THE NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE. PAGE 3.
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AFTER THE ELECTION. Great Gathering at The Rink. We Have Served Notice on The Capitalists." Winstone's Message to The Premier. A stranger visiting the Rink, Merthyr, last Sunday and being told that lie was present in an after-the-poll political meeting, and un- acquainted with the ballot result, would have felt that here were the supporters of a Party that has won by thousands, so enthusiastic was the spirit, so bouyant the atmosphere. The re- cognition that against the co-ordinated two ordi- nary parties, strengthened by every devise and institution of reaction, and further assisted by the momentary madness of victory, against all that the Socialist Party of Merthyr lias shown itself as the strongest individual power in the Borough and the practical test of its organisa- tion has proved it to be unsurpassed in any partv in any part of the kingdom. The speakers were the Labour candidate—Mr. James Win- stone—whose reception from the biggest audi- ence the Rink ever housed was something to re- member—Mrs. Davies Messrs. S. Jennings, Jas. Sarsfield, W Harris, No. Ablett and S. 0. NN'. Hi i -i-Is,, No. Al)l(-tt -iti d S. 0. Mr. Harry Morris, who occupied the chair, voiced the sentiment of tlx- meeting when he declared: "1 feel we have nothing to complain of. and that we are met lu te to-day to solemnly pledge ourselves to get on >;vith the work again." (Loud cheers.) Mr. S. Jennings in the course of a fine fight-l ing speech said: If we have not produced the goods we have sent on the invoice and the goods will come up 011 the next train." (Cheers.) You must pledge yourself .to teach the Henry Dubb next door who voted wrong this time to think right before the next election, when in v oting for Winstone he win know that not only is he voting for the id<m? of Labour, but for Is 11,C? Vot,,(, f'ol. tll(? )o Ill..biit f ?i- Mr. Jas. Sarsnetd, speaking as the representa- tive of the Irish Nationalists, trusted that Mr. Win stone would have another chance to fight Merthyr in the very near future, and took de- light in the fact that t helri sh men and women in the constituency from Dowlais top to Trc- harri had voted 98 per cent, of their strength for Labour. (Cheers.) The next time the two per cent, would be cleared up, and the solid vote would go for Labour and Home Rule. (Cheers. ) Mrs. Davies reminded the women that it was the poor women of Glasgow. hacked by tll(, III- dustrial. strength of the workers on the Clyde, that had given Its the Rent Act. and believed that on the question of Conscription the women would agian defy and dominate a reactionary Government. The women would never tight so strongly as in fighting for the freedom of their dÙ Jdn'n. (Cheers.) i l illl Mr.W. Harris opened the eyes of many with his statement of the forecasts that our organisation had made possible—a fact which he told the meeting had startled the other side into admira- tion. and then proceeded to deal with the state- ment made that the T.L. P. being in the fight had lost votes for Mr. Win stone. The I.L.P., he reminded such croakers, had not brought Mr. Winstone. The miners had brought him. But as an LL.P.er he would tell them that we were always going to have a Socialist to fight this seat. (Cheers.) We would win on our own hands, and we had marie that win certain now. (Cheers.) Were the people of Merthyr going to insult tlie memory of the greatest Socialist of the past two generations by running wishy- washy individuals who sought to gain their seat by compromising surrenders to the opposition'' ("Xo") CAPITALISM MUST CO. I Mr. Noah Ablett was somewhat disappointed with the result, because through it he had lost his reputation as a prophet., (Laughter.) Some of his friends were rather sceptical of his poli- tical convictions, and his loyalty to political action hut he was more impressed with the power and importance of politics by that audi- ence that afternoon than he had been hy any- thing for years, and if the election returns for all over the country had shown results like Mer- thyr then he would at once become a politician, leave everything else on one side, and be certain of the early dawn of the milleniuin. He had aI-I ways said that the workers could not he con- verted politically into being Socialists, that never through politics could they be made cla sw- oon scions. But if the rest of the country had been a reflection of Merthyr he would have seen the political emancipation of the workers right ahead. That day's papers showed that the rest of the country was not a reflection of Merthyr, but they a lso told of happenings on the Conti- nent, which would have their effect in this coun- try and would help materially in the abolition of Capitalism. (Cheers.) Whatever enthusiasm there was on the political side of the Socialist Movement would be badly needed in the very near future, for we were to-day governed by Im- perialists. Capitalists and Militarists, and the signs of the times seemed to show that they had lost their heads and were attempting thing8 that were unthinkable in