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Fork Out The Tin

1867-8: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon [Black Diamond]

Publication: Kilmarnock Standard

Published: 4 October 1868

Place of publication: Kilmarnock, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

Featured individuals:
Alexander Macdonald (1821-1881)

No full copy of this poem is available.

Archive/Library: Burns Monument Centre
Classmark(s): Microfilm
Pages(s): 3

An attack on one of the Liberal candidates for the Kilmarnock Burghs in the 1868 General Election, the trade union activist and future Lib-Lab MP for Stafford, Alexander Macdonald. The pseudonym 'Black Diamond' is a reference to Macdonald's presidency of the Miners' National Association. Macdonald is depicted as a Pied Piper figure cynically imposing on the miners of Rutherglen by relying on their donations to fund his campaign: the poem's refrain is 'Come fill up the ranks, come toil out the tin'. The election poetry in the Kilmarnock Standard strikes a consistent note, supporting the incumbent moderate Liberal Edward Pleydell-Bouverie and satirising his three more left-wing challengers.