The great fiasco
From The Call, paper of the British Socialist Party, March 18 1920
THE TRADE Union Congress called to decide “the form of action to be taken to compel the government to accept the majority report of the commission” [to nationalise the mines] had before it a clear alternative: to fool or to fight. There was no middle course ... Demands have been formulated; the limits of the workers’ patience fixed. The time expires, and then - what? The government is compelled? Oh dear, no! Nothing so realistic, so catastrophic. When the time for action comes another conference is held.
The opposition of the government to the miners and their demand was foreseen ... Theirs [the TUC’s] certainly is the responsibility for the unpreparedness of the exploited masses to do immediate battle with the profiteers and their parliament ... Of what use is a general staff, which, faced with the possibility of intense industrial war, postpones its organisation for the struggle until after war has been declared?