Page 5, 18th September 1964

18th September 1964
Page 5
Page 5, 18th September 1964 — Trade unions

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People: John Darner


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Trade unions

Keywords: Religion / Belief

Sir,—Your attitude to the industrial scene is most unrealistic and unhealthy. Unrealistic because you attribute the schemes and aims of trade union officials to the "workers". In fact, while the officials are quite often articulate this applies to only a fraction of per cent of the workers who find it possible to give one evenfrig a month to their branch meeting.

To claim that amalgamations are going to extend trade union "educdtion" is pure moonshine, the main defect in his eductition being lack of a sense of responsibility which will he still further diminished by the increasing size of the mammoth bureaucracy eneulfing him.

As well as applying to the workers, this applies to the gutless official unwilling to face gunfire for his individual members.

This is one aspect of a radical defect in our society, that it is mechanistic and not organic. This too is the distinction between the "mob" and the "people" made by Pius XII and others before him. One of the dangers of the concentration of the levers of power over an irresponsible mob is that they can be so easily seized by the determined few.

The first step therefore is to get the trade unionist in his branch meetings and to equip him with a knowledge to make his presence felt. How lamentably Catholics failed in the last century is illustrated by Rev. Geo. Burn's howler in a recent C.H. that the social encyclicals were ahead of their time.

In fact trade union recognition by the State, factory legislation and mines regulation were alreaely accomplished by the time that serum ls.'01.'11171)71 Mls written and it was also the century when the Church lost the working classes.

Fr. FlurnO complacent enumeration of outstanding saints with no mention of the vast multitude dpparently lost is no disproof of our theology being "immobile and abstract"—saints will he saints whatever the theology hut the failure to restate our theology may have easily estranged the masses.

John Darner,

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