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The Cynosure

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The Communist Party had never yet aspired to being anything more than the vague left-wing of the Labour Party and trade unions. The crises of the 1925 and 1926 found them without any alternative policy to that of the labour leaders. On the second day of the Strike the Communist Party issued a manifesto repeating the M.F.G.B. slogan "Not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day," and adding a self-contradictory call to "Nationalise the Mines without Compensation, under Workers' Control," and the formation of a Labour Government. That is a Government of MacDonald, Snowden, Clynes and Thomas! The miners must wait until the next General Election for that! To all of these slogans the C.P. added the slogan it had used from the beginning of the crisis - "all power to the General Council." A stupid parody of the slogan of the October Revolution "All power to the Soviets" "All power" to Thomas, Clynes and Bevin. They already had too much power - the power to betray the miners.

There existed at this time a trade union opposition known as the Minority Movement, a thinly disguised Communist body. Shortly before the strike it, in the usual Communist fashion, claimed to have an affiliated membership of 1,000,000. Being a Communist organization it was forced to trail behind the C.P. and during the Strike, in which it played no part, it even ceased to hold meetings. A few years later it perished miserably.

No Syndicalist movement existed in Britain in the 1926 although until the end of the Great War a small propagandist movement had been eclipsed by the Russian Revolution or engulfed by trade union work. Nevertheless the General Strike propaganda of the old Syndicalist groups had had a much greater effect than was ever expected of it. The idea of the General Strike appealed to the imagination and conscience of the British Worker.

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