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Newspaper Page Text
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 1920.
"A Complete Boycott of Parliament"
In the following letter from Cecil Malone
M. P. to Sylvia Pankhurst, in Workers Dread
nought, the workers' case against parliament
arism and the use of the ballot as a weapon
of the workers in the struggle for control of
the State and the winning of economic freedom
is graphically set forth.
WTiile the argument is made against Brit
ish parliamentarism, it applies with equal force
against that of the United States; in fact, the
uselessncss of parliamentary action by American
workers should be even better recognized, for
it is here that the capitalist State has violently
and illegally thrown out of office the elected
representatives of the workers who have gained
legislative seats. The letter clinches the argument
against parliamentarianism as a general weapon
for labor. v
House of Commons.
Dear Editor, My action in joining the
British Socialist Party (Which will shortly
be merged in the Communist Party) having
aroused some comment, T desire to say that
I have taken this action because I appreciate
that the Parliamentary machinery and the Par
liamentary democracy of this country are
arrant humbug. Only a fundamental change of
our present economic and social systems can
improve th,o conditions of the working classes,
who constitute the majority of the people. The
present system is guilty of those vile and hope
eless sufferings to which the workers are sub
jected, from the permanent slums and hovels of
our groat cities to the periodical recurrence of
world war? and widespread carnage, all tlie
direct outcome of a Society based upon Cap
italism, allied with Imperialism.
The modem development of Parliament is
out to back up that system and to strengthen
and repair it when necessary, but not to change
it. It can never be adapted to destroy itself.
Parliament is not controlled by the people.
It is controlled by the Banks and the Cap
italists acting l)y and through the Press, which
to-day has come to be the kept harlot of Cap
The Press controls Parliamfntary elections.
The Press stands between the workers and
Money controls the Press, as it controls
the public houses, which pour Capitalist politics
into you with your beer.
The machinery of Parliamentary govern
ment is also to a formidable degree influenced
by a reactionary bureaucracy.
The working-class are blinded by the hopes
that a so-called Labour Government, working
through this effete machine, will alter and bet
A Labour Government would inherit the
capitalist machine and be at the mercy of it,
i. e., it could do nothing fundamental against
the capitalist interests and the bureaucracy.
The office-seeking elements of the Labour
Party will be as conservative as their bourgeois
Saddled with the Monarchy, the Court
and the Aristocracy, the Labour Party will
follow the lead of all bourgeois parties, selling
honours as well as honour. They (i. e., the of
ficial leaders) have already betrayed Ireland.
The masses must clearly understand that
the two irreconcilable forces to-day are Inter
national Communism and Cosmopolitan Cap
italism. There must be no confusing the issue and
pandering to the enemy.
So-called Labour members, Radicals and
others who temporise between the two sides
of this clear-cut issue, are weakening the case
of the workers on their only possible line of
attack the line of direct revolutionary mass
I entered Parliament in the hopes of assist
ing to better the social conditions. I have seen
from the inside this fultility of Parliamentary
action so far as fundamentals are concerned.
Parliamentary work and elections must only
be used for carrying out an intensive revolu
My own opinion as regards Parliamentary
action is that results could be obtained quicker
by a complete boycott, and at elections that