16 Jan 2022

Larkin’s release from prison an act of official cowardice

November 15, 1913.

November 15, 1913.

The release of James Larkin is one of the most pusillanimous acts that has ever disgraced a government. A cabinet council discussing the terms of a sentence passed on a tub-thumper, who has been sent to prison for inciting a riot, is the most deplorable degradation to which our rulers have yet descended.

The fear that Larkin’s imprisonment might have a deleterious effect on the working man’s vote has influenced the Ministers of the Crown in pushing aside the verdict of their accredited judge. How dear the sweets of office must be to such rulers is more than mere taxpayers can imagine.

Larkin is not grateful; he has already told the crowd that the Government were compelled to release him, and not only that but all others imprisoned in connection with the strike must be released. This, of course, is only logical: if it is right to release him, it is doubly so to release his dupes.

He also announced that he is going to light a fiery cross in Britain that will give the Government a lesson. We hope so - a lesson that will prevent them making more blunders of the same sort. He promised his hearers that “they would win”, but he does not say what they are going to win; they have already won disemployment, poverty, starvation and utter hopelessness of again regaining situations or good wages in Dublin, so far as the great majority of them are concerned.

Reinstatement tomorrow would leave them in poverty, as they are already deeply in debt to those who have given them credit. If “winning” means the destruction of all sources of employment and the impossibility of being well-paid working men, then they have already certainly won “a glorious victory!”

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