Brisbane, March 9, 1895.
Dibbs, ex-Premier of New South Wales, fondly believes that the memory of his government will be handed down to posterity as of men who have done their duty. If it is the duty of a government to be violently partisan to everything bearing the stamp of moneyed interests: to use the people's credit to bolster up rotten banks; to sanction the beating of women at Newcastle by police; to supply arms and police to the employers at a moment's notice and gaol the leaders of strikes; this government deserves to be reverently remembered by posterity as having done its duty faithfully and well. But if – as some of us are bold enough to think – it is the duty of a government to so control the affairs of the State that no one class shall receive benefits demised to another class; to so control the nation's production that order and economy shall prevail in the place planlessment and waste; to so conserve the happiness of a nation that its people shall not walk the streets in thousands ragged, hungry, demoralised, begging or turning over the rubbish heaps and quarrelling with the very dogs in the gutter for a morsel of discarded food, but shall be employed at some useful avocation and be happy in the consciousness of freedom from want, and and lastly to so administer the finances of the nation that the national wealth shall not be yearly absorbed by foreign bond holders, nor the life's blood of the nation drained by a greedy Shylock. If this latter be the duty of a government how have George Dibbs and his colleagues acted up to our ideal, in how worthy a manner have they fulfilled their destiny. Let their names be handed down with universal execration, for they have persecuted the beloved of the people and sold them into bondage. MAY DAY.
A WISE PREMIER.
Nature often hides her richest gems under the most ragged and unsuggestive surface, and evidences of her bounty are continually turning up in the most unexpected places. The foregoing thoughts have been suggested by the startling discovery in the Premier of New South Wales, commonly known as Georgie Porgie, of a brilliant and almost supernatural capacity for solving unemployed difficulties. The circumstances which first brought the hidden wealth to sight and caused our hitherto slightly regarded statesman, who was looked upon as merely an addle-brained accumulation of adipose issue, to advance with a bound into the very front rank of fame, was as follows; The Stonemasons' Society was in a very bad way. It possess 650 members, only 50 of whom were fully employed, 100 partially so, and the remaining 500 totally unable to obtain a living by the sale of their labour, as that commodity was a drain on the market. Accompanied by several M.P.'s they deputationed Reid in order to lay their grievances before him in the hope of some redress being forthcoming, little dreaming the absolute and final solution awaiting them. After about an hour's patient explanation the situation began to dawn on the great man, features swelled with the fullness of a great discovery, his eye glass sparkled and quivered with the incoming light. “I have it, “ cried he, in a voice quivering with exaltation, “We will have a new Parliament House. I, George Reid, Premier of the great country, cannot trust my precious self any longer in those old buildings, which are at the mercy of a chance match. Yes, you shall build a new place for us to talk in, and vote your money away to Eddy and other highly paid officials, also to further mortgage your national credit to London money-lenders, to superintend the despatching of police to shoot down strikers, and in which to transact all the other business incidental to Plutocratic government; and as you seem pretty numerous and hard up, you can do it very cheap, and those of you who cannot be employed thus can go out into the interior and play with the rabbits.” Having delivered himself thus, the great man waved his hand to them to with draw, which they did, wondering in their hearts at the marvellous wisdom of the man who thus pro-ported to fill 500 empty stomachs by providing for an escape of gas. MAY DAY.
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THE CONTRACT SYSTEM.
The law of competition amongst workmen is in a law which capitalists can work to great advantage. This law is being worked on the Gympie miners by the introduction of the contract system, thereby making them compete like hungry wolves for a hare subsistence. Where there was only one contract three years ago there are over a dozen now, and the writer only knows of one or two who have made wages. Oh! no. The workmen are doing that themselves, forced by the false system under which we live, such system allowing one man to exploit another. But listen one moment, capitalists. You think to enslave the worker, Good. You ultimately wipe out yourselves. The means you employ to crush them will end in educating them. Contract work is the last phase of the wages system. The mining communities will be the first to declare for Socialism, educated by the capitalists. Is where any necessity for this lowering of wages by contract. No. The cost of explosives and all mining material is fully 23 per cent less than it was ten years ago. The amount of work performed is far greater through the introduction of new ideas. It is only the greed of a few men, or, in other words, of a small clique who are fast getting hold of all the mines on Gympie. FERDINAND.
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WHY NOT DECLARE FOR SOCIALISM.
Let us hope that the coming convention will declare for Socialism. What is there in delaying it, even though our numbers were decreased in Parliament. The people will have to be educated up to is before long. And delay is dangerous. The sooner we raise our standard the sooner our aims will be achieved. All reform must come from the people first, who then delegate to certain men the power to put the reforms into law. Another thing must be looked after. That is some means to raise money to carry on the campaign. The Government will use all the power they possess, assisted by large sums of money subscribed by their supporters, to defeat the aims of Labour. And labour cannot expect victory unless it goes well armed into the battle field to fight against the party of intriguers who for long have gulled the people and will try to gull them again, only they will adopt new tactics to deceive us. Let us watch them.
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AN ECONOMIC TRUTH.
In Adam Smith's “Wealth of Nations,” book 2, chapter 3, there appears the following; “Both productive and unproductive labourers, and those who do not labour at all, are all equally maintained by the annual produce of the land and labour of the country. This produce how great so ever, can never be infinite, but must have certain limits. According therefore as a smaller or greater proportion of it is in any one year employed in maintaining unproductive lands the more in the one case, the less in the other, will remain for the productive, and the next year's produce will be greater or smaller accordingly; the whole annual produce, if we except the spontaneous productions of the earth, being the effect of productive labour.” The above extract contains, in my opinion, the whole gist of political economy, and if politicians and others only understood it was should not hear such a lot of insane talk about ridiculous nostrum such as bimetallism, &c. &c. It also explains how it is that bad times tend to perpetuate themselves. Labour and Nature combined are the sole creators of wealth. R.P.