Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Debate with Labour Party (1949)

Party News from the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard

The debate with Mr. A. Blenkinsop, M.P., at Kensington Town Hall on March 21st attracted another large audience. The subject was, “Which Party should the Working Class support, the Labour Party or the Socialist Party of Great Britain?” The debate was opened by Mr. Blenkinsop, for the Labour Party, who claimed that a more appropriate title would have been "Why does the Working Class support the Labour Party?” He said that there are people who live in a rarified atmosphere who think that their own interpretation of Socialism should be accepted by all. He preferred to get down to the practical job of getting it started and not to wait. He was from the North and he knew of the horrors and shocking conditions that once prevailed in the distressed areas, where those who do the most useful work get the least pay. But the workers on the Clydeside were pulling themselves out of those conditions. For the maximum production of wealth it is necessary to change the ownership, and the Labour Party had done that. Workers in London and its suburbs had a comfortable time in comparison with the iron and steelworker of the North country, and they were removed from them. They did not understand how the miner and the iron worker felt about these things. It is to the credit of the Government that there is less unemployment now than there has ever been before during peace time. That is better than any intellectual exercise by a small clique. The wealth of this country lies in the degree to which, in the future, we can get the most from our productive efforts. First essentials must be first. We must take primary industries and ensure greater production in order to improve our standards of living.

The position of the Agricultural worker is higher than ever before. New elements of Democratic Freedom are springing up in our countryside. These are factors that make it certain that the Labour Government is worthy of support. The S.P.G.B. has theory but it has not put forward any practicable proposition. The Labour Government not only desires more production but sees that distribution is on a better basis. This is accomplished partly by controls and rationing and partly by financial policy. Those who can afford to bear the burden should bear it; those who have the largest incomes must make the maximum contribution to the welfare of the country as a whole. We are proud of our social services, we have the best health service in the world. It stands as a beacon to workers in all lands showing what a Labour Government can do. It is true that today, this country offers a new hope to people all over the world.

Our representative Harry Young commenced by claiming that the subject matter of this debate was the most important that can be discussed. It was a matter of life and death for many workers. No one, he said, denies Mr. Blenkinsop's statement that the workers now support the Labour Party, but that did not mean that the Labour Party was functioning in the workers' interests. His opponent had given a good statement of the orthodox Labour Party outlook, but it had nothing to do with Socialism. Industry is still owned by the Capitalist class whilst the vast majority of people are non-owners. Being non-owners means that they are wage workers, dependent upon and conscribed by the owners. The wages that the workers received were the price of the labour-power that they sold. They must work part of their time for the owners of industry in order that there may be a surplus of wealth for these owners. All increases in production mean a relative increase in the share appropriated by the owners. The poverty of the workers grows, not in relation to the wages of fifty years ago, but in relation to the wealth produced today. The cause of this poverty was private ownership and the removal of private ownership was the only solution. Reforms such as Nationalisation and social services are futile. Easing poverty does not remove it. After three and a half years of Labour Government there are now wage claims from millions of workers, claims which the Labour Government must refuse. When workers come out on strike, the Labour Government issues notices, “Go back to work or be sacked.” A socialist party must refuse admission to reformers into its ranks or the reformers would swamp the socialist objective. Socialism is common ownership and organisation for the benefit of all. Not state or public ownership. Socialism must be international, democratic and equalitarian. It means no government, no state, no shops, no market, no wages, no privileges or titles. Money, in the words of William Morris, “will become items of curiosity.” All people will work amicably for all. If it was agreed that capitalism was the cause of the workers' ills, then its abolition must be the cure. The views expressed by each party to this debate were as far apart as the poles. The social services that the Labour Party lauded were a backhand way of reducing wages, they are a means of ensuring that the efficiency of the workers is not impaired. Mr. Blenkinsop had told the audience how well the workers were getting on under a Labour Government, it was also interesting to see how the privileged few were faring after three and a half years. Young then quoted from the Daily Telegraph and from ‘‘Economic Survey for 1949 ” to show that the gross profits of companies in 1948 are estimated to have increased by over £300 million and gross dividends distributed to have increased by an estimate of £25 million. He quoted from other sources to show that firms like the Hawker Siddeley Group through Philip Hill and Partners invited subscriptions for £3,000,000 in four per cent. debentures at a price of £101 per cent. and that the issue attracted some £28,000,000, or more than nine times over subscribed. He also instanced the Decca Company and others.

