conditions of capitalism—the steep decline of the coal industry, and heavy and increasing unemployment: it stood at about 1¼ million, over 10%.

Workers feared that an attack on the miners if not beaten off would be followed by attacks on wages in other trades. The feeling was no doubt helped by the disappointment of many workers with the Labour Government which had had a nine months office in 1924. They wrongly concluded that that inglorious episode pointed to the uselessness of political action itself.

The Government had been badly frightened by the strike, imagining that it represented a revolutionary conspiracy by members of the Communist Party and agents of the Russian government. (The T.U.C. had refused an offer of financial aid from Russia.) When it was over the Government hurried to pass the 1927 Trade Disputes Act which restricted trade union activities in certain directions, made sympathetic strikes illegal and cut government workers unions off from illation to the T.U.C. and Labour Party, and international trade union organisations, etc., this in spite of the fact that Civil Servants did not strike and had not been called on to do so. The Act hit the T.U.C. since they lost some hundreds of thousands of affiliated members and doubly hit the Labour Party because individual trade unionists now had to contract in to pay the political levy instead of having to contract out if they objected to paying. (The whole of the 1927 Act was repealed by the Attlee government in 1946.)

A period of decline set in for the trade union movement and particularly for the T.U.C., to be hastened within a few years by the depression of the nineteen thirties, T.U.C. membership declined from 4,366,000 in 1926 to a low point of 3,295,000 in 1934; but since then expansion has been continuous and the present membership, 8,771,000 out of a total trade union figure of 10 million is a record.

Among the developments of the past forty years, both in the T.U.C. and in the unions as a whole have been the increased number of women trade unionists, the spread of trade unions to “non-manual” workers and the decline in the number of unions through amalgamations, though ’ big unionism” measured by the biggest union of all, the nearly 1½ million strong Transport and General Workers Union no longer has the glamour it once had.

Women trade unionists now exceed two million, compared to 832,000 in 1925; still however not more than one in four of women workers. Similar growth has been made among general clerical workers, bank and insurance clerks, civil servants and local government staffs, doctors and teachers.

With the decline of the coal industry from over a million workers to under 500,000 and of the railways the expansion of non-manual unions has shifted the balance in the T.U.C. helped last year by the application of the National Association of Local Government Officers' Association with 326,000 members.

The number of separate unions has dropped from 1,144 in 1925 to 591 in 1964 but over two thirds of total trade union membership is in the 18 unions with over 100,000 members all of which, except the National Union of Teachers, are in the T.U.C. Nevertheless the concentration of union membership in a small number of large unions has developed much less in Britain than in Germany, Sweden and some other countries and the British figure of only about 40 per cent of workers in trade unions also compares unfavourably.

The Swedish trade unions have recently, both because the recent wage negotiations were marked by threats of a general strike before eventual agreement was reached on a three year agreement. In Sweden the T.U.C. itself act as the negotiating body with the employers, something the British T.U.C. has no power to do though in 1926 the difficulty was overcome by the trade union executives being called to a conference in which they endorsed the strike plans of the T.U.C. General Council. But the real difference between Sweden in 1966 and Britain in 1926 is that the Swedish employers are faced with an acute labour shortage and were reluctant to have their booming trade interrupted by a strike (or by the lock-out they threatened at one stage). In Britain forty years ago the advantage was with the employers and especially with the coal owners—a shut down of the mines was almost a blessing to them.

Years of nearly full employment also encouraged a development which governments and employers favoured anyway, the widespread practice of unions and the T.U.C. being represented on joint productivity bodies with employers and the government, on organisations such as the National Economic Development Council, and of union officials being appointed to the boards of nationalised industries. The latest innovation is the government inspired plan to have trade unions invest funds in the Fairfield ship building company in order to save it from closure.

The argument advanced for this development by supporters of the Labour Party is that as they believe in planning it is logical that trade unions should at all levels have a hand in formulating and carrying out the plans for increasing production, and for sharing the product on the lines of the Government's Incomes Policy. It is based on a twofold illusion. Capitalism cannot be planned, either by those who own the means of production and distribution or by governments; still less by the trade union representatives invited in to be "consulted”, as will be shown the next time trade and production take a downward turn and unemployment rises.

The illusion goes much deeper than this. It shows itself in every conference of the T.U.C. and of the separate unions. The agendas are weighed down with scores of high sounding motions on all sorts of questions thrown up by capitalism at home and internationally, reflecting the emotional reactions of delegates but utterly useless from a practical point of view. Nobody takes the slightest notice of them, and most are soon forgotten by those who voted then. It is not merely that time spent on them is wasted but the real business of trade unions, looking after the interests of members as wage earners, suffers greater or less degree of neglect as a consequence.

