Friday, July 28, 2017

The Workers Under "Labour Rule." (1929)

From the February 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

Lessons from Australia
The Socialist Review, organ of the I.L.P., has been publishing articles on the Australian Labour Movement by one of its supporters, Mr. L. Ross.

Mr. Ross gives evidence which supports our repeated assertion that the administration of capitalism by the Labour Party, whether in Great Britain or Australia, or anywhere else, is of no material advantage to the working-class, and is not a change which brings Socialism nearer.

Mr. Ross points out (Socialist Review, December, 1928) that the taking over of various industries by the Labour Governments helps to reduce prices, but since the general level of wages under capitalism is influenced directly by the cost of living of the workers, the effect of lowered prices under Labour Governments is just the same as elsewhere—wages fall correspondingly and the capitalist class are the gainers; “as prices fall, all wages, settled by the arbitration courts . . . .  fall automatically."

Labour Government and Big Profits.
Mr. Ross goes on to show that the effect of “Labour" administration and the extension of nationalisation is to increase production and the employers' profits.
  “Premier Lang (Labour) presided at the opening of new factories and expressed gratification because he found that most of the manufacturing and other industries were paying dividends of 10 per cent, or over.”
Again he says that the chief electioneering propaganda of the New South Wales Labour Party at the last election was “a long list of the dividends the capitalist firms were paying in order to show that Labour brought prosperity and no one suffered.”

“Labour legislation,” says Mr. Ross, “has brought higher profits, a more unequal division of the wealth of the country.” He quotes from a work by Labour Minister Lacombe, of Queensland (Labour's Ten Years' Progress) that after their experience of Labour rule, investors “have absolute confidence in the Labour Government.” When trade is bad, Labour Governments treat their employees in the nationalised industries in just the same way as the private capitalists treat theirs. "Men are retrenched or given the alternative of shorter hours and decreased pay . . . .  the State employees are the first to suffer." 

These State industries are, of course, set up by means of Government loans. The capitalist invests his money in Government loans instead of in private companies. He thus gives up the chance of fluctuating dividends which may be high or may disappear, and gets a fixed rate of interest with absolute security. Under Labour Governments, like other Governments, it is the workers whose wages are cut when trade declines: “The money-lenders, of course, suffer no reduction whatever in their interest receipts."

At this point, Mr. Ross plaintively asks: 
   “What is the good of a Labour Government if it can find no way out except the way of capitalism?"
The Living Wage and Family Allowances.
Mr. Ross goes on to describe the effect of the introduction of Family Allowances in New South Wales. This is of particular interest, because it is from New South Wales that the I.L.P. borrow the scheme of Family Allowances which is an integral part of its Living Wage programme. The I.L.P. proposes that the State should give an allowance of 5s. a week to working-class mothers in respect of each child. The I.L.P. are, of course, aware that this scheme has been used on the Continent as a means of reducing the wages of single men, so that, in effect, the married men’s children are supported at the expense of childless workers, which costs the employers nothing.

It is instructive therefore to learn from Mr. Ross that this is precisely what has happened as a result of the introduction of Family Allowances by the New South Wales Labour Government.
  The New South Wales scheme, instead of redistributing wealth, actually meant a reshuffling of wages between single and married men. Much of the Labour legislation has had this characteristic that it has so little harmed the capitalists that the non-Labour Governments have taken it over and left the Labour parties without a distinctive policy. ”
Labour Governments and Strikers.
Mr. Ross tells us also about the suppression of strikes by Labour Governments in Australia.

In 1926, Queensland railway workers decided, to help striking sugar mill employees by refusing to handle goods produced by "blacklegs.” The Labour Premier, McCormack, promptly dismissed the strikers. The Labour newspaper, The Daily Standard, criticised his action, and the Labour Government then struck a severe blow at the paper’s finances by withdrawing all Government advertisements from it.

