MR POYNTZ ON THE DECLINE OF THE LIBERAL (?) LABOR PARTY.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —Mr S E. Poyntz has delivered himself upon this subj;ct, making the usual attack upon the " one-sided and unfair Dunedin Press"— i.e., your good selves and your morning contemporary, without which no letter from a Liberal of the Poyntz school Would be complete. It is very gratifying to have it admitted that there has been a partial collapse of the so-called Liberal-Labor party. In name on'y is the party liberal, being in f.ict entirely illiberal and despotic. The Premier, the presumed heart of the party, has proved himself a perfect tyrant, having again and again trampled every true liberal principle under foot. Mr Poyntz is quite wrong in assuming that the Prohibitionists and Bible-in-schaols sections belong to his party. Had these sections riot supported Mr Hutchison at the late election, it is well known that they would have voted for Mr Sligo. He is quite right in his second cause—v;2 , the arrogant and illiberal action of the Workers' Political Committee ("Tooley street tailors" would be a more fitting title for them) "io nominating candidates for the support of the whole party." These are the gentry who pose as Liberals (with a very big L) and this a specimen" of their liberal treatment of their fellow-workers. They formulate a creed (call it a platform), submit it to the candidates, and when they find one sufficiently complaisant to swallow it holus-bolus they nominate him " for the support of the whole party," the question of " undoubted ability and intelligence, moral character and general straightforwardness " beicg never considered. Witness the treatment of Mr Hutchison at the last election. Did cv<r a pope require more abject servility? Yet these individuals have the impudence to c*ll themselves Liberald. Thirdly, Mr Poyntz finds that he and his friends have been hoist with their own petard. A great number of the Great Liberal-Labor Party (capitals, please Mr Editor) so highly value their privileges, and so greatly esteem the chosen marionettes of the Workers' Political Committee, that they don't even take the trouble to vote, and are consequently struck off the roll. Moreover, and note this carefully as the statement of Mr Poyntz, " that those once struck off rarely trouble themselves to get replaced." What does this mean ? I think this. They say : " The party with whom our sympathies should lie are not worth support. We ask i brea<l, they give us a stone." That is the ! true position, and they are beginning to realise the truth. Once they quite realise this truth they will trouble themselves to get replaced, and then the collapse of the party will he rapid and complete. I suggest a few of the true reasons for the collapse of the party —viz : Its tyranny, already noted and admitted by Mr Poyntz. There is no tyrant over working men equal to the tyrannical working man. The workers see this, and will not be driven by a few despotic charlatans. Its gross corruption—spoils to the victors. Fortunately all cannot be victors, therefore those who are left out. seeing less deserving members of the Great Party preferred before i them, become enemies. The honest workers see thxt favoritism prevails, and that servility and truckling are rewarded. They know that on election day voters in the Government employ were bribed by being let off for the day on full pay, and they see greater bribery going on in high places—e g., a telephone bureau in a private hrv se; a private road at t hi- pubdc expense ; advances of the public funds under the Advances to Settlers Act to members or their relatives ; purchases of property on the public account at much over value ; the private sale of the Bushy Park Estate to the sons of a Minister at much below the price and on much better terms than had been pre. viously offered and declined; Ministers holding paid offices in syndicates; and the many oilier gross acts of corruption lately exposed.
its dishonesty. " Note with shame that one representative of this party lately in the House deliberately misquoted a speech of iheir late leader (Mr Ballance), putting a mistatement into the mnuth of the dead man, and, when exposed, having the audacity to defend his turpitude on the ground that everything 13 fair in politics. The return to Parliament of an undischarged bankrupt. It is a well-known fact that very many of the Labor party know this to be utterly wrong, and resent it accordingly. There is no need to multiply reasons. The fact is, the thinking members of the party—thanks in a great measure to the honest and outspoken criticism of the Press—see that they have been grossly deceived, and recognise " the policy of imposture." What are the remedies suggested by Mr Poyn'z? l*t. Educate the people up to their standard. By all means; but let the standard be true. The result will not be what he wishes. It is the political ignorance of the workers that has been played upon in The National Ass has spoken with effect, and Mr Poyntz and his friends,/ hitherto
I thepast. 2nd. Form an associationon the lines | of the much belittled and maligned National Association. What a.triumph tor the latter/ j blind as Balaam, and like him bruised against the wall, how see the angel in the path, and humbly propose imitation, which is the uncerest form of flattery. Verily the scales have fallen from their eyes. Thirdly, he would like to" see the State wet nurse all the weaklings of his party, and send the policeman round to put them on the rofls again. A truly liberal suggestion, and quite worthy Mr Poyn'z. It, i'b said that with the occasion 'always, comes the man. Here is the,;. Occa-i----siou, and Mr Poyntz is "the Tman. Possibly the Premier might, if properly approached, Bee his way to add to the great army of inspectors, an "inspector of Liberal-Libor electoral rolls," and possibly. Mr Poyntz might till the billet. Then, lastly, the Press monopoly—poor Press. If Mr Poyntz has his way s'ou are to have opposition again ; but take this little grain of comfort as "a sine qua.non : the Liberal side must accord.this new venture a better measure of support than was accorded the previous ventures in the same Hoe." Thanks, Mr Poyn;z. tbi? is lovely. Surely you are a jester of the highest order. The humor of the last suggestion is immense. Possibly you are a Scotchman, and possibly tho n* cessary surgical operation has never been performed. I have overlooked one suggestion—another joke, I thiok—"Care being taken to nominate none but men of undoubted ability and intelligence," etc. Judged by this standard, where would a number of ihe late candidates and present members bs ?-1 am, etc , Kea. Dunedin, November 15.
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MR POYNTZ ON THE DECLINE OF THE LIBERAL (?) LABOR PARTY., Evening Star, Issue 10471, 15 November 1897
MR POYNTZ ON THE DECLINE OF THE LIBERAL (?) LABOR PARTY. Evening Star, Issue 10471, 15 November 1897
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