And the question which ought to be the overriding concern of trade unionists as members of the working class, their interest in getting rid of capitalism and its wages system, and establishing Socialism, never gets heard at all. In this the trade union movement is little further advanced than it was forty years ago.

Trade union conferences go on passing resolutions for the nationalisation of industries, always in the belief that replacing the private capitalist by the state will somehow save the workers from the consequences of capitalism. They fail to lake note of the experience of the miners. Before and during the 1926 strike the trade unions and the Labour Party were advocating nationalisation of the mines as the one and only remedy. Evidence on those lines had been given to the Royal Commission on the coal industry, the report of which came out a few months before the strike, recommending nationalisation of coal royalties but not of the industry itself. The Miners Federation looked on nationalisation as a way to solve wage problems and to step the closure of uneconomic pits and loss of jobs. And now that the coal industry has been nationalised for twenty years the miners are complaining about exactly the same problem. At the T.U.C. at Brighton in 1965 Congress carried a National Union of Mineworkers motion in favour of a “National fuel policy” designed to save the coal industry against competing fuels. In his supporting speech the General Secretary of the N.U.M. stated that jobs in the coal industry were dropping at the rate of 40,000 a year and a quarter of a million had disappeared since 1954. And the miners delegate who seconded could see no difference between Tory and Labour policy for closing down uneconomic pits. How could it be otherwise? What counts for capitalism is costs of production and prospects of profits. If oil and gas are cheaper than coal, (and new finds of natural gas in the North Sea threaten a still cheaper competitor) coal is no longer king and miners must look for other jobs. And of course nationalisation has solved no wages problem and local strikes in the coal industry go on steadily at about a dozen or so a week year in year out.

This fortieth anniversary of the General Strike finds the trade unions facing likely new developments in trade union law when the Royal Commission on trade unions and employers associations finishes its work. When Webb wrote the 1920 introduction to his History of Trade Unions he was confident that the earlier indefinite and precarious state of trade union law had gone and that the legal and constitutional status of the unions “has now been explicitly defined and embodied in precise and absolutely expressed statutes”. How wrong he was. New court decisions, and the “unofficial” strikes which have come with low unemployment, not to mention the growing acceptance of the idea of strikes by civil servants and other workers, who in 1920 only half-heartedly adopted the implications of trade union organisation, have led to demands for amendments to the law and for the setting up of new machinery for avoiding and settling disputes.

Some of the pressure for change stems from the employers dislike of the intractable attitude of unions in a period of full employment, but it also comes from people who imagine that social structure has altered and made former trade union action unnecessary. But capitalism is not essentially different, and the class struggle has not disappeared. While it is hard to imagine circumstances in which the 1926 experience could be repeated a sharp worsening of trade, with consequent pressure on wages, could overnight produce large-scale conflicts no matter what the Royal Commission may recommend and no matter what new laws and new industrial conciliation bodies may be set up. What we as Socialists may hope is that workers will not go on deluding themselves that trade union action, necessary as it is, can solve their problems. Not action within capitalism but political action to establish Socialism is what the situation requires.
Edgar Hardcastle

Clicktivism (2013)

Book Review from the July 2013 issue of the Socialist Standard

Digital Revolutions: Activism in the Internet Age, by Symon Hill. New Internationalist Books

The title of the book is self-explanatory, unlike the chapter titles such as Chapter 4 ‘We are Next!’ It focuses on a short period but in comprehensive detail. The back blurb explains that the book ‘takes a detailed look at the uprisings that have rocked the world since 2008 and looks at the part that the new media have played in their unfolding.’ There is a degree of presumption about the reader’s politics (and a whiff of reformism) when early on it reads, ‘In 2008, an economic crash exposed the truth of a system in which the wealthy benefit and the rest of us pay for it,’ and ‘corporations have continued to wield unaccountable power,’ and later on ‘something was very wrong … bankers had gambled with money that they did not own.’

The main crux of the book is a riposte to both digital luddites and digital utopians (who Hill labels extreme and ‘two ridiculous arguments’), aiming to strike a balance between the two. To the digital utopians Peter Tatchell, writing in the Foreword, observes ‘Digital Revolutions do not make social revolutions in and of themselves.’ Symon Hill writes, ‘There are cyber-utopians who attribute the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and anti-austerity campaigns and other global movements entirely to technology … with little, if any, reference to the economic factors and human complexities that have triggered unrest, protest and change.’   ‘At the other extreme of the debate are those who think that the internet has made no difference at all … Some even argue that the internet is undermining activism.’ Click ‘Like’ if you agree, presumably.

