Friday, April 30, 2021

Meet the Socialist Party in Cardiff


Our South Wales comrades are holding a street stall to-day, Saturday 1 May, in Cardiff outside the Capitol Shopping Centre, Queen Street (Newport Road end) from 1pm-3pm.

We would very much welcome to be challenged on our ideas by our fellow-workers. 

Come along and pose your questions to Brian Johnson who is the Socialist Party candidate in the Welsh Parliament election. 

He and other members are only too happy to engage in a civil exchange of view-points with those who may disagree with our aims and principles. 

Always remember we are the only political party that calls for votes from only electors who understand and agree with our case for socialism. Otherwise, we say don't vote for us.

May Day - Our aim remains the same


This world is run by a tiny group of people who own and control the wealth and power – the 5% that controls the majority. And they have at their beck and call a host of bought and paid for politicians that do their bidding. The economic system we live under exists to serve this small elite. In this society you don’t get rich by working hard, you get rich by having others work hard for you. In fact: the harder the work, the less you get paid.

Everything of value is the product of human labour; it was created by women and men working hard. The capitalists own the places where we work, we produce the goods and services and everything worthwhile – they get the profits. We are dealing with a class that is made up of parasites. Malcolm X was entirely right to say “Show me a capitalist and I’ll show you a bloodsucker.”

We have said many times that socialism is the sole solution for the problems of the world. The Socialist Party did not invent humanity’s aspirations for a just, egalitarian and free society; mankind have cherished such a dream for a very long time. Socialism is a movement based upon the historic evolution of the past and the economic conditions of the present. It is not, therefore, something that has been hatched in the brain and the imagination of some idealist philosopher. Socialism builds upon reality. It looks upon society as an ever-changing category, and it is able to explain why society has changed in the past and why it must change in the future. The reason why socialism is able to explain the past and the present and to foreshadow the future is because it establishes itself upon the facts of history and the truths of economic science.

Sadly socialism has lost in actuality and immediacy by the fact of being postponed to a far-off future. We believe that the emancipation of humanity from the age-long slavery of the class rule will be achieved in our own time. When we talk about the inevitability of socialism we assume that our fellow-workers will continue to struggle for their rights. Were they, on the other hand, to fatalistically remain tamely passive wait till socialism came to them, they would soon lose all the rights that they have now and become more slaves. When workers grow so class conscious and so well organised as to make their exploitation impossible then capitalists would have reached the end of their reign. That is what we understand by social revolution.

 The spirit of the revolution is stirring once more. Society is changing more rapidly today than ever before in human history. Capitalism is rushing civilisation to its doom. Capitalist society is today clearly treading the road to the abyss. Socialism proposes the common ownership of all the means of production and distribution, the operation of industry in the interest of the whole people, the application of every machine to reducing working hours, the equality of all races and sexes, the abolition of poverty, the end of war, the economic freedom of every human being — and thus emancipated from the cruel and degrading thraldom of the capitalist system.

We seek to end the rule of the rich and build a socialist system – a system where all political and economic power is in the hands of the people. This is not a dream. Working people are the majority. We have every right to reorganise society in such a way that it serves our interests. Provided that we have the democratic organisation, determination, and understanding necessary, the future is ours.

Remember on the 6th to cast your vote for Brian Johnson in Cardiff Central for the Senedd Cymru, Welsh Parliament, election.

And Max Hess and Andy Thomas in Folkestone for its county council election.

Pogrom against Palestinians in Jerusalem

 The immediate context that makes such shocking developments possible — indeed, inevitable — is the continuing drift of Israeli politics toward the nationalist extreme right. What was formerly considered ‘extreme right’ — Netanyahu’s Likud — is now the center, with even more extreme forces to its right. The followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose earlier party (Kach) was made illegal on account of its racism, are now not only in the parliament (Knesset) but inside the governing coalition (the Religious Zionism electoral bloc and in particular the Otzma Yehudit — Jewish Power party).

However, the main factor that has facilitated this drift to the extreme right is an external one — the massive political and financial support that Israel still enjoys from western governments — above all, from the United States. Several past US presidents have tried, sometimes with a measure of success, to use Israel’s reliance on American support as leverage to moderate Israeli policy. Recently, however, US support has been unconditional: it flows from the stranglehold of Zionist lobbies and does not depend on what Israel may or may not do. In this respect there is no difference between Trump and Biden. Three quarters of the members of the US Congress recently signed a letter to the House Appropriations Committee reaffirming the unconditional nature of American military aid to Israel.

