E. Belfort Bax

Labour Party Humbug

(2 June 1906)

Labour Party Humbug, Justice, 2nd June 1906, p.6. (letter)
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

DEAR Comrades, – I am fain to enter a protest against the attitude of the leaders of the Labour Party in their persistent kow-towing to the worst side of bourgeois hypocrisy. Mr. Ramsay Macdonald is generally the spokesman of these anxious and nervous protests against the suggestion that he, or the Labour Party, hold any but the most accreditedly respectable views on all subjects. Mr. M.’s zealous disclaimer of aught but the utmost love and esteem for “that body of rapscallions, collectively known as ‘the colonies’,” as Justice has termed them, will be remembered. This, too, was a propos of the atrocious massacre of the Zulus in Natal.

Now, again, in the education question, Mr. M. and certain others are untiring in protesting their zeal for the “religious” training of children, and excusing their advocacy of Secular education with the gloss that they only demand it in the “true” interests of “religion”! Now, this sort of boot-licking of the bourgeoisie on the part even of a mere Labour Party is, I submit, enough to make the average sell-constituted Socialist sick. There are surely many members, even of the L.R.C. Labour Party, who do not approve of the dogmatic refuse, which the term “religious instruction” covers, being thrust down the intellectual gullet of the rising generation, just as there are some who would object to wallowing in political and moral mire rather than offend “the colonies.” Such conduct would be impossible in any continental working-class party.

Altogether, I think the course adopted by the S.D.F. in not amalgamating with the somewhat mixed elements sailing under the aegis of the L.R.C. is being abundantly justified on more sides than one by the course of events. – Yours,


E. Belfort Bax


Last updated on 10.7.2004