Ironically, Hill fails to mention, it’s the digital-luddites who are a newer phenomenon than the digital-utopians. Twentieth-century digital-utopians argued that the CIA-funded Radio Free Europe would topple the Soviet dictatorship, or that satellite TV would topple post-Cold War dictatorships.

Hill, associate director of the leftwing Christian think tank Ekklesia, writes ‘The core principle with which I have approached the book is not a belief about the internet but a conviction about power. Liberation comes from below and never from above.’ Why social change does not come from above could be an interesting discussion, but convictions need no explanation: ‘This book does not focus on presidential campaigns or Wikileaks, important though they are.’

To his credit, he goes on to acknowledge that power from below has in the past and can in the present and future challenge unjust and oppressive systems. He first mentions the printing press and its effect in the 17th century, but throughout, there is care taken to argue that the cause has been economic, not technological. He even goes so far as to agree with another writer that there is no causal link between social protest and communications technologies.

He refers to Tim Gee's model of counterpower, in which movements can use 'Idea Counterpower', 'Economic Counterpower' and 'Physical Counterpower' to challenge the power of ruling elites and argues that the internet is relevant to all three forms. One might be inclined to agree with the digital luddite Evgeny Morozov (writer of The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate the World) who argues that the internet is counterproductive for building physical counterpower. Hill does not overstate his case, quoting critics of net utopians who thought camera-phones would reduce police brutality.

Some obvious advantages are pointed out, for example the ability to rapidly organise and assemble via Twitter using locations revealed at the last minute without requiring leaders to issue instructions, an ability which favours non-hierarchical horizontalism networks with no ‘ringleaders.’  Although all 145 UK Uncutters who occupied Fortnum and Mason were arrested and locked up overnight, Pussy Riot have been imprisoned for much longer.

In fact, you begin to suspect problems with the organisation and the politics (irrespective of the internet) when you read passages such as this, that after police had responded with water cannons and tear gas ‘... the Tahrir protesters met to talk about their demands. Some seasoned activists [thought that] things should be taken in stages … Socialist [sic] campaigner and blogger Gigi Ibrahim explained ’but the people around us in Tahrir Square, the majority who didn't belong to any political group, were chanting for the removal of the regime. So we knew at that moment that we couldn't ask for less … Several hundred activists are thought to have been killed.’ This was all back to front, taking action first, then establishing minimum (not maximum) demands afterwards.

The interests of powerful minorities have always been opposed to democracy and equality. ‘Astroturfing’ refers to political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are designed to mask the sponsors of the message to give the appearance of coming from a disinterested, grassroots participant. Although Hill is critical of astroturfing's success, with questions over the Arab Spring and the closure of London Indymedia, one can't help wonder whether the internet as a tool still favours the powerful. Hill uses Marx's class analysis favourably, to ‘go beyond clicktivism (online activism)’, which is touching on the real cause of social change, class struggle.

What is the Left? (1966)

Book Review from the June 1966 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Left in Europe since 1789 by David Caute (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 12s. 6d.)

The Socialist Party of Great Britain, although it has Left ancestors, is not a party of the Left. Wc have always refused this title partly because it is a term which categorises the parties of capitalism and partly because of its ambiguity. Caute defines Left in terms of “popular sovereignty." political and economic. He himself is a man of the Left and would probably regard himself as a sympathiser of Marxism. He is also, however, one of those who denounce as dogmatic those who point out how people like him distort Marx.

Caute’s distortions aren’t even original: smashing the bourgeois state, progressive pauperisation, nationalisation, etc. We are told that Marx "argued that economic systems, feudal, capitalist, state socialist, communist, succeeded one another in logical succession." Where did State Socialism come from, Mr. Caute?

The labour theory of value is a moral theory according to which
  Commodities have objective values dependent on the amount of labour embodied in them. Yet market prices arc invariably higher. The difference, "surplus value," is pocketed by the capitalist or middleman and in this way the worker is exploited.
This distortion was too crude even for A. J. P. Taylor, an old hand in this game (New Statesman, March 4th).

All this suggests that Caute might really believe that, as the text in fact reads, the 1891 Erfurt Programme of the Social Democratic Party of Germany was written by Marx—eight years after his death! Such is the shoddy workmanship found in a book by a man currently billed as a brilliant young academic.

