TO THE PEOPLE OF LAMBETH.
OF THE COUNCIL OF THE LAMBETH POLITICAL UNION.
|The aristocratical government under which this country groans can
only be subdued and changed by constant and vigorous efforts on the
part of the people. Unless the controlling power of the State shall
be speedily rendered decidedly popular, there is little hope that
property can be made secure, industry free, and labour protected against
the aggressions of the powerful. To call the present electoral system
a Representation of the People is at once a fraud and a mockery. The
House of Commons, though pretending to represent the people of this
country, is chosen by a a narrow class nominally of £10 householders,
who do not amount in number to more than ONE SIXTH part of the adult
male inhabitants of the United Kingdom; whilst from the difficulties
interposed in the way of registrations, scarcely a third of those
persons who are actually £10 householders have attained the
electoral franchise. The consequences are that a selfish, short-sighted,
and tyrannical aristocracy, and a few greedy class interests reign
supreme in the Legislature, the rights of the people are contemned,
and wasteful expenditure, imbecility, and a misrule characterise the
administration of the British Government in all parts of the British
empire. To this system the Ministers of the Crown again declare their
intention to adhere. The complaints and demands of the people are
unnoticed or despised. The recent Speech of the executive chief magistrate
studiously avoids even a reference to most of the topics which agitate
every city, town, and village in Great Britain; and notices one of
them only to threaten persecution and legal penalties. To aid in obtaining
the redress of such grievances, the LAMBETH POLITICAL UNION was formed.
That Union maintains "that every male person of full age, sane
mind, and unconvicted of crime, ought to have a vote in the election
of representatives in the House of Commons; that such representatives
ought to be chosen for one year only; that the requirement of any
Property Qualification for such representatives, inasmuch as it limits
the choice of electors, is unjust, and ought to be abolished; that
adequate salaries ought to be paid to the representatives of the people
from the national Treasury; that electoral districts, containing as
nearly as may be, equal numbers of adult male inhabitants, ought to
be formed, and that all elections of members to the House of Commons
all votes ought to be taken by Ballot." And further, "That
the people of the United Kingdom should have full liberty to dispose
of the produce of their labour, their capital, and their land to the
best advantage, and therefore all restrictive, discriminating, and
prohibitory duties ought to be absolutely abolished."
|In carrying out these principles the Lambeth Political Union seeks
to unite liberal and just men of all classes; - disclaiming alike
all exclusive objects of any one class which shall be inconsistent
with the JUST RIGHTS of any other, - anxious to join in one common
political effort the energies of the masses and the influences of
property, employers and employed, capitalists and workmen, - it will
endeavour to do so by all legal and practical means. For that purpose
the Lambeth Political Union will urge the abolition of all restrictions
upon the Press; more ready interchange of thought, by the adoption
of a uniform Penny Postage; the superintendence of the Registration
of Electors with the Borough of Lambeth; appeals and instructions
to those who can, by some legal contrivance or personal exertion,
be placed upon the register of voters; the support of candidates who
will pledge themselves to the popular principles of the Union; the
reformation of local and parochial abuses; and, above all, by the
incessant agitation of the Borough through addresses and public meetings.
|In furtherence of these objects, the Council of the Lambeth Political
Union will shortly convene a Public Meeting of the Borough of Lambeth.
By Order of the Council,
|White Hart Inn,
|Kennigton [sic] Cross, Lambeth.
*** The Council meets at the White Hart Inn,
Kennington Cross, every Thursday Evening, at Eight o'Clock, where
Members may be admitted.
GUTHRIE, PRINTER, 366, STRAND.