Mr. Blenkinsop opened his second address by confessing that he had been of the impression that the S.P.G.B. was going to wait till the workers in this country were prepared for Socialism, but he now was informed that we must wait till workers all over the world were ready for it. There must be some alternative for working men and women to support. We need practical measures for the relief of working people. The enthusiasm of this meeting reminded him of a Jehovah’s Witness meeting. It was very good and interesting to have cloudy ideals like those of the S.P.G.B. but not if you are expected to live by them. They were nice dreams but we could not rely on them for our bread and butter. It is a good job that there is a party prepared to tackle the task of practical government. The Labour Party had never pretended that it was establishing Socialism. Nationalisation is a step to that end. It extends opportunities to the people of this country. In regard to his opponent's remarks about the wage demands of the railway workers, it was good that they should make such demands. Workers will always press for increased standards. We, in this country depend, in part, on the work of people in other parts of the world. The Labour Government is freeing subjects who have, in the past, been forced to work for certain sections of our community. This means that we must pay more for our tea, etc., but the people of India will move, in years to come, to a wider form of government and their own form of Socialism. Today, the people of this country must live by their own exertions and not, as before, by the tribute from colonies. Mr. Blenkinsop said that he preferred to represent a movement that stands for high ideals that are practical. Social services are not just palliatives but a means of transferring wealth to the people as a whole. His opponent had given some gross figures but not the nett ones alter the deduction of taxes. Nationalisation takes from the private owners the determination over production and places the management in the hands of the people as a whole. The Labour Government has achieved a higher standard for the people.

Comrade Young categorically denied that nationalisation will lead to Socialism. The Labour Party had embarked on a tortuous route but had got stuck in the swing doors of the House of Lords. It was fallacious to think that you can deny the capitalist control over industry whilst leaving him the ownership. Young quoted Mr. Attlee: "Socialism means the common ownership of land and capital . . ." You cannot commonly own capital. Capital, by definition, is wealth used for the production of more wealth with a view to profit. Socialism does not own capital, it abolishes it by taking it out of the hands of the owners. When commonly owned it ceases to be capital. It becomes wealth. Nationalisation does not do that. Tories will not repeal the nationalisation laws. His opponent had said that the workers should demand increased wages, then why not grant them? The social services reminded him of the ants which used the aphis and extracted a milk from them and then put the aphis back on to a juicy leaf or stalk for it to recuperate in preparation for a further milking. The idea that the workers benefit from the tribute wrung from colonials arises from a lack of knowledge of what makes Capitalism tick. In the days of Ramsay MacDonald the Labour Party said that Socialism was just round the comer. Now they say a lot of steps have to be taken. All these steps are building up capitalism. If this debate was just a matter of slow idealists versus careful, practical politicians we might as well all have gone to the pictures. But this was going on in a world with an international situation, in a competitive system. In times of slump the capitalists herd together as do wolves when they are hungry. The one-time conscientious objectors and pacifists of the Labour Party are now saying "get back into uniform." They call it defence. In all parts of the world they call it defence. Comrade Young quoted from a daily paper:
"A machine for producing invisible mists loaded with germs of pneumonic plague has been designed at the Government’s Germ Warfare research station at Porton, on Salisbury Plain. The disease is more terrible than bubonic plague." 
We are hurtling at a breakneck speed to a "practical" massacre. All this results from a mistaken idea of achieving Socialism one step at a time. Young produced two election addresses, one Tory, one Labour. They were both alike in most respects. We of the S.P.G.B. do not want merely attempts at the relief of poverty we want to abolish the system of poverty. He concluded with a quotation from the New Statesman and Nation:
“A very substantial employer of labour was discussing the political situation the other day. 'Of course,’ he said, 'we had difficulty in settling down after the war, but the men are working well now. Everything is going smoothly now. You understand that I am a staunch Conservative. I always have been one. But 1 don’t like to think what would happen if the Conservatives got into power now. I really don’t think that we dare swop horses in the middle of the stream.’ ’’
Mr. Blenkinsop accused his opponent of being a rhetorical speaker. He asked, "If the S.P.G.B. is going to offer itself to the electorate to usher in the new society, what are the practical steps it proposes?" It wants some mythical form of representatives to gather together to usher in a new society. It wants to continue as a little group preaching to itself. If the Labour Party has produced nothing in 45 years, what has the S.P.G.B. produced in 48? It is the working class itself that is moving inside the Labour Party. It is not true that there is no sign of improvement That is an isolated view. His opponent would not dare to express it to the miners. The miners know the advantages of a new and better system of living which the S.P.G.B. has not dared to attempt to achieve.

Comrade Young concluded. The fact that millions believe something does not make it correct. The S.P.G.B. claims that the establishment of Socialism requires the conscious organisation of the working class. The Labour Party denies this, it is a reformist party. Capitalism is rotten ripe for the change, the only hindrance and stumbling block is the political ignorance and the mists of confusion created by the Labour Party. If there had been no Labour Party to do the job, the Capitalists would have created one.
W. Waters.

Labour Government in New Zealand (1949)

From the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard
"The case for an all round wage increase is unanswerable. During the war years much was said of the golden age for workers that would ensue with the defeat of Fascism and the birth of the "New Order." This "New Order" has faded as the morning mist before a summer sun. The workers’ primary and immediate need is for a substantial wage increase. Union advocates can present cases but in the final analysis results are obtained only by the strength of the rank and file. The quality of that strength will determine the success of the wage struggle." 
                                                                   "Jock" Barnes,
National President of the
 New Zealand Waterside Workers’ Union. 
(Quoted in "Caught in the Act," a pamphlet issued by the National Executive of the New Zealand Waterside Workers' Union, November, 1948.)

Reported in Hansard (1949)

From the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard

Are the Tories going Syndicalist?

From the Debate on a Conservative Clause to the Coal Industry Bill. (Hansard, 28/3/1949).

Mr. J. G. Foster (Conservative, Northwich). “I should like now to allude to the point of view taken up by the Hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. McKay). He says that the House of Commons need not be bothered because there is the miners union and the Government owns the mines, and that therefore everything is quite happy as between the miners’ union and the Government. I do not think the hon. Member has quite appreciated the fact that although things may be all right between the miners’ union and the Government—and of course the top union officials have jobs in the Government and represent the unions in Parliament—things are not all right between the members of the union in the nationalised industry and their union officials in the Government. Things are not all right, as one can see, because there are unofficial strikes and it takes months for disputes and grievances to come up even to the men’s own union officials.

“It is no answer for an hon. Member to get up in this House and say ‘It is all right, the union has said nothing.’ Of course the union have not said anything. They work hand in glove with the Government and disregard the interests of the men. That is the trouble, and we get the same trouble in civil aviation and in the transport industry. That is why some breakaway unions are popular and why there are unofficial strikes; it is because the men are dissatisfied with their own union officials. There is great disquiet among many trade unionists who remember the glorious record of trade unionism that is being thrown away because top union officials prefer to work in harmony with the the Government instead of putting the interests of their men first . . .”

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Gaitskell): “I am anxious to confine my remarks as far as possible to the Bill and to the new Clause, but I cannot let tho comments of the hon. Member for Northwich (Mr. J. Foster) pass without making some reply to what seemed to me to be a disgraceful attack on the leaders of the trade union movement. He appeared to be criticising them for the moderating influence which they exercise upon their members, so as to help the country through its present economic difficulties. I am astonished that a prominent member of the Conservative Party should now be descending to a syndicalist policy. 1 should hope that if any Member on the Front Bench opposite is to speak he will repudiate the hon. Member for Northwich, because he made a most scandalous suggestion.”

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Mr. Shinwell among the Brass-hats.

“ . . . I have had experience of working with the so-called brass hats for the past eighteen months and I had some experience of working with them in 1929. I have also had the experience of working with other people, and I would rather work with the brass hats at the War Office than with some of the brass faces in other spheres of life.”
(Hansard, 29/3/1949.)

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And another one-time “ Revolutionary.”

"Is the Prime Minister aware that forty years ago the Oath of Allegiance was even exacted from junior civil servants, the lower ranges of civil servants; and can he say why it has fallen into disuse since then? Does he not think it would be a good plan to re-impose it?”
(Mr. W. J. Brown, Hansard, 29/3/1949) 

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We Wonder.

"Private enterprise has been aided more by this Government than by any Tory Government, and the result of the General Election will show that the people like it”
(Mr. A. Robens, Parliamentary Secretary to the Min. of Fuel and Power. Hansard, 29/3/1949.)

