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.......... Political Notes

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Political Notes I By F. W. Jowett. I t THE COMINC CRASH. The capitalist system is going headlong to de- duction. In the nations that have suffered de- at the system appears to be already broken be- £ °t)d repair. Here in this country that stage ?? not been reached, but the refusal of the ^pitalist class to recognise the situation which front5 it brings the system nearer to destruc- IOn every day. In a world made immeasurably ??rer as a. result of the war the capitalist class  this and other countries that have not suf- t?'rc-d defeat, presumes that it is richer than For five years it has been accumulating ??r profits, and pretending to lend wealth, ^hich in fact it did not possess, and the effect is tat the produc?Tve power of the people is as- 1,411TOc?d to be heavily mortgaged to Capitalism, i NECESSARIES FIRST. JNvo things have followed, as it was certain would follow. One is high prices, because ces are loaded with interest charge* daimed, J the capitalist class, and the other is artificial ^fcrcity of necessary commodities, because the f^fiteer has the first call on industry, and the flÃngs that are most necessary from the na- tional point of view are not necessities for him. li(lyace, for example, large and well-equipped en- sneering factories arc working on orders booked I^any months in advance for private motor-cars, Or the enjoyment of rich profiteers, whi 1-i the 'i "H'kya rds and storage warehouses of the -oun- T are packed full of materials which cannot he ^oved to the centres of industry for lack of I -tootor transport or other forms of conveyance. I WHy YOU CAN'T GET A HOUSE. I To make matters worse, the count ry has been tfioked into c-lf-(-tinc, t Vvhich calmly looks on whilst Ministers, acting in (101JUsion with Big Business Interests incro-.tst, I sean.in of commodities, and send prices up &tJ.n further by restricting the importation of things urgently needed from foreign sources. As If aU this madness was not enough, ships that re-quired for conveying the means of Jifl. and the products of peaceful industry are being used i carry bulky and heavy tanks, and other > â¢â - j !?â¬ments or wà r to suppJ a ring of armed f'orre^ ?? Mcckitdt' Russia with all its vast and varied ?ateriat resources. Amongst Russia s material Resources is timber, of MhicL ?P aN' in n<?d for ?ndin? the houses that arc promised, hut of I w hose fr?-twn thne is as ;pt no sign. r THE WORKERS' DEBT. Jhis ini|)iident assumption of the capitalist- that prices are to be loaded with interest I'hurgos, as if the capitalist class had actually lent the substance of wealth, in exchange for a IUortg-agp on .ill the products of labour lor ever until the debt is paid, is too colossal io be i>()ine in any case. Aggravate! as it is by mis- direction of spending power on to non-essential filings, the breakdown of the whole system on ^"hich the assumption rests is practically as- tl rod. 1, A LAND FIT FOR HEROES." -1 labour, which has promise! a new and jitter world as a result of the war has bitterly disappointed. Millions of men who have to'Hc through hell and risked tl eir lives realise hat in their absence Capitalism has increased demand and that they are exj>eeUd to pay "htckrnail to those who made profits out of the is and some thingsâ- Nothing, footwear and household requisites for exampleâare so extremely dear that only com- paratively well-to-do people can supply' their nevds. And yet cotton shares pay 25 per cent. Shipping shares are paying 3.:) and tO per cent, Igns of luxurious spending meet the worker ^very where. and exploitation becomes more ram- Piint than evei'. CORRUPTION AND REVOLT. I And the people rebel. This should cause no Surprise. Parliament does nothing. It is Packed with profiteers and their supporters, and ,doc,s nor want to do anything. The Coalition 'Majority is hand and glove with the profiteers, whilst the once powerful Liberal Party bleaks '^effectively about cutting down national expen- diture. although its leaders pay lip-service to the demand for housing and other schemes of ^â¢-construction which involve enormous expendi- ture. As for the Labour Party, it is too weak in ^ai-lipment to change the economic policy of the Nation in the teeth of vested interests. BREAD BEFORE CAKE. I Parliament, having become a nici-C tool of the Capitalist class, what else could be expected than industrial and social upheaval? Working people cannot be fobbed off nowadays with the old fal- incy tht t,lic, 1st (riYe them ?urk and ?a?ps. They kmw. in fowt thaL the necessary man Ls the working-man, and that the eapibliÅ¡t profiteer and the landlord are dependents. The War has taught them that. During the war the men who fought and the men who produced use- ful things had to be fed.and clothed. There wa.s nu unemployment problem. The necessary work had to be done. It was a case of essential things first. Bread before cake, carriage of goods be- fore touring for pleasure. BE AUDACIOUS." I Xow that peace has come, the working people do not see why they should not be able to buy tlit, things they need, and as prices go up they >vant more wages. Consequently, there are Strikes. The war having enlightened working people as to the value of labour, they are hc- coming "audacious," as they were advised to do hy the Prime Minister himself. But their auda- city conflicts with the claim of the capitalist class to hold fast to its war profits, and to seize for itself a bigger share than ever of the pro- ducts of labour. THE STORM WIND. I As the ronnict proceeds, one Id(' or the other I will have