In South Australia, the Labour Government employs "vigilance men” to act as "private detectives” in the State industries to see that the workers do their work properly. In general, says Mr. Ross, the treatment of their employees by Labour Governments has been "less progressive than enlightened American capitalism.” He sums up by saying that "I think that Queensland is further away from Socialism as a result of Labour Rule.”

After demonstrating once more that capitalism works in just the same way, as far as the workers are concerned, whether administered by Conservatives or Labourites or anyone else, Mr. Ross produces his "remedy.” It is a demand for "sincerity” and "unselfishness ”! He fails completely to realise that the factor which dominates the Australian situation is the factor which dominates the situation in Europe, America and elsewhere.

That is the lack of Socialists. The great mass of Australian workers, like the workers generally, do not understand Socialism and do not want it. Until there are sufficient Socialists, organised in a Socialist Party, there will not be Socialism, "sincerity” and "unselfishness” notwithstanding.

The way to increase the number of Socialists is to support the Socialist Party, financially or by joining actively in its work.
Edgar Hardcastle

Wages and Nationalisation (1929)

From the March 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

Mr. Cramp, Industrial General Secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen, giving evidence before the Royal Commission on Transport, was asked by Major I. Salmon, M.P., whether nationalisation of the railways would lead to higher wages for the railwaymen. Mr. Cramp, who was there as an advocate of railway nationalisation, replied “Certainly not.” (“Daily Telegraph,” 17/1/29.)

The correspondents of "The Times” and “Morning Post” also record that Mr. Cramp replied in the negative to this question, but curiously enough, the “Daily Herald” correspondent, although his report is much longer, appears not to have noticed either the question or the answer.

From the railway workers’ point of view, all that Mr. Cramp hopes for as a result of nationalisation, is an “improvement in status” (whatever that may mean) and “conceivably” an “improvement” in conditions which would “probably” take the form of “a better system of superannuation.” (“Daily Herald,” 17/1/29.)

The Socialist Party bases its attitude of deliberate and permanent hostility to nationalisation on the ground that nationalisation is a question affecting capitalist interests only, of no real advantage to the working class and possessing certain material disadvantages. It would be interesting to learn from Mr. Cramp and his fellow supporters of nationalisation in the Labour Party and Communist Party, why they continue to advocate it.
Edgar Hardcastle

Heard in the Train. (1929)

A Short Story from the April 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

Morning, Dick! Just enough room for you before “she” goes. We’re lucky this morning; only twelve standing. Was just reading in the “Wail” that all the hotels in St. Moritz are booked up for visitors for the ice sports, and that London is "empty.” Wish this carriage was a little more "empty,” don’t you? Always moaning? Surely, Dick, you are not satisfied with conditions in general, are you? It is a poor horse that hasn’t a kick when it is stung with continual whipping, and you are in a worse predicament than that beast of burden, for to buy a horse needs money, but as for you—there are two million workers wandering the streets seeking a master, willing to work but unable to do so, desirous of producing the very articles we are so badly in need of—food, clothing and shelter.

Look at these vile slums we are passing now! Drab, dingy buildings, where no pure air can penetrate. They want bombarding with 15-inch shells, man. A breeder of prize pigs would scorn them rent-free, and yet we are the working class. We build the luxurious hotels and mansions of the world and have to exist in those vile dens from childhood until the master whispers in our ear that we are too old for work, and we toddle along to the workhouse. We build floating palaces to transport our masters to foreign climes, and our share of that luxury is probably a view of the “ocean greyhound” as we stand on the end of Southend Pier.

What d’ye say? Why talk of classes. Look, here’s another train passing us. A few carriages are first class, some second and a lot third. Well, why not have all first class carriages? They are much more comfortable and there is no shortage of material necessary for making first class carriages. The Socialist argues that there should be but one class—the working class —for a class which doesn’t work is not necessary, is but a drone in the hive and should be abolished.

