Party News from the November 1909 issue of the Socialist Standard
Two Party candidates are contesting local elections in Burnley and three in Tooting, and full advantage is being taken of the special facilities thus offered for propaganda.
Elsewhere our comrades are in evidence. In Islington, where the “Social-Democratic” and the “Progressive-Labour” wings of the Liberal Party are opposing each other, our branch is running a special mission exposing both and urging the workers to abstain from voting either for those who support capitalism because it pays them or for those who support it in order to “reform” it.
Our Islington comrades, thinking of the dark months now upon us, when necessarily the sale of the Socialist Standard is reduced and our finances correspondingly strained, are organising a Social and Dance in aid of the Party Organ Guarantee Fund (see Islington Branch Report, p. 22), while a Party Social to the same end is mooted. Take time by the forelock, comrades, and remember the appearance of the “ S.S.” must be assured.
A debate between T. A. Jackson, representing the I.L.P., and Comrade J. Fitzgerald, S.P.G.B., has been held at Tooting. We expect to repeat more fully in our December issue. As we go to press a debate is being arranged between Comrade F. E. Dawkins and “ Clarion Vanner” Mr. Muir Watson, the consent of the Stoke Newington I.L.P. being required.
Following up the public debate in which the local champion of the I.L.P. got so severely handled, our East Ham comrades have carried through a vigorous and successful week’s mission completely putting to rout the followers of the aforesaid champion.
At Ilford a Mr. A. M. Stones, a Protestant lecturer, quickly realising the growing influence of our Party even in that church and chapel ridden district, set himself to attack Socialism, denouncing it as Anarchism, Atheism, Free Love, etc., etc. Our men therefore held a few extra meetings to expose the fallacy of this teaching, and incidentally to take advantage of the advertisement given to Socialism by this Holy Squint. The meetings proved very successful, interest being added by the tactics of the Christians. At one meeting, after a scathing exposure of how religion is used to bolster up capitalism, our Comrade Dawkins, reading from Press reports of court proceedings, showed that while so-called "Free Love” did not necessarily apply to Socialism, it applied to Mr. Stones himself, in spite of his Christianity. This proved the last straw. Our comrade’s arguments won the intelligent portion of the audience: the Christian section, seeing their idol shattered, indulged in a display of hooliganism that rendered continuance of the meeting impossible. A bodyguard thirty or forty strong of the aforesaid intelligent section of the audience that accompanied our comrades to their Club alone prevented Dawkins from being literally torn to pieces by these erstwhile lambs of God. Baulked for the moment they were not satisfied, and later when Dawkins was walking home he was pounced upon by three of them, one of whom dealt him a very severe blow on the head with a cudgel, all three then running off. (In this connection a reward of £5 is offered—for particulars apply 27, York Road, Ilford). Fortunately they did not kill our comrade (who was on the platform next evening as enthusiastic as ever), but they have helped us to effectually kill Mr. Stone's propaganda, and have really done us a power of good.