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LONDON. THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER, 1888.
"ARE we going to win in Holborn, and how?" is the question which every London Liberal ought to ask himself to-day. Let us just sum up our chances. We have a first-rate representative; the Tories a very bad one. Mr. GAINSFORD BRUCE is a professional candidate of the poorest kind; Lord COMPTON has only one thing which even the severest democrat can bring against him, and that is that he is a lord. He is earnest, he is sympathetic, he is alive to the sufferings of the London poor, he has done much to assist us in inaugurating the new social departure which marked the Conference in Birmingham. There was a genuine ring about Lord Compton's Birmingham speech which we miss in many professional exponents of the people's wrongs. The other advantages are - (1) the five-million swindle; (2) Balfourism in Ireland: (3) the revival of London Radicalism. Against us are - (1) a bad register; (2) 1,500 removals; (3) generally the shifting character of the "mass" vote, as against the permanent character of the "class" vote; (4) traces of the old London apathy, under which in 1886 only 57 per cent of the electorate went to the poll. Practically, therefore, the first question we have to ask ourselves is whether a great voluntary effort cannot be made to bring London Radicalism into line. The second question is, how is this to be done?
Clearly, by the boldness of our programme. On Ireland we are safe. Not a single democrat - be he Radical, Socialist, Individualist, Secularist, or what not - will oppose us here. Whole-heartedly are we with Ireland in her crusade against the twin tyrannies of a foreign bureaucracy and an absentee landlordism. Hateful is all this to democratic London - doubly hateful on account of the touch of irresponsible military government which the regime of Sir CHARLES WARREN has brought home to us. But there are other questions than Ireland. There is the land question here as well as there. There is the absorption of unearned increment here as well as there. Our problems are in some respects even more formidable than hers. The utter disorganisation of our social life, the ever growing mass of the unemployed, the total inability of the labor market to absorb the whole body of the available labor of the country, the hideous state of East-end society which a series of appalling crimes has revealed, contrast with the growing luxury of the rich, their growing isolation from the lot of the poor, their colossal selfishness and absorption in base or trivial pursuits. These are great and serious questions, calling for great and serious remedies. There is matter in them for revolution, unless our politicians make up their minds in time that there is also matter for the most sweeping reform.
We hope, therefore, that the prevailing note of the Holborn election will be the condition of the poor. So far as one side of the problem is concerned we are on excellent lines. The taxation of ground values concedes a great and a new principle. It brings that vast and elastic material the "unearned increment" into view. It disposes of the hope that we can stop the robbery of the London occupier by the ground landlord by such proposals as leasehold enfranchisement. It opens up the first real prospect of release from the rule of the men who skulk in the background of our social life, and only emerge as the abstractors of the fruits of the people's toil. It suggests the placing of vast funds in the hands of local bodies who will one day be the great engineers of democracy. It offers hope to Whitechapel. It means the abolition of rockeries, the gradual extinction of the sweater, the progressive construction of the ideal State. Lord COMPTON offers himself as the interpreter of this new hope. We welcome him and his candidature. We ask the men of Holborn to measure the importance of the opportunity which a generous and open-minded man sets before them. All that we can do to put vigor into the fight shall be done. We - the Liberal party - stand on a threshold of a new departure. Whiggery is dead; philosophic Radicalism is dead, starved by its own coldness of heart; a new life is stirring, a new impulse sweeps through dead corners of our politics, and quickens a new birth. Let us see to it that Holborn gives us the first-fruits of the spirit of which we believe that Lord COMPTON is a sincere, a vigorous, and a sympathetic embodiment.
WITHOUT more definite information than the police have been pleased to let the public have, it is impossible to form any conclusion about yesterday's Whitechapel sensation. All that can be said is that if this represents one of "Jack the Ripper's" failures, it is easy to understand his general success. That a man should walk off apparently unnoticed through the kitchen of a common lodging-house with a woman shrieking behind him, that a hue and cry should be raised after him down the street in broad daylight and the man escape, shows clearly enough that the arrangements for defeating the real Whitechapel assassin are still a long way from perfect. In point of fact, nothing that has yet happened makes the incompetence of the police to deal with the present crisis more painfully evident.
Emma Packer writes from 5, Brailsford-road, Brixton :- Since the inquest held by Dr. Danford Thomas on 16 Nov. on my two children, I have been asked for a few particulars of my terrible experience. Adela, aged 2 ½ years, and Ethel, aged 15 months, were each vaccinated in three or four places, on 9 Nov. by the doctor at St. Pancras Workhouse, where, owing to painful circumstances, I was obliged to take them. They were lovely children, and in perfect health, but in a few days their arms became inflamed, the punctures in Ethel's arm running into one large ulcer and presenting a truly shocking appearance. Their eyes became very sore, their faces particularly, that of the youngest, were much disfigured with an eruption, and after sufferings too painful to describe they both died. My earnest request that I might take my darling little Ethel with me, or that I might be allowed to stay and nurse my dying child, was unfeelingly refused. The children were vaccinated without my consent, and I am told that this is the law, and that there is no redress.
