« PreviousContinue »
oreed but of olase. No longer of his own creation than oould there be any excuse under are those two opportunists of a Labour government for up- the class - hatred which ten holding this political opinion years ago they called into or that. A complete disrup-being. tion of the country would be
"Politics," said & statesman followed by the preaching of who knew the truth of his such a gospel of selfishness as statement, “is a dirty trade." is set forth by Messrs Thomas And it is proposed to do away and Smillie on the one hand, with the one piece of good. by Mr Churchill and the Lord fellowship which in old days Chanoellor on the other. We made politics bearable. When should be compelled to sub- parties were divided by opinscribe to a new principle, to ion and by faith, we did not support a new method, of vote according to our apbring. government. Never before ing or our trade. You might have we been asked to vote find in any olass those who befor a candidate because he lieved in stability and tradihas been brought up to a tion side by side with those particular kind of employ. who cried aloud about change ment or a peculiar standard and progress. A General Elecof oomfort. Hitherto we have tion then meant & conflict of made, in politios, & vertical temperaments and not a concleavage-the Tories, of what. flict of classes. It was rather
olags they may have an exouse for many pleasant been, voting on side, approaches. Men were brought the Radicals on the other, together by a similarity of Now we are bidden to make creed who otherwise might & horizontal cleavage of the have found no meeting-ground, nation, and to assert arbitrar- And now, because the Coalition ily that all those above a cer- has failed, because, in the tain line are opposed naturally words of Lord Birkenhead, to all those below it. This is who is pledged to support mischievous and untrue, It it, it is “invertebrate and shows the way to the worst undefined,” we are asked with form of snobbishness (never menaces to support Mr George has Great Britain, expert in or labour, to cling to the these matters, seen a viler snob. hatreds which the Radicals bishness than that of the work- fomented, to admit that the ing classes), and it intensifies a only differences which exist hundred-fold the class-batred in the country are differences which Messrs George and of standing and employment. Churchill created for their own Rather than perpetuate this purpose of catobing votes, and kind of civil war, we prefer whioh now inspires them with to vote for neither, to insist & panio fear.
Never was that the old Tory Party, which Frankenstein more justly and no party of snobs and bitterly afraid of the Monster found its loyal adherents in
overy olass, should be recon- to increase production, and structed, and that some sem- that higher wages than a trade blanoe of principle should be allows send up the price of all restored to the political life of commodities, But they are the country. And principle not diffident, and if only they has no more ohange of com. oan get a majority, the leaders ing from labour than from of labour are ready and eager the Coalition. The Coalition, to become our lords of misformed as
we know for no rule. better reason than to keep & And they will rule for them. certain set of men in office, selves, and themselves alone, men who disagree naturally They have no interest save in one with another, is a party, their own class; they will if indeed it deserves the name adopt no poliey, they will pass of party, which willingly sacri- no laws which do not benefit fices its oon viotions to office, that class definitely and effeoand is perforce unprincipled. tively. A new kind of corrupLabour also is unprincipled, tion will hamper the State, and for another cause. It larger and more dangerous has shown itself always and than any we have yet known. in all things bitterly sectarian. The middle classes, which laIt professes little or no interest boar in imitation of the Soviets in the affairs of Great Britain. condemns as the bourgeoisie, It knows not the meaning of will be penalised in pocket and idealism or of saorifice. Its esteem antil they be driven out outlook is limited to the work- of existence. The only way in shop and the parish.
whioh salvation oan come to 08 hope, its one policy are higher is by division in the ranks of wagos; its one method of ob- labour. And let it be rememtaining what it wants is black- bered that the Tory elements mail
. "If the railwaymen are in labour are more savagely asking something more for less opposed to its Radioal elements work than heretofore, they care than are the older parties in the not a jot if their colleagues, State one to another. There is a the engineers, are asked to pay greater difference between Mr more for their food than they A. Henderson and Mr Stephen oan afford. If the coal-miners Walsh (let us say) than beinsist suocessfully upon a rise tween Mr George and Mr in wages, it matters not to Bonar Law. And Mr Churchthem that their rapacity causes ill and Lord Birkenhead are thousands of honest men and doing the country a vast diswomen all the world over to servioe by pretending that they shiver over
an empty grate. alone can save us from a peril So little do any of them know which is largely of their own about economios that they
that they contriving. They would form, have not yet grasped the if they could, a pleasant little simple facts that to do as little private oompany, the board of as they can is not the best way which would be joined by Mr
George after allotment; they arguments which should prove would ensure a comfortable and that England was always in permanent living for them- the wrong. They expressed an selves, and have their portraits arrogant doubt if ever their painted as the saviours of German friends were oharged Great Britain. A pleasant with atrooities. They knew little plot truly, which is better than the poor devils happily foredoomed to failure, who had soffered, better than And they do not understand the trained lawyers asked to what harm they have done investigate the evidence. They by throwing down use- thought that a resolute soepless challenge to labour, and ticism proved them to be high by trying to convert what above such poor vices as might have remained & dis- patriotism and anger.