In my search for a genre adequate to express my thoughts and feelings about the anti-Palestinian pogrom, I have finally settled on satire. Editors often warn writers against satire: you can always be sure that some readers will fail to recognize it as satire, misunderstand the meaning, and take offense. That is why I am labeling what follows as satire, even though it does spoil the effect a little. – SS

Special session of US Congress reaffirms support for Israel

Today the US Congress held a special joint session of both houses to reaffirm its unwavering support for our eternal ally, the State of Israel.

“At a time like the present,” proclaimed Speaker Duncy Febrosi, “when our friend and ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, finds itself under attack from all sides, it is especially important that we, the elected representatives of the great American people, should speak out in a single voice for all the world to hear in support of the precious values that we share.”

She held up a sheet of paper and waved it back and forth.

“So if any of you have not yet signed the letter of Representatives Ted Ditch and Mike McCrawl to the chair of the House Appropriations Committee – would you please do so as you leave after this session? Tables for the purpose have been set up in the lobby.”

“Eh?” asked Representative Dozy Sludge, half-asleep as usual, “what letter is that?”

Mike McCrawl stood and addressed the gathering:

“The United States has committed itself to a military aid package for Israel worth $38 billion. To some of you that may sound like a lot of money, but actually it is the bare minimum that Israel needs for protection against homemade missiles, terror kites, and terror balloons from Hamas in Gaza. And yet some of our colleagues want to make this aid, so essential to Israel’s security, conditional on Israel maintaining a certain standard of behavior. An unrealistically and absurdly high standard. No other country, you know, is ever held to such an unrealistically and absurdly high standard. Double standards like that are a clear indicator of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitic hypocrites like Representative Betty McCollum and her friends, for instance, have some sort of hang-up about Israeli soldiers shooting Arab children – children who, as everyone knows, are trained from infancy as terrorist stone throwers, often by their own parents. Don’t Israeli soldiers have a right to react to harassment and provocation? Doesn’t Israel have the right to defend itself?”

He paused to calm himself before concluding, somewhat lamely: “So what our letter says, basically, is – Hands off our aid to Israel!”

Betty McCollum looked as though she wanted to say something, but her hesitant attempt at objection was sharply cut off by Febrosi.

“I propose that we demonstrate our heartfelt solidarity with Israel by chanting a few popular Israeli slogans. And it will sound even more authentic if we do it in Ivrit – that is, in Hebrew!”

What a treat
To learn Ivrit!

“And so,” continued Febrosi, “I have invited my good friend Yael. She is a slogan-chanting instructor from the highly respected civic organization Lehava. She will lead the way… And perhaps I should mention that equipment has been installed to observe the degree of enthusiasm shown by each of you and forward the information to AIPAC.”

At the mention of AIPAC a stir of half-suppressed anxiety swept through the assembly. “Oh my God! AIPAC!!” – the more nervous of the politicians could be heard whispering to themselves, their hands shaking.

The Lehava instructor then gave the US Congress a short lesson in Ivrit. She started with the most basic slogan of all – one familiar to any graffiti watcher who takes a look around Eretz Israel:

Mavet la’aravim!
(Death to the Arabs!)

Soon the loyal Israel-supporters were chanting away as authentically as anyone could wish. If you closed your eyes, you might even imagine that you were right there in Jerusalem, Holy City of Peace. A scattered few, however, stayed silent. They were the thirty congress-people who were themselves of Arab origin. “What if the people around me suddenly make the connection and remember that I myself…?” they asked themselves. ”Maybe they’ll tear me limb from limb. But suppose I assure them that I too am loyal – true, in my own way – to America’s pet monster in the Middle East, will that help? Better not count on it!” So surreptitiously they slank away and hid in the washrooms.

Then Yael explained how other handy slogans can be generated by changing the second word of the basic slogan:

Mavet la’shmolanim!
(Death to the leftists!)

A few of the remaining politicians felt uneasy at this one. Bernie, for instance. But only a few.

Next Yael introduced another popular slogan. It was a bit longer and took the form of a rhyming couplet:

Ha’am doresh,
Aravim ba esh!

(The nation demands:
Arabs into the fire!)

A few of the remaining politicians possessed enough of a liberal education to realize that this is a slogan rich in historical resonance.

Perhaps in their mind’s eye there appeared an image of weeping parents in ancient Carthage or Canaan hurling a beloved child into the sacrificial flames.

Or an image of Cossacks setting fire to a Jewish shtetl (townlet) and refugees fleeing into the surrounding forest (as my grandmother and her sister, sole survivors of their family, fled the pogrom in Smorgon in 1914).

Or an image of stormtroopers tossing forbidden books into a fire lit on a city square.