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Troubles of a Labour Leader.

Captain Hewitson (Labour M.P. for Hull, Central) in the Debate on the Budget proposals. (Hansard, 7/4/1949).

"I have in my hand a list of industries numbering 151; in 122 of these 95s. or less is the average weekly basic wage. During last year trade union leaders, in spite of all the things that have been said against them about lost leadership, not being able to control their members, and so on, have been able to persuade their followers to increase production. At the same time they have prevented inuation by holding back demands for increased wages. We have accomplished that during the last year. We have reached the stage today when we cannot hold that safety valve any longer."

"I want to strike a note of warning . . . Can I go to my membership, who have a wage of 95s. or less, and justify to them and convince them that that wage is adequate to keep body and soul within them and their homes, and to give them decent shelter? We cannot do it any longer. If the Chancellor or the Government in the Budget which was issued yesterday had given concessions in Purchase Tax, and concessions that would have made life for the ordinary working class home easier, we trade union leaders could have held that safety valve for months and months ahead and so helped the country to get through its economic crisis . . .”

"There was a cartoon in the Evening Standard on the subject of the 'Old white horse, Old Faithful, the old T.U.C.' Let me say this to the Government. Their pace is determined by that old white horse. The last straw can break that old white horse's back, but, so far as we are concerned, we are not going to allow the old white horse’s back to be broken. If it comes to a last final resort, we shall fight. We say to this Government, or to any other, 'You can’t afford to fight against us who represent the organised workers in the country . . .”
Stan Hampson

Letter: Defender of Children's Allowances (1949)

Letter to the Editors from the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard

Buxton, Derbyshire. 

To the Socialist Party of Gt. Britain.

Dear Sirs,

Thanks for renewal form of subscription to your Socialist Standard. I won't trouble to renew it, however, as I have had reluctantly to come to the conclusion you can never do very much good with your present line of propaganda despite the fact that few are more keenly anxious for the objects towards which you strive than I am.

I was first utterly disgusted with you for your pamphlet against Family Allowances, which on a generous scale of about 10s. a week for each child till school leaving age and 20s. a week for every wife who spends her time at home looking after it, is perhaps the thing which the working classes are most in need of and which would do them more good than anything else which can be easily imagined or applied.

Hunger, or semi-hunger, rags, dirt, squalor, privation, and misery, have been the unfair lot of the children and the hard working wives and mothers and children of the lower paid of the working class men ever since the Industrial Revolution. And you must know it as well as I do.

It has largely been, not inevitable, but due to the wages policy of the Trade Unions and the mental attitude of so many working class men towards their wives and families. How many of them love to talk about “A MAN, and his dependents” as if the latter were very much inferior animals to his noble self.

All through your pamphlet there was hardly a glimmer of an idea that a man’s wife and children were of any more consequence than so many back yard domestic animals which he, as a “worker” “chose” to go in for keeping—and which was nobody else’s business but his own.

You opposed family allowances because they would depress wages.

But they want depressing and in some cases fairly heavily. It is a crying scandal that young sons in their twenties, living at home, and with no family responsibilities at all, can, in some skilled trades, be bringing in about £10 a week at present which they are not in any position to spend in any sensible way. And there may be two or three such sons in one working class household, as well as the father’s similar earnings.

Against this, family men of 40 who are called ”unskilled labourers,” may have to keep themselves, their wife and half a dozen children on a mere £4 10s. a week. (1 have omitted the inadequate 5s. children’s allowances since October, 1946.)

This excess money these young unmarried men are given is a crippling load on our industrial life; and the problem they feel to get rid of it somehow is the chief cause of the scandalous amount of money spent in betting and gambling—not to mention smoking and drinking of which the young men probably don’t do more than their share. The money they have which they can’t get rid of is the chief cause of so much of their absenteeism from work; for while they stick tamely at work they haven't any opportunities to fling their money about,

The system is all wrong. Wages, as negotiated by Trade Unions, and as paid by employers, should be on the assumption that the "worker” has no one except himself (or herself) to keep. Support for his wife and children should come directly from the State like his (or her) old age pensions.

So you can understand a bit why I don’t think your line of propaganda is any good or worth supporting.
I am,
Yours faithfully,
Albert Eagle.

P.S.—It seems hard to have to conclude that the chief enemies of the welfare of the wives and children of the lower paid members of the working classes are not capitalists at all but the men of the working classes who through their Trade Unions and various other Labour and Socialist societies (like the S.P.G.B.) to which they belong have long opposed Family Allowances. Chief, of course, are the young unmarried men themselves who "don’t see why a married man should be paid more merely because he has a family.”

These young men want showing that the wages they are enjoying were negotiated on their behalf on the assumption that they had a wife and children to keep; and that they are enjoying money that has been obtained on their behalf by open deception. To put it bluntly these young men are simply enjoying stolen loot. It can hardly be described otherwise.

If you would do something to remedy this evil your propaganda would be doing some good. A.E.

In the pamphlet ”Family Allowances: A Socialist Analysis” (S.P.G.B., 2d.) it was argued that the grant of children’s allowances would not solve the poverty problem for the reason that the poverty of the working class is not caused by the cost of maintaining children out by the exploitation of the working class that necessarily goes with capitalism. It was pointed out that children’s allowances in practice are not a clear addition to wages but tend to be given in place of wage increases. Evidence was given in the pamphlet that prominent advocates of children’s allowances admitted this and were in favour of reducing the wages of the unmarried in order to meet the cost of paying the allowances.

We can add to this now by pointing to the fact that since the present government introduced the allowances the same government, in face of rising costs of living, has been using all its influence to discourage claims for wage increases.

The above letter from a supporter of children’s allowances dots the i’s and crosses the t’s of our argument by telling us that ”wages want depressing and in some cases fairly heavily.” He also tells us that "the chief enemies of the welfare of the wives and children of the lower paid members of the working classes are not capitalists at all but the men of the working classes.”

It is understandable when the spokesmen of the capitalist class advocate children’s allowances on the ground that it costs the capitalists less to give allowances to families with more than one child than to give a wage increase to the whole working-class, thus in effect lowering the standard of living of one section of the working class. But what are we to think when a member of the working class uses the same argument? He thinks it a crying scandal ”that some young workers in skilled trades should actually be able to earn £10 a week, but says not a word about the members of the propertied class who, married or single, can receive £10, £20 or £100 a week without working at all!

Blind in one eye he directs his attack against unmarried men in his own class but says nothing about the robbery of the working class by the capitalist class.

When we are told that the S.P.G.B. pamphlet shows ”hardly a glimmer of an idea that a man’s wife and children were of any more consequence than so many backyard domestic animals” he shows that he has not at all appreciated our case that the only solution for the poverty problem is the abolition of capitalism and with it the abolition of the wages system. Under Socialism, on the principle of ”From each according to his capacity: to each according to his need,” wives and children who are now dependent on the inadequate wages of working-class husbands will for the first time have free access to the products of society and really will enjoy as human beings all that social production has to offer. Capitalism never will do this whether the workers fight for children’s allowances or for general wage increases—though as we have shown in the pamphlet the latter is the better method under capitalism.

We must add that our correspondent is clearly mistaken when he claims that few are more keenly anxious than himself “for the objects towards which you strive." He obviously has not understood what is the Socialist objective of the S.P.G.B. 
Ed. Comm.

Alice in Topsyturveydom (1949)

A Short Story from the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard

Quite unaccountably Alice found herself walking along, without the least idea where she was going or why. Coming towards her, however, was a little man in black with neat pinstripe trousers, who seemed to be in a great hurry and looked very important.

"Please sir," said Alice timidly addressing him, “where am I?" His eyebrows shot up under his hat in surprise. ‘‘This," said he in a pompous voice that made Alice want to giggle, "is Topsyturveydom, and there," (pointing down the road) “is Boom Town. I’m just going there so if you’ll come along with me I'll explain things to you since you seem to be a stranger."

“You’ll see," he went on as they started off together, “that we have a most perfect system in this Topsyturveydom of ours. Nothing like it for keeping folk on their toes. There’s a niche for everyone with brains and initiative, and with plenty of hard work a man can get to the top."

By this time they were in the town, and Alice noticed that like the little man in black, everyone seemed to be in a great hurry. Alice and the little man, whom we will call Mr. Pinstripe, watched the little folk for some time.