Won’t alter human nature, Dick? Well, the Socialist doesn’t propose to alter human nature. Human nature is but man’s desire to eat, sleep and drink and reproduce his species and to experience, understand and enjoy all that civilisation can make accessible. Our aims are concentrated upon educating the workers to understand what their position in society actually is, viz., a slave class. It is not we who propose to alter anything—only the position of my foot when you’ve finished standing on it. The alteration or change over from Capitalism to Socialism must be accomplished by the working class themselves, and once our mission has succeeded the Socialist Party will cease to exist; its function of educating and organising the working class is the sole reason for its existence.

Oh, yes! I know you think the Labour Party ought to have a chance. They ought to have another chance to vote for another war—the same as they voted for the last war. Do you forget the alliances they have made at elections when they have amalgamated with the Liberals, and vice-versa? Here! look at that “Daily Herald” placard on that bookstall—“ We gave four winners yesterday.” Come on, buy the Socialist Standard and we’ll give you A winner—back Socialism for the Human Race—there is no other running; it’s bound to win.

Well, here we are, Dick. Think it over during the day. There’s probably a branch of the Socialist Party your way. Call round; they’ll be glad to see you.
H. G.

The Uses of Hate (1929)

From the May 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

The word hatred describes an emotion with which we are all familiar. Like all such "emotional" words it is habitually overworked, and is used to describe all the variations of dislike, from a mild indignation to a maniac's obsession. A dividing line is difficult, but it should obviously be confined, in human affairs, to describing a dislike that is intense and long continued. Like all emotions, it is ephemeral, unstable, and erratic, and if too intense, or too protracted, either burns itself to ashes or becomes a form of lunacy. That is why it is so completely untrue for the enemies of Socialism to describe it as a doctrine of hatred. We need not, and do not, worry because they say that, for they will continue to use all forms of abuse so long as they are deemed effective. A somewhat different aspect of hatred is given by those—Communists and others—who say we do not infuse enough hatred into the workers; those who view hatred as a formidable serial factor; those who contend the working class will be drawn into a revolutionary struggle for power through a growing hatred of their masters. The answer to both criticisms is a brief one. As already stated, hatred is merely a feeling, an intense and prolonged dislike. Action can follow, and often does follow, as a result of the feeling, but as the emotion is an unstable one, the action is more than likely to be equally erratic. Passion may burst a way through a wall, but one cannot build a wall on it. Hatred may be A factor, it cannot be THE factor. Socialism has but small use for it. Whilst we depict the cruelties and infamies of capitalism in order to rouse the indignation and fix the attention of our fellows, we should be worse than fools to build a movement on mere indignation.

