In James Connolly’s time there were labour ‘leaders’ who recommended moderation in the workers demands … he wrote some verse …

We only want the Earth

Some men, faint-hearted, ever seek
our programme to retouch,
And will insist, when’re they speak
that we demand too much.
‘Tis passing strange, yet I declare
such statements cause me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
we only want the earth.

“Be moderate” the trimmers cry.
who dread the tyrants thunder.
You ask too much and people fly
from you aghast in wonder.
‘Tis passing strange, for I declare
such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
we only want the earth.

Our masters all a godly crew,
whose hearts throb for the poor,
Their sympathies assure us, too,
if our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
what they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
to ask, that is, the earth.

The “labour fakir” full of guile,
base doctrine ever preaches,
And whilst he bleeds the rank and file
tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in despite, we’ll see the day
when, with sword in its girth,
Labour shall march in war array
to seize its own, the earth.

For labour long’ with sighs and tears,
to its oppressors knelt.
But never yet, to aught save fears,
did the heart of tyrant melt.
We need not kneel, our cause no dearth
of loyal soldiers’ needs
And our victorious rallying cry
shall be we want the earth!

from Songs of Freedom, 1907


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