They came rushing out of their houses, and incredible numbers of them crammed into the street cars and trains which carried them to factories and mills, etc., where they were emptied out, to enter and start working; and Alice marvelled at the wonderful things they made. Large shining cars that purred smoothly along on thick rubber tyres, gowns that lent added grace and enchantment to the female form, and all manner of things to delight the hearts of humans. Then they all rushed out for a brief period, and snatched a meal at crowded eating places, where they were served with “sausage and mashed" and leathery apple pudding wearing thin custard like an inadequate disguise. Then, another general rush back to work, until whistles and hooters shrilling out seemed to be the signal for another rush for the street cars and trains to carry them back home again. The older folk then sat with feet resting up to recuperate from the day’s work, while the younger section went out for a few hours to satisfy the craving for fun and play, before going to bed

“Well, what do you thing of it all, child?" asked Mr. Pinstripe, with obvious pride in his voice.

“I’ve never seen so many beautiful things all at once in my life," replied Alice, “but it all seems rather stupid somehow, because they never seem to stop working long enough to enjoy all the things they’ve made."

“Stop working! Good gracious, they can’t do that —besides they don’t even want to. In any case they don’t make these things for themselves."

“Then why do they make them?" asked Alice in bewilderment.

“To earn enough to keep them alive to work another day.” And Mr. Pinstripe chuckled heartily, as if he had made a very fine joke indeed.

Then suddenly, the way things do happen in dreams, (for of course Alice was dreaming) she found herself in a place as different from Boom Town as chalk is from cheese.

No longer did she feel dizzy from the hustle and bustle: these people were hollow-cheeked and listless.

While the men lounged on street corners, the women queued up for food tickets. The little sad-eyed children, who should have been so merry, touched Alice to the heart

“This of course is Slump Town." Alice turned to find Mr. Pinstripe still at her elbow.

“Once you wouldn’t have seen any difference at all between this and Boom Town," he said, "but at the moment they’re suffering from 'Over Production.’ You see all those warehouses over there? Full up with all sorts of things; wheat clothing—oh almost anything you can think of."

"Why then, the solution is simple!" exclaimed Alice, clapping her hands excitedly. All they have to do is to use those things and have a jolly good time until stocks have been sufficiently reduced, and then they can start work again. Oh think! What a difference you would see in those children if they had a good meal and some nice clothes to wear, and then let them loose among all those toys in that old warehouse!"

Mr. Pinstripe smiled pityingly at Alice’s simplicity. “Quite impracticable: why the whole business world would collapse! But come along, I want you to meet some of the people at the top of the scale, who by reason of hard work and not forgetting hard cash (ha! ha!) can now relax and enjoy the fruits of the others’ labours.”

Well they at least, thought Alice, should be happy.

"Ah here we are, the most exclusive club in Boss-town," said Mr. Pinstripe guiding Alice over thick pile carpets to a room filled with talk and cigar smoke.

"But my dear chap!" exclaimed one, puffing out a huge cloud of smoke, "what is the world coming to? Bad enough with all the labour troubles in Boom Town with their damned insolent demands for less work and more money, and now Income Tax going higher than it’s ever been before!"

"All the big nobs get here," said Mr. Pinstripe, "but perhaps you’d like to meet the Duchess." And Alice quitted the smoky atmosphere with relief.

The Duchess was large and round and arrayed in costly fabrics.

"Oh dear!’’ sighed the Duchess.

"She’s always like that, stupid old thing," whispered Pinstripe (rather callously thought Alice) for the poor old thing really did seem awfully distressed about something.

"What is the matter?" asked Alice anxiously.

"Well you see it’s my waistline, I never know where it's going to be next. One minute Fashion declares it to be an inch above my hipbone, and just as I’m getting used to that—whoosh ! Fashion says it’s up round my neck somewhere. It’s all so very confusing."

"Well," said Alice turning round indignantly on Mr. Pinstripe, "I don’t see why you should be so puffed up with pride about your old system, nobody seems to be enjoying it very much!" And at that began to feel just a little scared, because, Alice after all was a well brought up child and not used to being rude to pompous old gentlemen, especially when they go red in the face and begin to shake you by the shoulders.

"Bless me if the child hasn’t fallen asleep. Come on Alice, wake up!"

Alice opened her eyes and found to her immense relief that it was after all only a bad dream. 

SPGB Meetings (1949)

Party News from the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard

SPGB Pamphlets (1949)

Party News from the May 1949 issue of the Socialist Standard