Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Cartoon comparing the fate of politicians and working men, 1909

image from Red Clydeside collection

One of a series of six cartoons published in the booklet 'The Catholic Workingman' by John Wheatley. The publisher of this booklet, the Catholic Socialist Society, was formed in 1906 by John Wheatley and William Regan with the object of propagating socialist views within the large Irish-catholic immigrant community in Glasgow.

John Wheatley argued with the catholic hierarchy in Scotland that it was possible to be both catholic and socialist, and through the Catholic Socialist Society was influential in persuading the large Irish-catholic constituency in Glasgow to vote for the Independent Labour Party.

The cartoon is a criticism of the manner in which the British establishment, in the shape of John Bull, rewards the privileged and those least deserving whilst failing to provide the basic needs for the most needy and most vulnerable members of society.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives