New PDF release: Britain’s First Labour Government

By John Shepherd

ISBN-10: 0230287360

ISBN-13: 9780230287365

ISBN-10: 1349512451

ISBN-13: 9781349512454

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Extra resources for Britain’s First Labour Government

Sample text

Ultimately, therefore, the ILP’s leaders became increasingly frustrated as the political activities of the first Labour government took shape. The National Executive of the Labour Party, the PLP, and even the ILP, under specific conditions of avoiding compromise, were favourable towards the formation of the first Labour government. The TUC also supported its formation together with other sections ‘Over the Threshold’ 37 of the Labour movement’s confirmation of the wisdom of taking office was apparent at the Labour Party conference in October 1924.

In 1920 the Labour NEC’s refusal was on the grounds that the two parties did not share a common constitution, principles and programme. In 1921, despite negotiations between representatives of both sides, no progress was made. In June 1922, at the Labour Party conference at Edinburgh, the NEC again advised against granting affiliation. 36 These conference decisions directly challenged the right of unions to choose their conference delegates and also required constituency parties to exclude properly accredited Communist representatives from their ranks.

The unexpected circumstances in which Labour assumed office in 1924 raises important questions about the composition of the new administration, its lack of ministerial experience, and what could be achieved by a ministry that could not command an absolute majority at Westminster. In a changing world, as a democratic party led after 1922 by a more appealing leader and backed by a new Labour research and information bureau, Labour might be expected to bring in socialist measures to transform society, raise public expenditure, tackle unemployment and provide urgently needed reforms.

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Britain’s First Labour Government by John Shepherd


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