William Morris

One Socialist Party, letter to The Clarion

The idea of uniting all sections of the Socialist and Labour movement into one party daily grows in public favour. I am glad to say that my allusions to it at Manchester and Liverpool were greeted with hearty applause, and that reports from all quarters assure me of the general desire for unity of action. Only an hour ago I got a letter from William Morris on this point. I am very glad to hear from a man for whom I have much respect, and am the more pleased to find him entirely with me. William Morris says:

Dear Comrade Blatchford,—l am asked by the Hammersmith Socialist Society to write to you on the point which you have so well put forward in the Clarion, as to the necessity of the formation of a definite and united Socialist party. My comrades of this society are of opinion that this might and should be done without any interference with the existing organisations. For the rest they feel that however much the opinion of the workers may be turning in the direction of Socialism, as it certainly is, no step forward towards the realisation of the new society, by means of getting hold of the executive of the country, can be taken till the Socialists are united in a recognisable party, with tactics as clear as their aims; and that the test of membership in such a party should be an explicitly declared agreement with the aim of nationalisation of the means of production and exchange, and the abolition of all privilege, and that all minor differences should be sunk in view of an assent which would, if it became common among the workers, produce such a prodigious change for the better. We believe that this opinion is the one which you have put forward in the Clarion, and we wish to express our thorough agreement with it, and therewith our sympathy with you and your fellows in the energetic and straightforward struggle which you are making toward the great end of a Society of Equality, towards which we believe the formation of a united Socialist party will lead directly, and we hope speedily.

I am, dear Comrade, yours fraternally,


The letter is marked by the good sense and kindly feeling which we expect from William Morris. I hope we shall see something done. At the same time I should be sorry to see anything done in haste. Let us get, after due discussion, some base of common action, and let us act. I am much mistaken if the bad generalship of the present Government will not very shortly afford us the chance of gaining our first decisive victory. Of this more next week.


One Socialist Party (letter to The Clarion)


The Clarion, Saturday 3rd November 1894

Robert Blatchford was the editor of the Clarion.

Transcription and HTML

Graham Seaman, May 2020.