In our perusal of history, in our observation of the world around us, there is always enough to keep our indignation alive, but we do not peruse history or look at our world for that. We study these things that we may understand how our society has come to be as it is, and how it may be made to serve human happiness more perfectly. We may perceive that malice, ignorance or sheer perversity may have added to human misery or may have diverted the results of communal effort into private channels, but indignation will not remedy it. Neither will action based upon mere hatred of the human agents involved. Socialism has little use for hatred. We prefer to concentrate on knowledge, for with knowledge comes understanding, and from understanding proceeds intelligent, definite action. This is one great difference between the Socialist Party and the Labour Party. The latter—and this is not a mere jibe—specialises in sob-stuff. Its Press and its political representatives are absorbed in the appeal to sentiment. They appeal constantly for your tears for the orphan, the underfed, the widow, the aged, the out-of-work, the casual labourer, the poorly housed, the "ex-Service man," and dozens of other categories of poverty. And being a mere sentimental appeal, and further, being without the correct knowledge and understanding, they invite you to get the Government to give a pension to this one, increase the pension to that one, feed the children of the other one, and so on. They assure you that this kind of thing is "practical Socialism," and implore you to give them the keys of power so that they may dispense the appropriate plaster for each social sore. The appeal is purely sentimental; a fatal basis upon which to build an effective party. People may respond more quickly to an appeal to their feelings, rather than their reason, but, action based upon reason will go further, make fewer mistakes and get there, long before sentimentalism has exhausted all the possibilities of error. Perhaps a couple of recent examples will illustrate the point. Lans-bury is an incorrigible sentimentalist. He is one of those many critics of our Party who say : "Yes, the object of your organisation is quite good, but it is useless to oppressed and starving men. What we want is something practical: something now." He is one of those who have alternatively called forth the workers' anger against their oppressors, whilst addressing heart-stirring appeals to the oppressors to be just, charitable, equitable and what not. In our twenty-five years of existence we have consistently demonstrated the utter futility of the "something now" policy, and the rank and dangerous absurdity of the mere appeal to righteous indignation. In the "New Leader" of April 19th, Lansbury writes :—
   "Small measures of reform are of no use. Tories and Liberals will all the time outbid us on them. We have reached the end of our journey along what might be described as the Palliative Highway."
What a pity it should have taken him half a lifetime to learn what we have been saying for a quarter of a century. We wish we could think he meant what he was saying. And then there is A. J. Cook, another sentimentalist. Full of appeals to feeling, to hatred, to indignation and anger. According to the “Sunday Worker,” April 21st, he is alleged to have said in 1926 :
  “If ever you read of me dining with Royalty, you workers can say Cook has deserted you.” 
And yet in 1929, only the other day, Mr. Cook is lunching with the Prince of Wales. Dearie me! More apropos of the point under discussion, he contributed an article to the “Evening Standard” of April 20th, bulging with the most sentimental, inept twaddle that journal has published for some time. It was called "The Prince of Wales.” Apart from its rather fulsome eulogy of the Prince as an individual (quite possibly true) phrases like the following occur. “I never met a man with such a rigid conception of fair play.” He has been “a good democrat.” “When the Prince went to Durham he was horrified. He said so; and when he told what he had found, he cut clean through old controversy —economic and every other kind.” “That man had no use for pomp and formulae. He was not concerned with theory. It was, it is, men, not manners, that concern him; conditions, not conventionality. ”

These are a few of them. And what do they all mean? How far do they take us? What problem is solved? None! For none is stated. We are even told that the sound of the Prince’s voice over the wireless, reduced him to tears and caused him to empty his pockets for the Miners’ Fund. That is the worst of emotion; its victims alternate between raving hatred and slobbering affection. Their only stability is a pause between absurdities. Cook records in the article that a woman, also listening to the Prince’s wireless appeal, cried out wonderingly, "Why, Arthur, it might have been you or Bob Smillie appealing.”

When Cook has dried his eyes, perhaps he will take another look at that remark. Just as Lansbury has found out that Tories and Liberals can outbid Labour on palliatives, so Cook should reflect that the Prince of Wales can do what he and Smillie are doing, quite as effectively, possibly more elegantly, and certainly with no more danger to Capitalism. To return to the heading of this article. Hatred, auger, indignation, are not enough. Socialism is a practical, scientific proposition, to be applied to existing society. It will not be brought” into operation by angry men, for anger is a bad counsellor. Socialism will be resisted, even when economic necessity has made it imminent, by desperate, powerful interests, and those who would lead the workers against those forces armed with nothing but indignation and a sense of wrong, are criminal lunatics. Hate is ephemeral, knowledge eternal. Anger is warping, science is certain. He who feels is the creature of his feelings. He who knows is superior to them.
W. T. Hopley

The Labour Failure in Queensland (1929)

From the June 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

After being in power for 15 years, the Queensland Labour Government was heavily defeated at the General Election early in May. In the last Parliament it held 43 seats out of 72. At the election, the Labour Party lost 16 seats and now holds only 27.