pre-war days, and for the moment the country was apparently submit- ting to the doing of those things. The first question of political importance was: "Are we i going to stand for intervention in Germany and Russia against the workingmen of Germany and i Russiay" (" NO! and cheers.) No. The domi- nant aim of the whole forces of Democracy was the abolition of Capitalism, and on that ground 1 all could join hands in a common fight. (Cheers.) The future was far from being despondent. The cry was: "Our hats off to the past; our coatsj off to the future." (Loud cheers.) The meeting then passed the following resolu- tion with only three dissentients :— "That this meeting, representative of the workers of the Merthyr Borough, calls upon the organised workers to warn the Govern- ment that unless the present intervention in Russia and the threatened occupation of Ger- many (for the benefit of the Capitalists against the workers) ceases industrial action will be taken." (Cheers.) THE INDUSTRIAL WEAPON. Mr. S. O. Davies, the Dowlais miners' agent, said that as a result of the general election a Government had been returned almost absolutely composed of the landed and industrial aristo- cracy of the country—a full- Hooded Caiptalistic Government in force., Tliis had been a more or less mentally intoxicated election, and those who had been returned to were not exact- ly sober yet. (Laughter actd applause.) He would not be surprised if the new Government attempted to impress the v. orking-classes that it was most benevolently incLned towards them; nor would he be surprised to find the six-hours' working day measure which the miners were determined upon, met with only little opposi- tion. The new Government would doubtless dole out small concessions to Labour in this country in order to divert I t;i attention from the campaign they wanted to caivy out in Germany, Central Europe and especially Russia. Person- ally, lie would prefer these people to fight or- ganised Labour, the trades union movement, at every turn. Tlieii if Capitilisin, now in possession of the had any fight in it, it would organised trades union movement to a test. if there was to be no opposition to the six-hours' day proposal, lie (Mr. Davies) was going to stump the country for a four-hours' measure. The workers would continue making demands until the enemy— CpaitalislIl-had received its quietus lie had not the slightest doubt once the working-classes of the Coalfield experienced the pleasure of a six-hours' day, that so much would their horizon be broadened that they would wish to look be- yond. The trades union weapon was the only weapon to contend with the new Government, and he hoped proper attention to it would 'ho paid. (Cheers.) VICTORY NEXT TIME. Mr. Wiustono (who was prevented from speak- ing for minutes by reason of the cheering) said: I am here this afternoon for the purpose of tendering my sincere thanks to one and all who have worked so nobly in the recent contest. Which, to me at least, has been one of the most I inspirillg that I have ever taken part in. 1 want to get yon people to realise the strength of the enemy. Krerv instrument and all the powers. I that they could bring to bear from whatever quarter were brought to bear in order to defeat) the people upon whom they live. If it were not for the fact that the people are so foolish those otlici s who have triumphed in this general elec- tion would die. (Cheers.) Here you are bdore I me this afternoon representative of those who) feed the world, who clothe the world, who tre? the world—and yet you have not exercised that intelligence which you ought to have exercised to bti 1>()ssess 'oil of all those things which you have produced. have revelled in this connict. and I am de- lighted that we are starting again this tfter noon. (Cheers.) We have made up our minds, come what may. that the flag shall not come down. (Cheers.) I pon the next occasion we j shall carry that flag to victory. ("Loud cheers.) We have not been defeated. There is no such word in our vocabulary. We have not even been repulsed, we have but been checked, and if we are to judge from the signs of the times yes- terday, it is we who are the victors. Our oppo- nents went so far as to confess that we had given them notice to quit. Yes! and that notice will run its term, and at the end of tha t term 'they will quit. (Cheers.) Do not be deceived. We are now, probably for the first time, up against the real enemy, and whilst some of us are not exactly head over heels in love with the Prime Minister, still he has done one service—although it is not honour- able to him—in wiping out the buffer political party. We are now up against the real enemies of the working-class—the landed and industrial aristocracy, and you may take it from me that anything that they give to the working-class will but be in the nature of an en largement of the crumbs that fall from their table. Wrhen are you going to realise your power and display the will to use that power? (Cheers.) There can be no defeat ior the cause I represent. We know that the day will soon be litt-e when the workers will be called upon again, not to choose