Caute's twists and turns to include the so-called Communists in his category of Left rival those of the agents of Russian State capitalism themselves. He records their totalitarianism and authoritarianism, their cult of leadership and the forced labour camps and anti-semitism of Russia. Yet still, for Caute, they rank as Left, even extreme Left. The attitude of "the Left" to Russia suggests that perhaps hypocrisy might be a better yardstick than popular sovereignty.

As a history trying to cover over 250 years in as many pages this book is inevitably superficial, but the many illustrations are interesting.
Adam Buick

Obituary: Jimmy Purvis (1966)

Obituary from the July 1966 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Glasgow Branch have just learned of the recent death of our comrade James (Jimmy) Purvis.

Jimmy joined the party in the early thirties and was a very active member. A lot of his time and attention was devoted to constant attendance of Branch and propaganada meetings and in other ways helping to further the Socialist case. Jimmy did a great deal of valuable, though unseen, work in this regard at his place of employment. He introduced our case and literature to his workmates and created interest in workshop discussions, etc.

Unfortunately, over the past twelve years, Jimmy was unable to continue this valuable work on behalf of Socialism. A serious illness prevented him from continuing to work and greatly reduced his general activities. But despite this misfortune he did not lose his enthusiasm or interest in Socialism. He continued to attend both branch and propaganda meetings until the end.

The loss of such members is a serious and grievous blow to the Party. We extend our sincere sympathy to the family and relatives of Jimmy Purvis.
Glasgow Branch

The Job of Governing (1966)

From the August 1966 issue of the Socialist Standard

In the last two general elections, the Labour Party was able to present itself as the party who would “get Britain moving”. Trading on the sense of weary failure that inevitably attached itself to the Tories, the Labour party came forward with an air of dashing modernity. Despite the note of appropriate caution, “this was not going to be easy”, they left no doubt that they were the people who would sweep away “tired toryism” and ring in an era of fast moving progress. They spoke in racy terms about rising incomes and expanding social services against a background of technical development and high productivity. In fact we have found that the so-called incomes policy has meant nothing more in practice than a continuous government attempt to prevent wage and salary increases. As for the free deployment of society’s technical resources, we find that it is as crippled as ever it was. The only things which are recently new in the Labour government's management of capitalism are red baiting and the legal intimidation of trade unionists.

Under Labour, capitalism is limping along from crisis to crisis in much the same way as it always has, and for the immediate future, there is no prospect of it doing anything else.

During the recent elections, the Socialist Party of Great Britain said that nothing could come of the optimism generated by the Labour Party. We knew that the post election periods would be times of creeping disillusion. This is not because the Labour Party has no genuine desire to do something about social problems, but because the ideas they have about how to deal with these problems are mistaken ones. Moreover, it is doubtful whether the Labour Party can even correctly define the nature of these problems.

Reforms v. Revolution
It is worth recalling the debate that went on during and before the first years of the existence of the Labour Party and the Socialist Party of Great Britain. In those days the parties were nearer to each other in the sense that they shared a clearer understanding of the phraseology that both parties used. Those who were active in the Labour Party and I.L.P. argued that through a process of reforms, including nationalisation, capitalism could be gradually abolished. The very least that was claimed for this reformist programme was that as an expression of a mass working class movement it would achieve a more equal distribution of wealth throughout society.

This argument embodied many disastrous errors. One of these errors was the denial that Socialism presupposes a majority of Socialists. It was enough, they thought, to have a government whose intentions were right. Another error was in thinking that capitalism was susceptible to the kind of manipulation and control that their argument assumed.

The Labour Party has moved a long way from talking seriously about Socialism. Its public speakers cannot utter the word “capitalism” without obvious embarrassment or as a slip of the tongue.

The Labour Party frankly cares more about votes than it does about ideas. It has on more than one occasion achieved power, but power to do what? The only power the Labour Party has is the power to run capitalism, and even then not in the way the Labour Party would like, but largely in response to the economic and international pressures bearing on them. The abiding anti-climax of Labour Party politics is that as a party it has achieved the power that its early members dreamed of, but the power they have is worthless. This situation is inherited directly from their mistaken ideas about capitalism both past and present. It is one of the ironies of history that the Labour Party, the social springboard of which was the working class, should now manage a system which can only be damaging to the interests of the working class. They may have once set out to tame capitalism, but in fact capitalism has tamed them.

