Words in Season
Maoriland Worker, Volume 11, Issue 194, 1 September 1920, Page 2
Words in Season
T'ne formation of, the Labor Council of Action in Great Council of JJritaiii to paralyse the; Action. war policy of tbe '. George Government is ] an example vim ii might bo followed j profitably by Xew Zealand workers in domestic a hairs. To put it mildly, the eomiition cf the Xew Zealand Labor, j Movement, iVoin the point of view of organisation and. unity, i.s appalling,! and il'i.s worse- ilian this ylien conoid- ! ered in the light of the tremendous; problem with which n world in disso- j In tion confronts it. Al present it is _ ! a ramshackle movement, looselimbed, .mine in the joints, devoid of-. common policy, villi ihe natural re- i suit that it is inc.-ipaMo of Piling- the ' . I role reserved for any movement m] Iew Zealand villi 100.000 members.! An enumeration of its various divisions j will reveal its weakness and danger.! The Alliance of Labor is an alliance i ot only a few sections of Labor; the: federation or' Labor is dead; there aroj some Federations of crafts which have : no association with each other, and ■ two or three Trades Councils; and j there are dozens of small Unions in j isolation from everything else. Each: of these sections act JiHiepeiHleiuly 1 of the others, and -there, is no common! guidance as would be given were thtyj all attached to some central organisa-;
i lion. A consequence of, this is that ' when one section is involved in industrial trouble it is dillL-ult to get the whole-hearted support of the other sections (who are. mostly iv the'dark as to the aims and motives of their comrades), and even if that support is given it is apt to be not a disciplined and orderly effort, but a straggling affair likely to iii./.le out for lack of generalship. A. constant danger of this seetio!ia!b-:n and disussociation is that tho whole movement might be ir.ni.> cvcied by the employers hi'o sotiKili ng approaching" a general str.'i-:. Take tlie recent trouble on the We,l-lingtou wharves to illustrate the point. A row about wages on a .Tap- : an-se manure boat is met 1-y a lock- . out of roughly -000 men .by the ship-j owners. The coal shortage is at once accentuated, electric power is cut off, . trams stopped, industry is embarrass- , ed, the capitalist I'rcss howls for. "strong .action to cow the "syndieal- , ists, anarchist:-: ami extremists." As it happened the trouble was not al- . lowed to develop very far, but nothingis more (attain than that had it lasted a week scabs would have been organis- ' ed, and in the passion this would ' have provoked a strike of half the Now Zealand movement would have: been within the hounds of probablWly. We would ha" had a strike of a purely emotional character, merely a gesture! of sympathy, and iv reality objectless' to the mass if its participants, who would re-turn 10 the same; conditions as.
they lefl —in sliori.the end would not justify the means. In these eirctimslanes ;: Council of Action o> which the i ntire movement i.-: attilialcd is urgently necessary, not only lo restrain ill-considered strikes, but to eu-
gage the workers with tbo greatest power and vigor in the battle against exploitation. The Council of Action would inform and advise its constituents, hammer out a common policy and a common line of action, .and by organistion rear in ihe workers a sense of dignity and strength. Will the Alliance of Labor get to work? Even the Labor Party might take a hand. And when the thing i.s created may We urge its members to lift the toilers from their potty nhossion in amendments to the Arbitration Act and the Id. an hour war bonus. The Id. bonus won't stop a war, and while we havo war and tlie militarism and capitalism which foment wars social amelioration will be impossible.—J.A. •:s ■> *. * Our knowledge of 'the llritisb Labor Movement induces the Tooley Street belief that its members Labor. will be highly ■unused at the calm; addre-sed
to the Council of Action by Messrs. :-li. Smith and Kellott. The reference ot this trinity of quack politicians to the Prince of ..Vah.-s will be
regarded as a joke, ay the organised workers in the Old f'oimiry ,-f.d as an indication of the poverty of i'loir inlellecis. L' Veitch, Kellc.tt and Smith will mho tho trouble to road representative organs of British Labor opinion like (he "Labor Loader." "'ov- "h'ovward," and tin-' 'IV-tily floral i they will see that (In- intelligent workers of Ureal .irilain tto say noibing of ireland, where things are in a ba 1 way for "constitutionalism") have precious
little lime for royal sium-owuerse and bluc-blooiled low-wage payer;, and
tbat kings, i|in'.ha and their numerous and cNpep; ivc progeny generally :uv looked upon as tviies of barb.iriM.i who will disappear with '.In- upgrowth oi' human intelligenoe. The inxieiy ef