between Sir Edgar Jones and Wins-tone, but whether they will be on the side of right or of wrong. (Cheers.) The future is with us. WHAT THE EX- SOLDIERS CET. r am an internationalist, and T aru asking those who have been through the hell of the Western and other fronts what have you got out of it. My lad came home last Friday after ser- vice almost from the commencement of hostili- ties, and his lot is, and will be for years to come, to work three or four months every year for no other purpose than to pay interest on the debt that we have made. And he is but typical of all who are engaged in industrial occupations. (Cheers.) And even now I wonder what lead up to the war. The Kaiser? Aye, he was an im- portaut instrument, but he was only the servant of a gang of Capitalists. The cause of the war was the over-production of wealth by the workers of the world, wealth which did not find its way back to them. And those to whom that surplus has gone have wanted to invest it abroad and so spread the system of wage- slavery upon which alone they wax fat. The jealousies and rivalries of that hunt for fields for exploitation were the real causes of the war. (Cheers. ) A FOUR HOURS' DAY. But the war was but a phase of the greater war with which we are ever engaged. And if in that other war circumstances arise making a four-hours' day essential, I shall he there. The man who has not got a grasp of economics does not know the workers cause, and he is not a fit man to lead the workers. The sooner you get to know economics the better for all parties concerned. Only in the light of economic know- ledge can you understand the position in Russia —one of the richest parts of the earth. The British soldiers are in Russia to protect the in- terests of British Capitalists who have invested their money there, and in order that they may still further get a hold upon the raw resources of that country—mines, oil and the like, that they may build up colossal fortunes as they have been enabled to do in the past. (Cheers.) Now, to my esteemed friend, Lloyd George-- (langhter)--aud, by the way, we fought Lloyd George, and not Sir Edgar Jones—he told you so. (Cheers.) Therefore, I come within 1,445 of defeating the Premier of Britain. (Cheers.) Take this message to him: "He has won the election, but lie has lost his soul in the winning of it. (Cheers.) Who won the war? (A voicej: "Lloyd George," and others, "The bovs.") I will tell you who won the war. Not the man who failed to send the reserves for the 21st of March, 1918. (Cheers.) The men who won the war were the men who fought with Sam Dorkins and the others. Those are the men who won the war. (Cheers, and a voice: "What did Russia do in the war r) I will tell you. They did what this gang of conspirators will do again, they lost millions of men because n corrupt oligarchic class known a.s the Czar's Government sent the Russian soldiers to face the Germans without a weapon in their hands. (Shame.) It is the boys who donned the khaki who won the ivar- and when they came home they will know who won the election. (Cheers.) We are not by any means dismayed. There is a force rising up in this country that all the forces of darkness will never stem. This crowd, this Coalition crowd of Capitalists and landlords and their henchmen will be snuffed out as a bit of snowflake before the sun. Do not be tfespondent. be of good olieer. The day is not very far off when the workers in this country and every other oountrv. will be wise enough ta come into their own (Cheers.)
Macdonald on The Election I FACED WITH "DIRECT ACTION." IF BOLSHEVISM COMES THE COALITION WILL HAVE BROUCHT IT." Mr. J. R. Macdonald, writing in the Man- chester Guardian 'of Tuesday on the meaning of the election said: "An examination of the figures s hows that that is the character of the election. It is simply a heady anti-German pro- nouncement, the loudest cheers being given to those who appealed most recklessly to the popu- lar passion. This is seen by a scrutiny of the type of candidate returned. Probably there never were so many doubtful characters in the House of Commons. Some of us who have been the objects of never-ending—-and as a rule per. verse and wicked—attacks have gone down badly. But we have not fared so sadly as those who were Laodiceans. So far as I can gather the effect of the women's vote has been to swell the majorities of the most extravagant candidates. In nlv own case the women from the middle artisan quar- ters gave me support; those from the villa and poorer ends of the constituency were most blood- lusty and most oredulous, MId in solid masses voted against me. The election came before the triumphant emotions of the peace died down, and they carried the bulk of the women to the poll- t ing booths. I A WARN,INC. Friends of mine are referring to the pledioll as a blow to this and a blow to that. To my mind the greatest blow it has given is to Parlia- ment itself. A Parliament without Opposition leaders, without criticism. without minorities shouldering their proper responsibilties is no Parliament at all. We are now faced with the dangers of other than Parliamentary Opposition —-with "direct action." This is particularly un- fortunate at a moment when, in consequence of the later phase of the Russian Revolution and the news fi-oiyi Berlin. Parliamentary institu- tions and representative government are threat- ened by a rival system of control which destroys democracy as we have hitherto understood it and offers no security for ordered progress. Can those of us who care for representative institutions agree upon some method of undoing as quickly as possible the evils of this election and of restoring Parliamentary authority If we cannot, the prospects seem to be industrial u 11 settlement and the growth of a serious anti- Parliamentary Labour movement. If Bolshevism corner, flu. Coalition will have brovghl it."
