Labour successes
The 1940s
in Labour and the politics of Empire
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Britain first 'total' war, between 1914 and 1918, had played an important part in the Labour Party's youthful 'rise'. Clement Attlee and his colleagues drew the public's attention to past Tory failures, especially their 'reactionary' and discredited socio-economic, defence and foreign policies of the 1930s. Labour won the 1945 election because Attlee's pragmatic socialist message was far more in touch with what the Manchester Guardian termed the 'silent revolution' in people's experiences. The Australian Labour Party's (ALP's) victories in 1943 and 1946 were built upon the successful realisation of its pledge to gain 'Victory in War and Victory for the Peace'. Labour's reforms and its articulation of the spirit of progressive nationalism continued to exert a powerful appeal in the country up to and including the next general election of 1950. Interwar Australian criticisms of the coercive aspects of British imperialism increasingly faded into the background.

Labour and the politics of Empire

Britain and Australia 1900 to the present


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