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"THE BED FLAG."

MR SHAW'S LIVELY ONSLAUGHT. Mr Bernard Shaw, in an article in the "Clarion," on the recent Labour Congress at Portsmouth, utters a whole-hearted condemnation of "The Red Flag." First of all he falls foul of the way In which the proceedings were conducted:— "Is ttere a living man stupid enough (he asks) to be unable to see that discussion Is of no use unless the people who discuss are free to change their minds lv the light of the new facts and considerations brought out by the discussion? '•May I add, as a Superior Person, that I should jolly well lite to see the Trade Union or political society that would close my mind or cut-and-dry my vote on any subject. But then, you see, I belong to the governing classes. It is easy to govern 'delegates.' "The Conference at last lapsed Into a smoking concert by the unseemly and ridiculous singing of 'Anld Lang Syne,' at which the Superior Person left the hall, snorting with superiority. Such sentimental incontinences are out ol place in the sphere of high politics." His greatest objection, however, Is to the singing of "The Red Flag," "that » ignoble air," which "will be the death of Socialism in England If it is not sternly suppressed." "The composer, whoever he may be (and I don't care If he is my best friend), can republish It as "The Funeral March of a Fried Eei" If he likes; but let him take It out of our already sufficiently obstructed path. I declare that If, with all the slogans of Scotland to right of mc, and all the harps of Ireland to left of mc, I were charging bravely to victory in the last fight with Capitalism—if, I say, in that' ( heroic moment one single snivel of "The Red Flag" reached mc, I should crawl I whimpering under the nearest bed, and cry [ for my mammy until she came to protect mc and dry my tears." I "It would kill any movement, that tune," I ' adds Mr Shaw; "and whilst the danger of It lasts I shall protest with all my forces | against minstrelsy of any sort at our meet-I I ins." Mr Bernard Shaw, in a letter on Socialism, in the "Times" says:— 1 "I am not supposed to be an exceptionally modest man, but I did not advance the fact that I have made more money by a : single play than Shakespeare did by all hls plays pot together, as a simple proof that I am enormously superior to Shakespeare as a playwright, . . . The man who pretends that the distribution of income in this country reflects the distribution of ability or character is an ignoramus. 1 "the man who says that it could by any possible political device be made to do so is an unpractical visionary. But the man who says that it ought to do so is something worse than an Ignoramus, and more disastrous than a visionary; he is in the , profoundest Scriptural sense of the'word jy ' fool." ' 1-.

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"THE BED FLAG." Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909

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