A History of the British Labour Party by Andrew Thorpe

By Andrew Thorpe

After 13 years in energy, Labour all at once lower back to being the occasion of competition in 2010. This re-creation of A historical past of the British Labour Party brings us up to date, interpreting Gordon Brown's interval in place of work and the Labour get together below the management of Ed Miliband. Andrew Thorpe's learn has been the prime single-volume textual content at the Labour get together due to the fact that its first variation in 1997 and has now been completely revised all through to incorporate new approaches.

This new edition:
• covers the whole lot of the party's background, from 1900 to 2014
• examines the explanations for the party's formation, and its goals
• analyses the party's successes and screw ups, together with its upward thrust to moment occasion prestige and memorable restoration from its difficulties within the 1980s
• discusses the most occasions and personalities of the Labour celebration, comparable to MacDonald, Attlee, Wilson, Blair and Brown

With his approachable type and authoritative demeanour, Thorpe has created crucial interpreting for college students of political background, and a person wishing to familiarise themselves with the background and improvement of 1 of Britain's significant political parties.

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First, Labour was pushed towards a wide-ranging statement on foreign policy. When the Bolsheviks seized power that November and published the secret treaties between the Tsarist regime and Britain (among others), new urgency was added, and a special party conference in November adopted a 'Memorandum on War Aims', which essentially accepted UDC policy, including a League of Nations. 28 The result was that many UDCers now saw Labour as the party most likely to fulfil their aims. 29 Secondly, further urgency was added to the recasting of the Labour party constitution.

But the crises of early 1918, when it seemed that Britain stood on the verge of defeat in the face of renewed German offensives, led to a revival of patriotic sentiment, and as the tables were turned and victory approached in later 1918 this mood reached near fever pitch. 8 Clearly, in other words, many people were not consistent in their views, but responded to changing circumstances with a combination of patriotism and defensive class instinct. In this sense, the presence of apparently different tendencies at the top of the Labour movement enabled it to avoid brittleness and remain responsive to its followers, while the fact that the divisions were often more apparent than real helped to keep the party together.

Secondly, many members were recruited around the time of the major industrial disputes of the period. These included, among others, a short national railway strike in August 1911, which resulted - at last - in the recognition of the rail unions by the Creation and Early Years, 1900-14 27 railway companies, and a national miners' strike early in 1912. The number of working days lost through disputes soared, peaking at over 40 000 000 in 1912. Many contemporaries suggested that the strikes were caused by revolutionary trade unionism, or syndicalism (see below).

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