Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Lord Didn't Provide. (1919)

From the November 1919 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Press has been shedding the usual crocodile tears over a rather interesting case of poverty. The vicar of Hubberholme, Buckden, has, it seems, been suffering the evils of the vile system which he supports, in consequence of which he finds himself in the hands of the Official Receiver.

Debtor had been having what many a man of greater use to his fellows has had—a rough time. His missus has had to do what millions of equally good mothers have had to do—turn out and work in order to help to feed and educate her kids. The Socialist may not deny her a little sympathy. It is not her fault if there is a flaw in the old tag—"The Lord will provide."

But the unfortunate Holy Joe found a pal in the Official Receiver. "I stand beside this debtor," this officer said ("Daily Chronicle," 11.6.1919), "who has been faced with the alternative of the starvation of his wife and his children or of resorting to moneylenders. If the Church and other denominations don't see that their clergy are better paid, if Christianity does not compel them to do it then humanity ought, and we should not have people of education faced with such a horrible alternative."

Ah ! There you see the source of the Official Receiver's emotion. Parson is a man of "education"—and the O.R. is another. For such people financial embarassement should never, of course, exist. The little ironies and jokes of this mad system should not pucker the "educated" brow. Starvation really should, you know, be reserved for those who have not sufficient education to enable them to get into the moneylenders' ribs to the tune of several hundred pounds.

And somehow or other, it usually is.

Paisley. (1919)

From the November 1919 issue of the Socialist Standard

"Housewives all over the country will learn with interest," says the "Daily Chronicle" (7.11.1919) "that Messrs. J. and P. Coats, the huge Paisley cotton and thread manufacturers, yesterday disclosed the fact that in their last year's trading they made a profit of close upon four millions sterling ! This profit was made after paying excess profits duty, which probably runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds."

And now does anybody doubt that higher wages means a 7½d. reel of cotton ?