E. Belfort Bax

The P.M.G. And Cairene Morality

(12 February 1887)

PMG and Cairene Morality, Commonweal, 12th Feb 1887, p.53.
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

THE Pall Mall has been at a loss for sensations lately; so much so that Sir William Thompson’s prediction of the probable end of all things terrestrial in 30,000,000,000 years (we forget the exact figures, but from a practical point of view a cipher or two more or less doesn’t matter much) had to be pressed into the service as though it were an imminent declaration of war between France and Germany. An extract from Mr. Cotter Morrison’s new work on the probable future of Christianity was also made to do duty in default of a “latest telegram.” But at last Mr. Caine has come home from Egypt to the rescue with a real genuine Pall Mall grievance, a sort of thing that ought to have a good run. The English Government has actually been so remiss in its duty, after four years’ occupation, as not to have made any attempt to dragoon either natives or “occupiers” into teetotalism and sexual abstinence. Nay, it has even dared (not, it is true, from humane motives but with a view to the “efficiency” of its best troops) to make some sort of attempt to check the spread of that divinely appointed pestilence, syphilis.

Now all these things must be stopped, says Mr. Stead, as his hair rises. Temperance and stern morality must be enforced in the city of the Khedives. What? shall Egypt be evacuated? Oh dear no. The high commercial and Christianising mission of England must be fulfilled. The empire must be extended; but in the interest of the factory and the clearing-house, not the grog-shop and the brothel. Of, course, all Socialists know that these four great institutions are indissolubly connected, and that where you have the first two you are bound to have the last in some form or shape, law or no law, and so probably does Mr. Stead. But this will not prevent the ex-“Northumberland boy” from continuing to puff imperial extension schemes, or from affecting indignation at certain of their inevitable results, in the interest of the “great evening journal.”

This last grog-shop business should help to fill up the time till the next aristocratic divorce case comes on.



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