Political Notes I By F. W. Jowett. THE CAMOUFLAGE LABOURITES. I It is announced that the eleven Members of Parliament- who were supported by the British Workers' League, alias the National Democratic and Labour Party, will form a separate group in the new Parliament under the name of the National Democratic Party. It is further stated that the group, while giving general support to Mr. Lloyd George's programme of peace and re- construction. will contest direct working-class representation with the Labour Party. it: AN ENCUMBRANCE. I Mr. Lloyd George s peace programme, as is- sued for the enlightenment of soldiers 011 ac- tive service contained three points, namely: (1) Punish the Kaiser, (2) No more Conscription. and (3) Make Germany pay. Points (1) and <3) were more precisely stated by the speakers and canvassers for British Workers' League candi- dates, during the election campaign, to attract voters. Punishing the Kaiser became" Hang the Kaiser," and making Germany pay included making Germany pay the British war debt. We shall see, in due course, whether the Kaiser is hung or if Mr. Lloyd George and the Allied Governments make any such demand, and we will also carefully note the fact when Germany I pays our war debt. Wo will hope for the best with regard to Conscription, but we observe that already the "Morning Post" is pointing out I that Mr. Lloyd George need not have en- cumbered himself with vote-catching promises of No Conscription," etc. As for Mr. Lloyd George's programme of re-construction, it has not yet been made known, but presumably the National Democratic Party group in Parliament is prepared to support it, whatever it may prove to be, when it appears. The members of the group having entered Parliament on Mr. Lloyd George's. ticket of leave" can do no less. ITS SINISTER PURPOSE. I 'I 'h. t h b '11 The important part of the above-mentioned j announcement lies, however, in the reference to the fact that the National Democratic Party will oppose the Labour Party. Not that there was any room for-doubt on the matter, but it is well that the object of the new party should be stated. There is now a Labour Party, and an opposition Labour Party. The opposition Labour Party is a capitalists' Labour Party. Its de- finite and deliberate purpose is to divide the Labour vote at the polls and promote discord in the ranks of Labour. LITTLE DECEPTION. I Four of the eleven members of the Capitalists I Labour group have defeated Labour candidates selected by the Labour and Socialist organisa- tions in their respective constituencies with tilt. help of the solid Tory vote. Five have accom- plished the same object by combining the Liberal and Tory vote. One has fought Labour vvjith the help of the solid Liberal vote in the constituency and one has succeeded in uniting the Labour vote with the Tory vote. It is true, of course, that large numbers of working men and women have voted for each of the eleven capitalists' Labour candidates, but most of these have voted as Liberals and Tories in the way they have been accustomed to do at the call of their party organisations in previous elections.. Only a relatively small number have voted for the capitalists' labour candidates in the belief that they were voting Labour. I < THE TRICK BEHIND. I It may be asked what the capitalists have gained by ifnancing the election of a separate Labour group when, as the figures declared at the polls show, with one exception, a Coalition label would have carried a Liberal or a Tory in quite easily. The answer is that the capitalists see the danger of allowing the working class to unite in one political party and are. therefore, willing to leave the field open and pay freely for labour disruptiollists to fight accredited Labour candidates. Both inside and outside Parliament capitalists want to see Labour in conflict. Tt is the old policy of divide and conquer." I THE SWINe OF THE PENDULUM. I If it were not the case that in the near future questions will have to be determined which Wln make clear the dividing: Une between those who are on the side of the workers and those who serve the interests of the capitalist enemy, there would be reason to fear that the present system of Parliamentary Government in this country would be swept aside instead of being reformed. Mr. LI ovd George has succeeded so well in select- ing his opportunity for the election and obtain- ing his "ticket of