Monday, 10 August 2015

The Tramp Trust Unlimited

In May 1920 Socialist speakers who scorned "respectability" formed the "Tramp Trust Unlimited" , This new organisation was headed by leading Scottish Socialist, John Maclean and four of his loyal lieutenants:

Peter Marshall, Alexander "Sandy" Ross, James D McDougall and Harry McShane.

These men were the best "Worker intellectuals" the Scottish working class had produced, nearly all had been victimised for their political and trade union activities

They toured or "tramped" (walked between towns, sleeping where they could) across Scotland speaking at meetings and leafleting, demanding support for a "Fighting Programme" which included a minimum wage of one pound a day, a six hour day, full unemployment benefits

John Maclean paid tribute to the Tramp Trust Unlimited, declaring that it was "the greatest insitution Scotland had ever produced".

"In three months it had published, paid for, and distributed almost half a million leaflets"

Maclean stated

"If there were fifty of us working thus in unison we would put the Glasgow Herald and the robbers of Scotland out of action in six months"

Alexander "Sandy" Ross - from Dundee an ex Glasgow Policeman
Peter Marshall - A Glasgow Post Office Clerk
Harry McShane - The youngest, had a special talent for political writing
James McDougall - Maclean's chief assistant
John Maclean

The original programme was for:

1 A six hour working day.
2 A minimum wage of £1 a day.
3 Reduction of prices to half the present level.
4 Rationing of work to absorb the unemployed.
5 Payment of full wages to the unemployed.

Some at the time said all of these things were impossible-demands by dreamers- and the press called them names and the state called them dangerous. If it's dangerous to demand what you own and deserve, THE WORLD, then Ungagged, like Maclean and his Trust, are dangerous.

This new blog will publish opinion on progressive policy, movements and economics. It will publish short stories; polemics and reportage.

We are not "respectable," if respectablge is the hegemony of the elite and the establishment. Ungagged is a Tramps Trust of the Internet- based in Scotland and around the world, but not all about Scotland. It's about our place in the world, democracy and fairness.

Contact us on Twitter @_ungagged or comment on here if you want to have your say, make suggestions etc. "The Republic of Letters is far more ancient than monarchy and of far higher character in the world than the vassal court of Britain." 
(Tom Paine)