By Henry Pelling
Offering an introductory account of the Labour celebration from its origin, this e-book covers the complete interval as much as the final Election of 1992 and the following collection of John Smith to be successful Neil Kinnock as get together chief. It additionally discusses the function of labour unions in the celebration.
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Extra resources for A Short History of the Labour Party
But it was equally obvious that at an election in 1914 or 1915 it would be able to contest a hundred or more seats. The 1903 agreement with the Liberals would then become a thing of the past, and the longstanding political alliance between organised labour and the Liberal Party might be called into question. Suddenly, however, the political pattern was transformed by an external catalyst - that of war on the continent of Europe, in which Britain quickly became involved. FURTHER READING In addition to the books listed at the end of the previous chapter which cover this period, for relations between the unions and the Labour Party see H.
The influence of the Labour Party upon the actual conduct of government was not very noticeable at first. It seemed rather that the party was a prisoner of the other parties, obliged to take responsibility for various measures that were bound to be unpopular in the labour movement. One highly controversial issue was the dilution of labour in the factories that is, the admission of unskilled workers into occupations hitherto reserved for craftsmen who had served their apprenticeship. Another was military conscription, which was strongly opposed by most sections of the labour movement.
Even the thorough-going Marxists, unless they were Communists, had to join the ILP, now that the old British Socialist Party had disappeared. Leadership for these left-wing socialists was provided by the Clydesiders, among whom James Maxton was the most prominent; but up till 1924 the old association of MacDonald with the growth of the ILP, and the memory of his role during the war, muted any tendency of Maxton and his friends to attack their parliamentary leader, especially so soon after they had played a major part in his selection.