In united rabble into & solid their obsoure journals, as in army.
their sorid pamphlets, they There is yet another objec- cunningly pleaded the cause tion to labour, which may not of Germany, and like other be overlooked or minimised. traitors, they brought comfort Behind the titular leaders of to the oamp of those who were the working olasses there lurks fighting against the country a band of intellectuals” who which gave them birth. have never done an hour's They are sorry band, manual work in their lives, plotting in secret and arming and who are determined to the militant leaders of labour make use of their dupes to with literary explosives. And the uttermost. These “intel. if labour ever be asked to form leotuals," who mean to direot & Government, it will have to labour, if not to lead it, are deal with the gang of intelleosocialists and internationalists tual dootrinaires to whom it is to & man. They have neither profoundly indebted. The doointerest nor pride in their own trinaires are as wily as they country. Not one of them
are dangerous, and they will has ever boasted, as he might, not come out into the open that he was a citizen of no unless they are driven thither mean State. Pretending to by vanity, which, after a love believe in the universal brother- of conspiracy, is their strongest hood of man, they are the passion. How will labour bitter foes of those who sbould deal with them if it oome into be nearest to them, Unoeas. its kingdom? In those happy ingly they brag of their days, when Mr Henderson is superiority to others. They Minister of Foreign Affairs, will smile a smile of no indulgence he accept the advice of the inat the antiquated virtue of tellectuals, who will haunt his patriotism. Throughout the back-stairs ? If he do, then war they were pro - German will the rain of the Empire be and "defeatist,” Their vanity made doubly sure.
If he do prompted them to use long not, he will have to fight a
1920.] The “ Plain" Men and the Peace of Europe. 293 secret opposition, which may It was pointed out by Bolingshow itself more formidable broke many years ago that the than the opposition which will art of government was the be arrayed against him in the only art which demanded no House of Commons. If the apprenticeship of its practisers. rank and file of the working And the reproach, just then, men were ever permitted to may more justly be lovelled at look apon the vain, reckless, the politicians of to-day. The irresponsible, tea-drinking in- peace, which at last has been ternationals, who aspire to signed in Europe, was made by direot their polioy, they would those who have served no know how to treat them. apprenticeship. We all reBut the tea - drinkers are member how loudly Mr Wilson kept wisely in the back- boasted that he and his colground by the leaders; they leagues were “plain” men work underground like the who know nothing of diplomacy, mole; and they will not show and yet spoke with confidence themselves to the workers of beoause they represented tens the land, until they are pre- of millions of voters.
They pared, like the fanatios they were “plain" indeed, as are, to do the work of Lenin. “plain” as their own peace, They, perhaps, are the greatest which is weak where it should danger in which the suprem- be strong, and strong where it aoy of labour would involve should be weak. The danger
Meanwhile we would en- to the peace of Europe has been, treat the Coalition to cease and still is, Prussia. Napoleon oomparing its
inoom- knew this well, and would have petence with the obvious in- made an end of Prussia, if only competence of labour. The Alexander I, had permitted it. Franchise Bill, which oom- And our “plain” men, assemmands us to take whatever bled in Paris, have treated governors the anlettered mob Austria and Hungary, whose sends us, was their creation, guilt was far less than Gerand it oannot yet be gainsaid. many's, with a needless seNor shall we again discover verity, and we have left it in Ministers who will govern the Germany's powor to recover oountry in accord with honest much of her ancient strength prinoiples, until we abolish the and to take her revenge in due Coalition, and demand of our time upon Franoe and upon candidates that they shall state England. honourably in their election Justice must be sternly adaddresses what they them- ministered in the affairs of selves think and believe, and nations as in the affairs of shall
Qe886 to repeat, like men. The one and only parrots, the name of the man method of ensuring peace is to whose poor ambition it is to prove to the aggressor that his remain å tenant for life of 10 polioy does not pay. Leagues Downing Street.
of Nations are, we believe,
useless. Germany, unchanged, mio Council, perhaps he if weakened, by the war, will should not have hastened so remain of the same mind as speedily into print. But that heretofore, unless it be shown is a point upon which he perclearly to her that her dream force oame to a decision himof universal empire is im- self, and he must bear the full possible. If this truth oannot weight of responsibility. His be borne in upon her mind, sketches of the “plain" men save by destruction, then she who settled the affairs of should have been destroyed. Europe are excellently done. The economists will tell us Mr Keynes has a happy way that in destroying, or even in with the branding-iron; and impairing, Germany, we shall though imagine that lose a good oustomer for our neither Mr George nor Mr wares. That may be; but we Wilson will take much shall presently discover new pleasure in his work, he will markets, and, at least, we shall satisfy all those who are not have done our best to ensure natural worshippers of the peace in the world.
Other politicians. And yet, in spite nations which aspired to of himself, he has painted M, universal dominion have fired Clemenceau in the truest their shot and failed, but the colours. What he meant for mundane movement has gone a bitter caricature seems to us on comfortably and profitably a flattering portrait. His vilfor the rest. The battle of Sala- lain is our hero, and by this mis broke the power of Persia; divergence alone the value of it did not bring ruin upon his argument stands or falls. Greece. The senseless ambition In M. Clemenceau's policy of Charles XII. eventually re- he sees the polioy of an old duoed Sweden to the position man who is not interested in of a second-rate power.
But humanity, who “neither exother powers arose to take its peots nor hopes that we are place, and civilisation will not on the threshold of a new founder beoause, after a brief age," of a statesman, dis- . fifty years of prosperity, united illusioned, and yet guided, by Germany has been driven upon the past, who will not be led the rocks.
away into a false security by These and many other con- phrases or ideals. In thus siderations Mr J. M. Keynes refusing to be deceived or to omits from his ‘Economic Con- deceive himself, M. Clemenceau sequences of the Peace.'1 Mr proved his right to dominate Keynes writes now as a man, the Conference. " He felt
economist, and about France," says Mr Keynes, we prefer him in his human “what Pericles felt about oharacter. As he himself Athens-unique value in her, sat upon the Supreme Econo- nothing else mattering; but
1 London: Macmillan & Co,