The Seamen's Strike
One of the most recent examples of the way the Labour Government is running capitalism against the interests of workers was the role played in the Seamen’s strike. From the very beginning of the dispute, the government, apart from one or two hypocritical references to the “real grievances” of the Seamen, in fact supported the stand of the shipowners throughout. The effect of the government’s stand was at all times to encourage the shipowners to resist the Seamen’s demands. This attitude was even carried to the point when during the strike the government look the initiative from the employers in resisting the Seamen. The fact that the government justified its stand around such dubious concepts as the “national interest” and their so-called incomes policy, has no bearing whatever on the clash of interests that was involved.

The Seamen found what working men have always found, that in the hard economic reality of their struggle, they were confronted not only by the employers, but also by the state, this time in the form of a Labour government.

“The Incomes Policy”
Even if the ideas of the Labour government about an “incomes policy” are not consciously dishonest, they are completely impracticable. Under Labour government management, there was to be an even rate of growth with productive output steadily expanding. They envisaged stable prices. They envisaged an overall productivity rate of 4 per cent, per year. Related to this steady increase of wealth, they saw rising incomes for every section of the community and expanding social services, hospitals, schools, roads, etc. Listening to its speakers, it was always possible, particularly at election times, to take a brief trip in the Labour Party dream boat.

The reason the Conservative government during its thirteen years of office, or any other government in the past, failed to achieve these controlled results from the economy was not due to their lack of intention or technique. This government will also fail. They are naive to think otherwise. They will of course blame this in part to a “scramble for higher wages”. The absurdity of the government’s position is that although they manage a system that is dominated by commercial competition and the pursuit of narrow economic gains whenever the moment is favourable, they expect people to behave as though this were not so. They wish in fact that capitalism would not be capitalism. Even so, there is no evidence whatsoever that restraint on the part of workers in pursuing wage increases would in any way affect the cycle of expansion and contraction inherent in capitalist economics. The real result of the government’s so-called “incomes policy” is that it always comes down on the side of the employers in the struggle over the division of wealth.

“The National Interest”
One of the more confusing ideas that gains renewed currency during industrial conflicts is the spurious myth of the “national interest” Though the effect of appeals to national loyalty on the course of a dispute is very doubtful, it is one of the means by which governments attempt to show up strike action in a bad light. The phrase “against the national interest" carries with it the implication of a small group of men holding the community to ransom over narrow selfish ends. Significantly, it is always strike action that is “against the national interest". It is never relatively low wages or intolerable working conditions.

At its best, the idea of a “national interest" turns a blind eye to the realities of capitalism, that is, class divided society. Within an economic set-up based on exploitation and dominated by commercialism with intense competition within slates and between states, there can be no such thing as a community interest. There is the individual's struggle to get what lie can out of life. There is the endless battle between trade unionists and employers over wages and conditions. There is no harmony of mutual interests, either national or otherwise.

At its worst, the talk of a “national interest" is a cynical attempt to persuade under-privileged men to set aside their demands in favour of social ideals that capitalism by its very nature could never achieve.

The vindication of Socialist theory
The policies of Labour governments have shown the correctness of the Socialist stand during the early debates. Events have shown that the fundamental problem of capitalism that is the social production, but private expropriation of wealth, cannot be altered by a programme of social reforms. Experience now shows that any government landed with the problem of managing capitalism, regardless of its determination to achieve change, must shape its policies to the economic requirements of the situation they find themselves in. In the case of the Labour Party, these economic pressures, both domestic and international, will make a mockery of whatever aspirations the Labour Party is now left with.

The problems of the Labour government are not the legacy of Tory mis management. In the wake of its own inevitable failure, it will leave to the next Tory government the same kind of mess. What the Labour government is really up against is the anarchy of capitalist production and that endless war of economic attrition, the class struggle.

Current Political Dangers
The Labour Party has nude a great deal of its ability to control capitalism, yet its programmes have not even begun to get off the ground. Wilson & Co. will go on banging their heads against the brick wall of capitalism with mounting frustration. In view of all that is expected of them and what they expect of themselves, their failure will become desperate. In politics, a desperate failure is a dangerous failure. The red-baiting episode during the Seamen's strike together with the penalties of imprisonment of trade unionists embodied in the Prices and Incomes Bill arc ominous signs. It is possible that the government may tempt to go much further in creating a general atmosphere of intimidation and victimisation. If indeed this happens, it will he the vile fruit of erroneous theories.

In a recent debate in the House of Commons, as a rebuke aimed at one of his party. Mr. Wilson said “You know, some of us have the job of governing". The remark was intended to separate the “responsible" from the irresponsible, but in fact it expressed everything that is wrong about the Labour Party and the Labour government. For his own party’s ability to deal with social problems, Mr. Wilson could not have chosen a more succinct epitaph.
Pieter Lawrence