Or an image of a crematorium in a place with a long and sinister German and/or Polish name.

But they would have known better than openly to acknowledge any of these latter associations, for they too are treated as clear indicators of anti-Semitism.

Stephen Shenfield

World Socialist Party of the United States

A Talk To Wives and Mothers.


Hilda McClatchie was married to Gilbert McClatchie, and was the sister of Adolph Kohn. She was General Secretary of the SPGB for a large part of the First World War when the Party's membership was decimated because of the introduction of conscription, which resulted in many members either 'going underground' or going overseas. She would have been in her mid-twenties at the time.

From the May 1928 issue of the Socialist Standard

Don’t you sometimes think that it might be pleasant if your day’s work finished at the same time as your husband’s—or the average working man’s—even though his working day is too long?

Don’t you wish you could have 1½ days “off” a week, free from the constant worry of meals and work, an opportunity to enjoy life along with your menfolk?

You cannot heave a sigh of relief when the hooter goes, even though you have worked all day. The hooter only calls you to more work when the family return to meals. Don’t you wish you could leave your thoughts of work behind you at the same time as most men do?

How often are you able to fulfil the hopes of your youth and spend happy evenings with your husband? You are too tired and too busy to share his leisure time with him.

Why be content to scrape along week after week and year after year without relief from the same monotonous work when there are so many who live in luxury and yet have never worked? Surely the reward of work should be pleasure, and not misery and more work.

Has it never occurred to you that, instead of pottering about in your home all day and a good part of the night, it should be possible for the work to be done collectively (as in hotels and institutions), and the children could have large, airy nurseries and large gardens instead of the stuffy living rooms they now have.

Wouldn’t you like your children to have the same opportunities as the rich person’s child?

The first few years of a child’s life are most important, as not only do they naturally require a lot of care, but until they are about five years of age they are not able to go out for air by themselves, and air, as well as good food, they must have to prepare them for the future. The working-class mother cannot afford to employ a nursemaid to take the child out all day, and is not allowed to keep other children at home to do so. It is only at great sacrifice that she takes a child out for about two or three hours a day, and what a rush of work awaits her return. How can children be kept in first-class condition when they are stunted for want of air, and when the mother is too busy to give them the attention they require and cannot afford good food?


Don’t leave it to the men to improve your lot. You should understand the conditions under which you work better than they. You should know what scheming you have to do to make the week’s money buy what is required of it, just as other sections of workers know their own particular conditions best, the miner, factory worker, etc.


Organise yourselves. Ask yourselves why marriage and children should mean the abandonment of all your leisure and the weary, never-ending work.


Talk the matter over as to whether you cannot alter the existing state of affairs.


Wives and mothers, all women, in fact, you must not think that it is out of your reach to alter the state of affairs under which you live. You have a vote, and therefore a say in the matter as to how you should carry on. You must help to improve conditions along with the menfolk, if not for your own sake, at least for your children’s. You would not like them to struggle along just as you have done. It is not enough and no excuse to say that things will not alter in your lifetime, so why bother to think about it. That has been said too long, and if those who said it in the past had given the matter more serious attention and thought of their children, we would have been nearer getting our desires now. Your husband may be in work now, but you never know for how long. Your children may also have their turn at unemployment, and, as time goes on, the unemployment throng will tend to be greater even than now.


Is it fair to bring children into such an unpromising future without endeavouring to do your share in improving their opportunities ?


We all want to get the best the world can offer. Let me give you an illustration as to how you may obtain your desire in actual fact, and the illustration can be enlarged according to requirements. Suppose a number of women met and came to the conclusion that they could work better together on a large scale at specified work, and instead of each, as at present, being “head cook and bottle washer,” nursemaid, housemaid, kitchen maid, dressmaker and cook rolled into one, they decided to amalgamate and work collectively, with all its possibilities. How much more airy their surroundings could be, and how much less work there need be. It would take much less time in proportion to cook for 100 people collectively than for the same number in a number of houses as at present, to say nothing of present washing day troubles. Among the women carrying out this arrangement, no doubt some would be better at one type of work than another, so that, while some do the cooking, others do the sewing and others give their attention to the children, and perhaps have a change of work in turn. By this method the day’s work could be shortened for all, and if the men must do different work from the women, they could have more comfortable surroundings to return to and a companionable wife, instead of returning home to a small, crowded house or rooms and a harassed drudge, tired of the million and one jobs she has to perform.


If all people worked to produce what all require, and each had a guarantee that they would by that means be sure of getting the necessaries of life, there is no telling how soon the work could be done and what pleasures life could hold out.


