Fork Out The Tin
Author: Anon [Black Diamond]
Publication: Kilmarnock Standard
Published: 4 October 1868
Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical
Alexander Macdonald (1821-1881)
No full copy of this poem is available.
Archive/Library: Burns Monument Centre
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.