j these throe (all of whom were elected ; to the New Zealand Parliament birge'y •by tbe votes of jingo-imperialist rear! lionarics) for the welfare of Jjie Hon| arehy will enable the leaders of the [Council ot Action to iihice them villiout dillieulty—their function in our . corrupt capitalist society i.s that of Touting for the war-mongers ami bemusing' the multitude wilii tlie tawnly 'gags of ' patriotism." Tlie spectacle of ! Veitch, Kolletl and Kmith Iduiaing ; Clynes, Thomas, ami Adamson on | "constitutionalism" is indieufhe of _ their blatant ignorance. Clynes, Thomas, and Adnmson have b:-cn and .are constitutionalists pur excellence, i but tlicit- experience (and it must be ' allowed that limy know more abeiil i the foreign policy ol the British liov! eminent than the three parish immp jpersons aforesaid) has convinced them ! that on this issue al any into "consti[ tutionul" procedure has failed utterly, i and always will do so when employed j with men like Churchill, who havo ! neither principle nor conscience and no ! more humane feeling, than :i boa conj stridor or a eiocodile. What Veitch ! and Co. should lie told is that the ] policy of the Council of Action is mii tended really to defend the Coustitui tion they profess to admire so much. ! Don't they know that Churchill, in 1 direct violation ofthe British Constitution, has been conducting unauthor-
j isod war on Russia a,t enormous cost ito Ihe l.rjtisli iieopie, and that whi'e [ he has been throwing his legions on the : Russian Workers' RepuLlic solely in itlie interests of a dirty gang of ; usurers, the Prime Minister of the ; United Kingdom repeatedly .leclnred ■in ihe House of Commons that Great ; Hritnin is not oflicially at war with : Russia? If they know this their cable can be construed only to mean support 'for Churchill's outrage on the constitution, and if/ they don't know it they are ignoramuses who menace the peace aii'l well-being of their counlr.-.)m:n. In either ease they deserve the reprobation of Maorilnnd's workers. Let The Work'-r tell them that the British ninny other constitution is rae-uiingiess if it does not permit the peonle to use their only immediate means to check the illegalities of their rulers, and let The Worker remind them, too, thai Ihe
Rritish people, whose history is largely a revolutionary history, never hesitated to exert ''iinconstitut:onal"..ici.io;i when legitimate agitation failed to lealise their ends—they even beheaded kings in defence oi right and justi'-e. If Veitch and Co. want to tight the Rolsheviks why don't they join up with W ran go lor PilsudskiV Millions of men older than any of the three of them have been fighting for y.ars now. Let them volunteer, and Massey, the leader of thousands who voted for them at the last election, will find tin- transport— at least, we hope so.—J.A.
iin one of its latest encyclicals, the j Welfare League. mix- Welfare ions for God and Conn- League try, attacks air. 11. E. j lllogie Holland, .M.P., whom they d.s-.-ibo as a master of tricky speech, and a special- I ist in sophistry. This i- touching a ! question Mr. Holland .out to ihe j Prime Minister in these words: Then i you don't think' a mint has a duty to • his God? The League's sophisis who, if not exactly masters in the at", of tricky., speech., arc fairly well up in sophistry for popular consumption, proceed to deal with the coiisoictuioas objector, and argue that national defence is a duly, irrespective of right or wrong. They argue tint a man would defend his wife or vis lister if they were attacked, and sett'e t.'m Olios tion of right and wrong if-cr| wards. It is even so. Rut in tite case iof the conscientious objector, win holds his conscience sacred, and is prepared to die rather than violate it. such nr-., guments will not bold. The Stat- has no moral ->r just claim on such a man. In t'u case of the ordinary Socialist who refuser- to go to war, his obie---lion is based on the principle thai bis cla»«i is hia country, and that it would jbe us wrong for him to light Gor! ma 1 v.oilic-iK as the workers of hi-, cwn j eoimlry. A man is entitled to regard the world as his country, and bis class !as his mother. It is possible for a man to stand by his class, rig in or wrong, but when he dues this the Massey crowd jail him for sedition, or put kini under war regulations, on the plea that be has a duty 10 Lie Slate. This is equally an outrage against conscience. Again, the State does not guarantee this cl:iss-consei<uis objector the right to live, or to work, or 10 privileges enjoyed by •iron.ineni members of the Welfare League. Tim Slate does not recognise ihe So-.-ial Contract. Therefore, the State bis U" moral or just right to call upon any citizen to defend it against his own will. This conclusion is perfectly sound, j
It puts human liiV ;>>>.<] t'uiisi'it i<on (the work of Goil) ;ti...,v.' U;e -'" ! ati» (a work of man). If n wo'c latislu ill 1110 J-vllOoN it Would liir-i.lt tilt-' v ,;il OL' war. Altfo the cntl «,f '.'.ljtiiidisiji. iiiassi:yi?m, W'olfaro 1^;.f.H:...;..; n> isni.s tooniiiKori.iii.'i f» Kirnlion, wliic!: liiniloi , iij-»>«?n-.--iion and ineiv.isetl di-trihut ion ci' ;!ie good thins* of. life—W.l4, „