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Archive -> 1895-1905 -> ‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 33 Page 104-105



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‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 33 Page 104-105

The Labour Party

My connection with Labour was, in my youth, merely intuitional and instinctive, for there was no definite Labour Party then. My brothers, their friends and I did a lot of talking on politics at our house, for our native town was always politically minded and we have on occasion sat up half the night waiting for news of a Parliamentary or Municipal election. I think we all called ourselves Socialists, but I am the only one of the group who kept the faith.

To be a Socialist in those days was as far as the reddest of reds ever got. Even to be a Radical almost amounted to being a Bolshevik to-day…

But it was not until I had been in London for some years and had had experience in social work and the

revelation this work gave of the conditions in which the working class lived that I realised the utter futility of charity and philanthropic work to make any dent in the hard crust of poverty and degradation in which so many of my fellow creatures lived. In fact, I came to realise that much social work was really keeping people from realising their position and keeping would-be helpers from making efforts to bring about a better state of things.

Then I woke up to the realisation of the need for political and economic changes which would not be mere palliatives, but which would make such radical changes in conditions that the conditions under which people lived would become impossible….


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‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 33 Page 104-105