British anti-World War I MP John Burns commemorated


This video from Ireland is called World War 1 in 6 Minutes.

By Luke James in Britain:

Walking tour to celebrate WWI objector John Burns

Tuesday 29th July 2014

A LONDON trades council will this weekend celebrate a socialist MP’s principled resignation from government over Britain’s race to join the first world war.

Battersea and Wandsworth TUC unveiled plans for a walking tour of John Burns’s former constituency yesterday — exactly 100 years after the outbreak of the war.

Members will retrace the steps of BWTUC’s founder, beginning at 1pm at his grave in Battersea before a dedication at the union-owned Bread and Roses pub in Clapham at 4pm.

BWTUC president Seamus MacBride said it was important to remember his stand against the slaughter in 1914.

He said: “Over the next week, as the media focus on the centenary of the start of the Great War, it is important to remember that there were major political figures like our founder John Burns who saw clearly the carnage about to be unleashed and who stood against it.”

Burns became the second-ever working-class minister when Liberal PM Henry Campbell-Bannerman appointed him to Cabinet in 1905.

But the Battersea and Clapham MP resigned two days before Britain declared war on Germany.

Burns said the slaughter “must be averted by all the means in our power.”

He wrote in July 1914: “Apart from the merits of the case it is my especial duty to dissociate myself, and the principles I hold and the trusteeship for the working classes I carry from such a universal crime as the contemplated war will be.”

Burns played a leading role in the 1889 London dock strike and was elected as a Liberal MP in 1892, a post he held until 1918.

The First World War was not a war for Belgium, it was a war for empire: here.

8 thoughts on “British anti-World War I MP John Burns commemorated

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