For 15 years the I.L.P. in this country have been proclaiming that Queensland was an illustration of “Socialism in Practice.” If that were true we should be faced with the fact that the Queensland workers had tried Socialism and rejected it and, needless to say, this has been gleefully exploited by the Conservatives and Liberals. The truth is that at no time has there been any attempt made to replace Capitalism by Socialism in Queensland or any other Australian State. Capitalism is and always has been the system of society operating there. The Socialist Party all through these years has constantly warned the workers that the Queensland experiment would bring no material change in the position of the working-class there, and would fail to solve any of the various problems arising out of Capitalism. By pretending otherwise, the I.L.P. has been deceiving the workers and misrepresenting Socialism.

One outstanding event which illustrates the impossibility of administering Capitalism for the benefit of the workers was the 1927 railway lock-out. The State railway workers decided to assist striking sugar workers by refusing to handle "blackleg” goods. The Labour Premier, faced with the necessity of safeguarding the operation of Capitalist industry, locked out 11,000 railwaymen in just the same manner as has been done by non-Labour Governments. Whatever their sympathies, a Government, any Government, which undertakes to administer Capitalism, has no choice but to use the powers of the State in defence of Capitalist interests when these are threatened by striking workers.

Failing to solve the problems which are insoluble within Capitalism and having no mandate to establish Socialism the Queensland Labour Government, like Labour Governments here or elsewhere in the same position, was foredoomed to failure.

The circumstances under which the Queensland Government entered office were clearly explained by Labour Premier Theodore.

Writing in the “Labour Magazine" (London, September, 1923), he expressed himself as follows :-
  The Labour Party in Queensland found itself called on to administer a capitalistic state of society, and without any direct mandate or authority to overturn the existing order or to undertake a drastic reconstruction.
Incidentally, this fiasco proves the fallacy of one foolish, if not dishonest, I.L.P. and Communist argument. Members of the I.L.P. who were somewhat critical of the Labour Government, and Communists who frankly condemned it, united in voting for it on the specious plea that after expenencing the failure of the Labour Party, the workers would be ready to “go further.”

In “Queensland,” the successful party now is the National Country Party, which is frankly Capitalist. The Communists have not got the support which they believed would come to them when Labour failed. What these dishonest supporters of the Labour Party always forget is, that you cannot win Conservative working-men over to voting Labour by telling them, that the Labour Party is no good. Communists who tell the workers to vote Labour are, therefore, compelled, if they wish to be effective, to hide their real views and tell the voters that the Labour Party is worth their votes. When the Labour Party proves its inability to solve working-class problems, its Communist supporters are carried down with it, and the disappointed workers vote Conservative "for a change,” or stay away from the polls.
Edgar Hardcastle

How Not To Get Socialism. (1929)

From the July 1929 issue of the Socialist Standard

Alderman Tom Kirk writes in the “Railway Review” (May 31st, 1929) an article entitled “The Revival of Socialism.” The first paragraph is unimportant, but we reprint. here the remainder of Mr. Kirk’s article.
  But here is where we draw a distinction between Socialism and Labour politics. To the Socialist there is only one thing that matters, the growth of the Socialist outlook in the public mind. It is his sole reason for being in politics at all. He perceives that you cannot make Socialists by just preaching theory. That was the dream of the old Socialist League, just as it is the dream of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. But the mind of the average man can only be reached through the current politics of the moment. In order to be with you, he wants to know what you are “going to do." And you must provide him with a plan of action, even if the action is not likely to produce much more than a growth of his Socialist convictions. We can no more escape from the illusion of politics than the early Christians, by burying themselves in the deserts of Egypt, could escape from the contamination of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

