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Keir Hardie Debunked

Letter to the Editors from the August 1908 issue of the Socialist Standard
Sir, I have stood by Hardie through the years. I have held him to be a man apart from the motley group of members and fakers of capitalism, to whom he has given political existence, and that he calls his Labour Party. I at one time allowed him to nominate me for membership of the National Branch, deciding that if his party was good enough for Hardie it should be good enough for me, and that if Hardie could do something with such elements I might. So I allowed myself to become a member of the Independent Labour Party, and have remained one up to within a week. I have hit out against the policy and tactics of the Party whenever I have occupied its platform, but I retained my membership simply because of my reverence for Hardie. Again and again I have contended with S.D.F. men: "Hardie is something bigger than these reform fellows. He means more than reform. He is a revolutionist—a kind of eagle among carrion…

Hardie? Another Scottish Hero?

Hardie was born in Lanarkshire in 1856, Scotland, the son of a ship’s carpenter and a domestic servant. Hardie's first job came at the early age of 7, when he was put to work as a message boy for the Anchor Line Steamship Company. Formal schooling henceforth became impossible, but his parents spent evenings teaching him to read and write, skills which proved essential for future in his self-education. Hardie worked in the pits from the age of 10 and became a miners’ leader before he was 20. He was the founding Chairman of the Scottish Labour Party in 1888 and was then elected as an Independent Labour MP for West Ham in 1892. Hardie formed the Independent Labour Party (independent, that is, from the Liberal Party and the ‘Lib-Lab’ MPs) in 1893, and long time editor of The Labour Leader. Hardie had launched his paper (it remained his personal property until 1904 when it was taken over directly by the party). He played a leading part in the creation of the Labour Representation Comm…

Another saint ?

The Herald carries a report on Keir Hardie , the Labour Party pioneer. He’s been called Labour’s greatest hero and the party’s most inspirational leader but could Keir Hardie also be in danger of being forgotten? The Socialist Party though have not forgotten about him. The insincerity and double-dealing of the Labour “leaders” are plain.

From the formation of the Labour Party the S.PG.B. opposed it, holding that its doctrine of changing class relationships through social reforms and its hope of abolishing war through international expressions of goodwill were founded in error about the nature of capitalism and socialism.

An article on Hardie can be read here

Keir Hardie on Migrant Labour

Socialist Courier has previously de-bunked the Keir Hardie myth of his anti-war credentials here and now it is time to dismiss him as a supporter of the international working class and expose his Scots racism .

James Keir Hardie in 1889 said said :-

"Dr. Johnson said God made Scotland for Scotchmen, and I would keep it so" .

Speaking of the Poles at Glengarnock, he said "their habits are very filthy, six or seven males occupying a one-roomed house, and having women to cook for them"

He suggested that the employment of foreigners by British employers should be prohibited, unless they were political exiles or had fled from religious persecution or if they came from countries where the wage rates were the same as in Britain.

Instead of directing his wrath at the capitalist class which exploits and takes advantage of the lack of working class unity , Hardie simply parrots the commonly held mis-conception that it is the poor unfortunate immigrant who is responsible for wage …

The Keir Hardie Myth

I note from the BBC that a memorial to one of the the founders of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie, has been unveiled in his former constituency . And the unveiler of the bronze bust was no other than that pro-Iraqi War- propagandist Ann Clywd MP .
One shouldn't be so surprised because the real facts of Keir Hardie's supposed principled stand against the slaughter of World War One is not all that what one has been led to believe as this article in the Socialist Standard from 1961 reveals .

The Keir Hardie myth

The myth about Keir Hardie's attitude to war is very persistent. At an anti-Polaris rally in Glasgow last December, the Co-operative Movement representative had only to refer to him, ". . . if we could get Keir Hardie here. . ." to have his words drowned by applause. Whatever the sentiments of the audience may have been, it was certainly in error about Hardie's attitude to war.

In 1914, with the Great War drawing near, the Second International called for "…