Death From the Fire at Spitalfields. The girl, Mary Ann Coleman, who was so seriously burnt in the fire at 295, Brick-lane, Spitalfields, yesterday morning, died at the London Hospital early this morning. She was only 15 years of age.
A woman named Gill, about 50 years of age, drowned herself in the Lea this morning off Bow-common-lane. Some people tried to save her, but failed. She had a sick husband.
Killed in the Stalls.
PARIS, 21 Nov. - During the performance at that Lyrique Theatre this evening of the play entitled "Si Fetais Roi," a portion of a chandelier fell upon the head of a young engineer named Obrech, who was seated in the stalls, smashing in his skull. He was immediately conveyed to the St. Louis Hospital, where he expired.
The performance was continued by desire of the audience.
Edward Buchan, a young man of 19, who lived at 42, Robin Hood-lane, Poplar, was seen by his sister cutting at his throat. His father tried to stop him by seizing the razor blade, but the suicide drew it through the former's fingers and ran round the room slashing at his throat all the time, till he dropped down with his head nearly cut off. His uncle committed suicide in the same way three years ago. Dr. Skilly said to a coroner's jury to-day that the only thing that was not cut through was the bone. It was the most gory thing he had ever seen.
A decent but poorly dressed woman, Louisa Day, was charged at Worship-street, with being of unsound mind. - Constable 499 J said that she said at Bethnal-green station on Wednesday night, that she was in danger of her life from "Jack the Ripper," that she was related to the Royal Family, and made other curious statements. She was detained as a wandering lunatic. - Prisoner: Well, sir, I did mention the Prince of Wales's name, but that was all. I said he was my brother. But you know we are all brothers and sisters. (Laughter.) It is true that I am in danger of my life, not, perhaps, from "Jack the Ripper," but from others who follow me about. I have been lodging in Dorset-street, and was there the other night, when I heard the gang threatening Mr. Charrington's life. - Mr. Saunders: Have you a husband? - Yes, sir, in the Mile-end Infirmary. My daughter is with the Bishop of Bedford. - Mr. Saunders: The constable shall take you to the workhouse.
Eliza Ann Bowden, 69, who was found lying dead and very dirty on a mattress at 10, Duncan-road, London-fields, starved herself to death, according to the verdict of a coroner's jury this morning. She had a weekly allowance - enough to live on - but she spent it all in drink.
At the Shoreditch Board of Guardians yesterday the Clerk intimated that he had received the following letter: - "My honoured sir, - I assure you this, that will be in heaven or 'H' within three days. Equal as solemnly as God is my Father, yours respectfully, -." He was continually receiving letters from the writer, as was also the Home Secretary, and the writer had threatened both that he would shoot them. The police could take no action, because the man was perfectly rational when he was out of drink, but he had two children being kept by the Guardians and it would be doing him a service if he were prosecuted for neglecting to maintain them. It was resolved to adopt the suggestion of the clerk, and instructions for a prosecution were agreed upon.
The Slight Nature of the Woman's Wounds Destroys Sensation.
All that has yet been revealed about yesterday's outrage in George-street, Spitalfields, bears out the unsensational aspect put on the affair from the first in The Star. The police are of the opinion that the man who made the attack is not the individual who has hitherto been the terror of the locality, and they base this view upon the fact that the injuries inflicted by the man yesterday were
and they appear to have been produced by a blunt rather than a keen-edged knife.
The only people who say they positively saw the supposed assailant come from the house are two women standing at the next door and a man who was delivering some coke there. They all describe him as of middle height, stoutly built, respectably dressed in a black diagonal coat, and having a fair moustache. But nobody saw him after the injured woman gave the alarm.
Farmer, the victim of this mysterious outrage, says she knew the man about a twelvemonth ago, that he went with her to the house at half-past six yesterday morning, and that whilst she was half asleep he tried to cut her throat. When taken to the station she was recovering from the effects of drink; the police are still taking care of her.
In view of the many exaggerated statements which were circulated by the London evening papers yesterday, it should be known that no edition of The Star yesterday contained the report that a woman had been murdered.
The Tower Hamlets Radical Association Club, Durham-row, Stepney, have passed a resolution heartily thanking The Star for the part it took in getting rid of Sir Charles Warren, and hoping it will do its best to prevent a military man from taking his place.
Panting for the Fight. The "young lions" of the Liberal party who are gathered under the flag of the Eighty Club, gave an "at home" at the Westminster Palace Hotel last night, which formed a pleasant variety on the orthodox dinner at Willis's Rooms, to which that club is usually addicted. Among those present were Sir William Harcourt, Lord Aberdeen, Earl Compton, Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Mr. Haldane (who presided), and Mr. Oscar Wilde. Thanks to the indefatigable energy of the secretary (Mr. T. A. Bruce), who was "here, there, and everywhere," the function was a great social success, and everyone enjoyed himself to his heart's content. Earl Compton appealed for help in the good fight which he has undertaken at Holborn, and plenty of volunteers were forthcoming. Sir William Harcourt exhorted those present to turn the tables on the Government by using the Land Purchase Bill as a weapon of attack in the constituencies, and Sir Wilfrid Lawson supported him in his exhortation. There was a general atmosphere of high spirits about the gathering which showed that the youth of the Liberal party, at any rate, is far from despondent.