to gin' ?ay. Either OttpitaH?m mu%t I r?iievc production of the heavy charts on ac- has count of rent, interest and profit;, and also of the waste involved in the ill-organised method s of collection, manufacture and distribution, or the worker must live leaner and work harder to keep the capitalist system afloat. This he will never do, and as Capitalism seems to have no in- tention of abdicating of its own free will, there will be strikes and more strikes. Capitalism has sown the wind, and reaps the whirlwind. THE RLCHT TO STRIKE. The Police Bill passed its third reading stage without a division. Att-empto wore made by the Labour Party to persuade the Government to I agive to various amendments, but they were in- effectual. The Home Secretary made damaging use of an admission by Labour members that policemen could not be Trades Unionists in the ordinary way, meaning, presumably, that they should not have the right to strike. A POTENT WEAPPON. j It is precisely because the police had formed I a powerful trade union, and had decided to strike, that the Government granted improved conditions. Policemen have obtained u now wage minimum of 70/- per week, but in return for it they are being compelled by law to throw away the weapon by which it was won. The sub-sec- tion of the Bill which, in effect, precludes police- men from associating with any other organisa- tion than that provided for them by the Gov- ernment was voted upon, but it was carried by 117 to 28. The Capitalists' Labour Party, of course, voted with the majority. I BLACK BRETHREN. I Ministers reveal the veal state of their miml on labour questions when they answer enquiries relating to the conditions of labour in Crown Colonis. Answering lr. Spoor in the House JL-Tuly 28th), who had asked for a Government declaration in favour of a nine-hours' working day and a minimum wage for men, women and children in British Guiana. Colonel Amerv gave ly observed that the Colonial Government gave protection to unskilled labourers in the Colony, and had set up Boards to tween Capital and Labour. j I FIVE HOURS AND NINE. I To the further request for the appointment of Labour representatives on the Executive Coun- cil of British Guiana, Colonel Ame-ry replied that there was no such representation, but that the Secretary of State was unable to admit that the interests of Labour in the Colony do not receive full consideration." It is evidently ta ken for granted by the British Colonial Office âwhere the hours of duty are between ten in the forenoon and four in the afternoon, with an interval for lunchâthat a nin<v-hours' working day is an unattainable minimum in British Crown Colonies. AN IMPUDENT CLAIM. I Useful and interesting facts relating to the acquisition of "native territory and the treatment of native races was revealed in the course of the debate on the Colonial Office vote in the House of Commons on July 30th. Mr. Ben Spoor began the discussion, and he was ably supported by Colonel Wedgwood. It has been decided that the British South African Com- pany, commonly known as the Chartered Com- Dany, has no legal claim to the ownership of Rhodesia, so the Company has put in a claim for compensation on account of its ad m inistra- tion of the Colonv. The Company claims be tween £ 7.000,000 and £ K 000.000. According to an article which appeared recently in the Times the claim is likely to be increased to somewhere near £ 18,000,000. With character- istic tenderness to capitalist exploiters the Gov- ernment has decided to pay whatever sum it is assessed to pay by Lord Ca e and two other members of a commission that has been ar- pointed to enquire intojjie matter. A SUBJECT RACE. I the cost of the two predatory wars is included ;n the claim of the Chartered Company on ac- count of expenses incurred in Rhodesia. The terms upon which forces were enlisted for the Matabele War by the Chartered Company in- cluded gifts of extensive areas of land (about 6,000 acres) and half the loot." The loot." included 40,000 to iO,Cno head of cattle cap- tured from the natives. The net result of the Chartered Company's operations in Rhodesia is that the ;),000,000 natives .ire "reserved" in thirteen per cent, of the land, almost entirely busli-land, whilst the white population, number- ing 1,500,000 are allowed the remaining 87 per cent. of the land. The natives work under a system which wa.s appropriately described by Lord Henry Cavendish Bentinck, who also took part in the debate, as more or less veiled slavery." If a native wishes to leave an em- ployer he must get a pass, which his employer only need refuse to give if lie desires to keep hi, servant. If a native strikes for an increase of his wages, which amount to Od. or 8d. a day. lie is fined or imprisoned.. CECIL SHIES AT CHILD SLAUCHTER. I Lord Robert Cecil is an aristocrat, and an astute and deadly opponent of democracy and Socialism. He encouraged, by evasive answers to questions, the corpse factory and polygamy lies against Germany. He prepared for a more rigorous enforcement of the blockad" against Germany in the event of the ]>eacc terms being rejected. But he draws the line at seizing 140,000 milch cows from Germany, and deliber- ately starving to death more invalids and young children, now th.it peace has been made. Ac. cordingly, on July 2th. Lord Robert asked the Government to postpone the demand for the cows, under tho present eircumstances. A Tory member, anxious to counteract the influence of the question on the public mind. enquired how many Belgian and French children were suffer- ing. This seemed to imply that Lord Robert

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.......... Political Notes