   Consequently, however much the austere purists may declaim, we have got to get on with the job as we find it. Fortunately, the movement has now reached a point that we can definitely warn our supporters from expecting too much from this or that particular reform. It has been a matter of great satisfaction to note the almost complete absence of the type of speaker who promised a solution of unemployment if the workers would only “vote Labour.” And in his place a stressing of the point that unemployment would not be “solved” while the capitalist system remained. It could only be ameliorated, not “solved.” All this is to the good; and it is a healthy sign of the times that the boastful promises of the Liberals have been contemptuously disregarded by organised Labour, with the result that Mr. Lloyd George became exceedingly angry. On the whole, tosh and window-dressing have been at a discount at this election. 
   The task of making the great mass of Labour electors into Socialists still, however, remains. Nationalisation, municipalisation, and public ownership still appear too much in the mind’s eye of the average workman as methods whereby he will immediately advance his wages and working conditions. Ultimately they must lead to his uplifting and betterment, otherwise they would be purposeless.
    But as Hyndman used to say, “You cannot make oases of co-operation in the midst of a howling wilderness of competition. The Socialist perceives this; the mere Labour elector does not. While we do not expect a nationalised industry to “pay its way” in the capitalist sense, we cannot run it regardless of the balance sheet. That way trouble lies; and the ending of things as they have ended in Queensland. 
   Then, again, what is going to be done with regard to the vast sum of British capital which is invested in foreign undertakings? The annual interest on that is responsible for a quarter of our imports. It represents about £300,000,000 annually. It is gained by exploiting the foreigner. Do we propose to take over these investments? If so, the British Labour State would become an exploiter of foreign workmen. Do we propose to leave these foreign investors to enjoy their incomes undisturbed except of such taxation as we could impose upon them? But in any case, as the £300,000,000 principally arrives here in the shape of food and raw materials, which we require for industries, we should have to do “something,” All of which shows that when it comes to the real business of getting down to the establishment of Socialism we have hardly discussed the matter at all. It will be the work of Socialists in the immediate future to promote discussion on such subjects. We cannot live for ever on a mere nebulous labourism. We shall have to get back to the healthy old business of the I.L.P. and S.D.F. setting the pace. And now that Communism has become a spent squib, the possibility of such a development is apparent. The specific function of the new orientation will not be vote catching, but education of the public as to how Socialism is to be established.
Now to disentangle this network of Kirkian errors. Mr. Kirk professes to be a Socialist, and accuses the S.P.G.B. of being dreamers of theory. Nothing matters to Mr. Kirk but "the growth of the Socialist outlook in the public mind.” But what is the "Socialist outlook” but the knowledge of Socialist theories? Therefore, Mr. Kirk is another dreamer, if to hold a theory is to be a dreamer. But the S.P.G.B. repudiates that title. We are a political organisation, and are not devotees of the cult of Utopias. We do not pray for spiritual aid to attain our ends. Our declaration of principles distinctly says, "That the Working Class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, etc.,” and at the elections we are prepared to put candidates for the polls. If the workers are not sufficiently class-conscious to support a Socialist candidate by supplying his deposit money, that is not our fault. Rather it is Mr. Kirk’s fault, and their misfortune.

After the high-minded attitude of "nothing mattering, etc.,” Mr. Kirk then says, “But the mind of the average man can only be reached through the current politics of the moment.” Here is the pose of the modern Jesus soiling his hands with Party politics. The next piece is rather funny. “He (the worker) wants to know what you are going to do.” So, Mr. Kirk thinks it best to present him with “a plan of action,” even if it will not bring forth much more than “a growth of the workers’ Socialist convictions.” But we thought Mr. Kirk was a Socialist. He should, then, be more than delighted if his “plan of action” only brought forth this "growth of Socialist convictions.” He, however, knows very well that it does no such thing, and only makes confusion worse confounded. The knowledge of what is meant by Socialism is essential to the making of Socialists. Mr. Kirk leaves us to infer that this "plan of action” is really only a blind to keep up "the illusion of politics.”