Don’t think that it sounds all right, but your next-door neighbour could not be trusted to do things so well as yourself, because no doubt that neighbour is thinking the same of you.


As a general rule, every mother does her best for her offspring, however much they may differ from each other in temperament. It is only the cares of life and the narrowness of it that cause us to mistrust our neighbour. At bottom, we are all bent on getting as much pleasure out of life as we can, and if we can work better collectively, the struggle need not be so hard. Most of us prefer to enjoy ourselves collectively, do we not? You cannot improve matters on your own. Do not isolate yourselves so much, but get together and talk about things with a view to improving your lot.


Your grandmother carried on much as you are doing now. Must your children do likewise ?


Whether your family live by brains and your neighbours by muscle, or vice versa, both work hard, and should be alike as regards having the necessaries of life. If your family consists of various types of workers, surely you do not give one less to eat than another. You give them the best you have.


Why not apply the results of work in the same manner, collectively—each have the best obtainable, each do the best they can?


This is the end which the Socialist Party of Great Britain have in view and are organised to obtain. Not a pittance, but at least a sufficiency for all.


I said you have a vote and should therefore have a say as to how you should live. Why not?


Perhaps in our next issue I will tell you what the vote has to do with your present struggle, and how voting a particular way could relieve you of a harassed life.


 I promised to show you how you could improve your conditions of life by using your vote in the right direction. Now, in order to carry out that promise I intend using one particular instance, the remedy for which applies also to other troubles that arise from the present mode of living—that of only being able to obtain necessities if you have the money, although you have worked harder than those who have the luxuries. Apart from the everyday worry of providing food and clothing, the housing problem is a special worry at the moment—even to those who have the other necessities.


So we will see about the whys and wherefores and the way in which we can put things right.


Most of us are, or have been, faced with the difficulties of the housing problem, and instead of insisting that houses be built because they are urgently required, we take no organised action in the matter, but hope some day things will be better.


While we are putting up with antiquated and insanitary houses, we see all around us business premises being extended, garages and cinemas being built and old houses giving place to non-residential buildings, even though they be more commodious than those we live in, and still we are the silent sufferers and cast longing eyes and hope.


Much has been made of the housing problem at election times of late years, and at such times, if at no other, you manage to attend meetings or read circulars promising to alleviate your housing and other financial troubles.


The candidate who puts the case most plausibly gets your vote, then you leave him to carry out his promises and forget to notice whether he does so or not.


At the next election you do likewise, but somehow things seem just as bad as ever. You still find it a struggle to make ends meet, but the reason does not strike you, except, perhaps, that you put it down to your husband not getting enough money or that there are not enough houses built.


It is not that there are not enough land, building materials and workers to build houses (or materials for making clothes and food), but because there is not much profit to be made from building houses for the vast number requiring them, so that only those things are done which do produce a profit, this being the natural result of living in a system of society which is run on profit-seeking lines.


The various governments which have been in power since the war—the starting point of the present housing shortage—have done little to remedy the shortage. They have given the builders subsidies (which shows the power they can use) to encourage them to build, and the councils have made some effort to provide accommodation for those who could not afford to pay the market price. Does it not seem strange to you—if you will ponder a moment—that the obtaining of such important items as decent housing conditions, good food, etc., should depend, not on the needs of the people who do most of the work, but upon the profit-making of the few?


Now we come to the question. How and why is it that the majority of the people are worse off than their employers—the few? Mainly because the workers do not realise that their vote plays so important a part in influencing their conditions of life.


Let us remember that whatever government has been in power its influence has been used, for instance, in deciding industrial disputes, even to the extent of using the police, soldiers, etc., and don’t forget that those who have to work for a living are those who have the majority of votes and are themselves responsible for having elected the governments which have used their power against the workers.


Think what could be done if those who required houses, etc., organised together to get those needs fulfilled, recognising that one can do little by oneself.


What might take place is this :—


A candidate is elected to Parliament by the majority of voters in a particular locality. Since he (or she) represents the majority he could be made their servant— as it were—to carry out the wishes of that majority. He could be made, when attending the Central Organisation (Parliament) to put forward and endeavour to carry out the wishes of his electors.


Now most of you are quite clever at making a 1/- do the work of 2/- in various ways, saving, cooking, etc., but you might go on with that struggle for ever and your children likewise, if you do not try to devote at least a little of your time to thinking of how you can abolish that terrible nightmare of trying to make ends meet. Like the other jobs you are doing, it only requires practice and you will soon get the hang of it.


What is taking place in this country is, generally speaking, taking place in other up-to-date countries—therefore mothers, wives and others are faced with the same thoughts and problems and have similar methods of cure, too, if they only knew how to use the remedy. We are all in the same boat.