leave" majority on fa Ise issues that many earnest people of the working class are beginning to doubt the value of Par- liamentary action. The advent of the Capital- ists' Labour Party is another disturbing factor in the situation. I POPULARITY OF STRIKES. I The effect of these dodges to defeat the object < f representative government is to divert the action of organised Labour into other directions. The feeling is growin g that the working class cannot reach the parliamentary machine and use it. Consequently more simple and direct means of controlling their work and their relations with the community are engaging the attention of those whose minds are set on the emancipa- tion of their class. In this country this distrust of the Parliamentary machine has had the effect of strengthening belief in industrial action. The strike is becoming more popular, but as yet the destruction of Parliamentary Government is not advocated here except by very few people. 01: THE CONTINENTAL ARGUMENT. On the Continent the mind of working people is turning to the Soviet system, under which men and women do not vote for a Parliament which is far away from them and which does not administrate, but merely functions by criticism. The workman through liii local Soviet, so it is claimed, controls his working conditions and his relations to the community in which he lives without the necessity of operating through a far distant national assembly. I do not advocate this plan myself because ( do not know whether it has proved effective where the capitalist struc- ture is much less complicated than it is here. But they are shortsighted people, however, who fail to see that the working class will seek some alternative method to that of Parliamentary government if the Parliamentary machine is made ineffective for its purpose. « » THE BRICHT SIDE. Although Labour votes to the number of 2,.300,000 have only secured 62 representatives instead of over 148 representatives, as would have been the case but for the Coalition and the present method of voting, it is. nevertheless, a good thing to have contested as many constitu- encies as possible. We know, as a result of this policy, that 2,400,000 votes have been given to candidates who are in favour of peace being ar- ranged 011 the principles laid down by President Wilson and we know also the strength of the Labour and Socialist forces in the constituencies contested by Labour candidates. Moreover, the votes recorded for Labour candidates at this last election are votes given under circumstances more unfavourable for Labour than at any pre- vious election. It is almost impossible for La- hour to be placed in such a difficult situation again whilst it is, on the other hand, extremely likely that between now and the next election, as I have already mentioned, the issues between Labour and Capitalism will have become clearer and therefore move favourable for effective poli- tical action. CAPITALIST EXECUTIVE. In the meantime, whilst the khaki fever oon- tinues, Capitalism will use the present "tied" House of Commons for its own ends. Every change in the present methods of production and distribution, made necessary by the war and its effects, will be carried out in such a way as will strengthen rather than weaken the resouroea of Capitalism. Services which are indispensable but unprofitable will be subsidised or nation- alised, whichever seems best in the interest of Capitalism. Where nationalisation is decided upon care will be taken to get a good price from the public for present owners and the nation will be "old a "pup wherever possible in order to make public ownership unpopular. How clearly this policy ib understood in financial circles is indicated by the recent movement in the prioe of railway shares. Mr. Winston Churchill announced in the early part of Decem- ber that railways were to be nationalised. In three weeks time, following his announcement, railway shares increased in price on the stock- market by an aggregate amount of 6t millions. A further sharp rise in the prioe of railway shares was recorded as soon as the election re- sults were declared, and it was seen that Capi- talism was safely entrenched in the new House of Commons. « TIED HOUSE AND BOLSHEVISM. The new House of Commons will also be a willing instrument in the hands of Mr. Lloyd George for the repression of revolutionary move- ments abroad. The French Minister for Foreign Affairs has openly declared that the object of Allied military intervention in Russia is the economic encirclement of Bolshevism (i.e., the starvation of the Russian people in those parts of Russia where Bolshevism prevails). The same policy will be carried out against the Ger- man people if the revolution there threatens to become an economic as well as a political revo- lution. It is also to be noted that the French Premier has informed the Frenoh Chamber that Great Britain is pledged to support an annexa- tionist policy for France, and he expects tfee pledge to be observed. And the people of Great Britain havo at this time elected a Parliament of tied supporters of the Government. Mr. Lloyd George is s'ttit)-: fit) t' safety valve.