We cannot agree that politics are an illusion, but if Mr. Kirk thinks so, on what grounds can he justify his action of keeping up an illusion? I am afraid, after all, it is Mr. Kirk who has been dreaming. But to proceed. He says, “We (that is, the Labour Party) must get on with the job as we find it.” That, of course, means continuing to introduce reforms and patching up the capitalist system, but then he has the audacity to say that "at the same time they must warn their supporters that they must not expect too much from it.” He is pleased to notice that the Labour candidates stressed the point during the Election that while the Capitalist system remained they could only ameliorate unemployment, not solve it. Yes, but what happens after the ball? If they know this, why are they taking the reins of government into their hands again? And on what grounds can the Labour Party justify its existence, and Mr. Kirk his support thereof? Why does he not tell the workers that the advent of Socialism alone will solve their troubles?

Then we have Mr. Kirk bemoaning the fact that Nationalisation, etc., appears too much in the minds of the workers as a method by which they can improve their wages and working conditions. He quotes Hyndman as saying “ You cannot make oases of co-operation in a howling wilderness of competition,” and says that the Socialist perceives this; the mere Labour elector does not. But who is it that propagates the idea of Nationalisation? The Labour Party, not the S.P.G.B. Yet Mr. Kirk now finds it a stumbling block in the way of making Socialists. Oh, wonderful logic! The Socialists, to Mr. Kirk, means the I.L.P. and the Labourites. Therefore, they stand in the unenviable position of telling the workers to support a thing which they know to be unsound. Still speaking of Nationalisation, he says it must ultimately lead to the betterment of the worker, otherwise it would be “purposeless.” That is just the point; it does not lead to any betterment. By making industry more efficient less workers are required, unemployment increases, and these schemes, therefore, from the point of view of the workers are worse than purposeless, they are definitely harmful. He says, "while we do not expect a nationalised industry to pay its way in the capitalist sense, we cannot run it regardless of the balance sheet. That way trouble lies, and the ending of things, as they ended in Queensland.” In fact, of course, the I.L.P. advocates of Nationalisation vigorously affirm that in Queensland it did pay its way. The Queensland Labour Government failed because, as administrators of capitalism, they could not “deliver the goods” which they had promised to the workers. The workers were disillusioned, and having no knowledge of Socialism, voted once more for the capitalist class. Mr. Kirk would lead us to believe that the Queensland Government was being run by mere dreamers trying to run the. finances of the country without due regard to its balance sheet. But can he show us any important difference between the Labour programme in Queensland and in this country? He wants to support the Labour Party while disassociating himself from its policies.

Mr. Kirk could not have meant to have revealed such a lot when he started, but perhaps he was counting on the “Railway Review” not being read by “Austere Purists.” However, the cream of the thing is yet to come. We find poor Mr. Kirk getting concerned as to what the British Labour State (whoever that may be) would do with the interest coming from British invested capital abroad. I am afraid we cannot tell him. You see, we are only Socialists, and we only know what Socialists would do. We must leave the British Labour State’s problems for itself and Mr. Kirk to solve. "All of which shows that when it comes to the business of getting down to the establishment of Socialism we have hardly discussed the matter at all,” cries Mr. Kirk.

Presumably, then, settling the destination of interest from British invested capital abroad comes within Mr. Kirk’s theory of Socialism. Mr. Kirk’s theories make a Socialist feel sick. Interest and capital under Socialism! A little understanding of sound, instead of unsound, theory, would greatly benefit the illustrious Alderman. Interest and profit are essentially features of capitalism; likewise is the individual owner of property. Socialism means common ownership. There would be no persons here or abroad possessing capital. The question only arises in the dreams of Mr. Kirk. It certainly has nothing to do with establishing Socialism.

The last few sentences are a fitting end to his article. I wonder he dares mention the S.D.F. or the I.L.P. in connection with "health.” Their part does not bear inspection. They have proved to be bad guides throughout to the working class. Their attitude on the War and their trickery at the elections of 1910 and 1906 respectively (see our Manifesto for facts) proves that the "healthy old business ” of the precious pair is not healthy but thoroughly diseased, in fact rotten to the core.
May Otway