Under a more reasonable arrangement of society, if the majority decide that more houses or corn, clothes or fuel are required, then it would be easy enough for that majority to see that the factories, etc., are set to work to provide the necessary goods, whereas now the very goods the workers pile up for their masters they must very often go without until such time as the goods have been disposed of to somebody else.


The method of production and distribution under which the people freely use the goods that they make in common by common agreement, we call Socialism and those organised for that purpose are Socialists. This method of common ownership can be carried out successfully only when the majority vote in that direction and put their candidates forward to change the present system of a few owning all, to ownership by all, that is by society as a whole.


The rather hard lesson we all have to learn is that our everyday bread and butter questions can only be solved in what looks at first a roundabout method. To make our homes worth living in and to make our lives themselves more worth living, we have got to get together in a political organisation — the Socialist Party  for the purpose of gaining control of the key which will open all these closed doors. That key is Parliament. Parliament carries out the wishes of the majority. But if the majority have no decided views or are divided, the Capitalist minority will go on as now, running the world in the way which is very comfortable for them, but not for us. We tell you the way out, and we are sure that if you think about it you will sooner or later agree with us.


You have tried Conservative, Liberal and Labour. We ask you to try Socialism instead. But you must first understand what Socialism is and how it is to be attained.


When we ask for your vote it is not with the idea of promising to do something for you, but with the idea of getting you to join us in building up a system of society in which all will co-operate to produce and distribute the things needed by all. It is not a question involving bloodshed or violence. It only requires a majority of convinced Socialists to take organised political action through Parliament. We are workers just as you are, wives, labourers, clerks, bricklayers, managers, salesmen, shop assistants and unemployed, etc. Our needs are the same as yours. Help us to satisfy


Hilda McClatchie

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Socialist Sonnet No. 31

 HMS Queen Elizabeth

Rule Britannia, Britannia ruled the waves,

Raising Union Jack over distant soils

To plunder the products of native toils

And protect the trade in sugar and slaves.

But today, in these now enlightened times,

Regrets are expressed for what’s in the past,

Yet young men and women before the mast

Are prepared to commit more modern crimes.

Just three billion pounds sterling it seems

Buys a carrier to carry the flag

To fly in the face of all foreign rags

Daring to defy Britannia’s dreams.

Surely such a petrified heart of oak

Is little more than a bellicose joke. 

D. A.


 “That’s the reality,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally but 82% of them were given in high- and upper-middle-income countries.

Just 0.3% of all vaccines administered so far were given to people in low-income countries.

Climate Refugees

 Bangladeshi climate refugees fleeing the coast due to rising sea levels could trigger waves of migration across the country that will affect at least 1.3 million people by 2050, according to a new study.

600 million people are at risk of being displaced by sea level rise in coastal regions worldwide in this century.

Bangladesh migrants fleeing rising seas may affect 1.3 mln by 2050 (

India - Embracing Humiliation

An article by , the author and activist, lays bare the reality of the Covid pandemic in India. 

 "...The “system” has collapsed, they say, again and again. The virus has overwhelmed India’s health care “system”.

The system has not collapsed. The “system” barely existed. The government – this one, as well as the Congress government that preceded it – deliberately dismantled what little medical infrastructure there was. This is what happens when a pandemic hits a country with an almost nonexistent public healthcare system. India spends about 1.25% of its gross domestic product on health, far lower than most countries in the world, even the poorest ones. Even that figure is thought to be inflated, because things that are important but do not strictly qualify as healthcare have been slipped into it. So the real figure is estimated to be more like 0.34%. The tragedy is that in this devastatingly poor country, as a 2016 Lancet study shows, 78% of the healthcare in urban areas and 71% in rural areas is now handled by the private sector. The resources that remain in the public sector are systematically siphoned into the private sector by a nexus of corrupt administrators and medical practitioners, corrupt referrals and insurance rackets.

Healthcare is a fundamental right. The private sector will not cater to starving, sick, dying people who don’t have money. This massive privatisation of India’s healthcare is a crime.

The system hasn’t collapsed. The government has failed. Perhaps “failed” is an inaccurate word, because what we are witnessing is not criminal negligence, but an outright crime against humanity. Virologists predict that the number of cases in India will grow exponentially to more than 500,000 a day. They predict the death of many hundreds of thousands in the coming months, perhaps more...

Fredrick Douglass said it right: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” How we in India pride ourselves on our capacity to endure. How beautifully we have trained ourselves to meditate, to turn inward, to exorcise our fury as well as justify our inability to be egalitarian. How meekly we embrace our humiliation..."