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Essays to celebrate the life and work of Chris Wrigley

This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.

The Progressive League and the quest for sexual reform in British politics, 1932–59
Janet Shepherd

7 Voices in the wilderness? The Progressive League and the quest for sexual reform in British politics, 1932–59 Janet Shepherd 9.30 a.m., August 1954. The notes of ‘Dashing White Sergeant’ float across the grounds of Frensham Heights School. Progressive League (PL) members gather on the lawn for country dancing – an integral part of their annual summer conference.1 Two months later, in the PL’s monthly bulletin PLAN, founder member Jack Coates complained that the PL’s original aims had been superceded by such cultural pursuits. He reminded the League of the

in Labour and working-class lives
The British, the Americans, the War and the move to Federation
Mary Chamberlain

was reluctant to push the issue of reform too hard. 28 In Barbados, reform of the political system lagged way behind. Elections in 1940 secured the election of five members for the Barbados Progressive League, which had been formed in the wake of the 1937 riots under the leadership of Grantley Adams. Numerically small, they nevertheless pushed through legislation which permitted the formation of

in Empire and nation-building in the Caribbean
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Keith Laybourn and John Shepherd

with it. There is biography, one of Chris’s main interests, in the shape of George Howell and Herbert Gladstone, both of whom helped determine the way in which the labour movement would develop in the mid- and late nineteenth century, and the early twentieth century – Gladstone through his attempts to stem or divert the growth of the Labour Party. There is trade union history. There is the socialist and progressive reaction to the second Labour government’s demise in 1931, through the studies of the Independent Labour Party and the Progressive League. There are

in Labour and working-class lives
The revolutionary left and gay politics
Graham Willett

relation to homosexuality, ‘homosexual acts between consenting adults carried out in private should cease to be criminal’, to quote from the Progressive League’s submission to the Wolfenden Committee. 5 The revolutionary left was not unaware of the issues raised by Wolfenden. In an article in Socialist Review, ‘The Meaning of Wolfenden’, C. Dallas (a pseudonym for Chanie Rosenberg, one of the leaders of the International Socialists), offered what was referred to as ‘a socialist critique’ of the report and the government’s response.6 Dallas was unambiguous in her support

in Against the grain
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‘Out of Ireland, I never shall be happy’
Gavin Wilk

intrinsic value in the American public eye. Irish republicans who had arrived after the Easter Rising hoping for assistance in the US subsequently took it upon themselves to organise their own organisation called the Irish Progressive League (IPL). The IPL directly competed with the FOIF for public attention and began to draw support from leading Irish-American nationalists including Philadelphia Clan leader Joseph McGarrity.62 Upon the conclusion of the First World War the Irish question regained national prominence in the US, especially after the Sinn Féin success in

in Transatlantic defiance
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Mary Chamberlain

Indies Labour Conferences in July 1938 in British Guiana and the third in October 1938 in Port of Spain, attended by delegates from across the region. At this Congress, a draft constitution for a West Indian federal government based on universal suffrage was approved and its platform was adopted by the Trinidad Labour Party and the newly formed Barbados Progressive League. Along with other interested

in Empire and nation-building in the Caribbean
Distance, perspective and an ‘inclusive nationhood’
Mary Chamberlain

Progressive League’ included among its speakers Miss Eileen Curran who would ‘relate how Irish-Americans fought for Irish Freedom’. 65 Importantly, these initiatives on independence were territorially collaborative. Many of the instigators involved the same people: Richard B. Moore, Cyril Briggs, W.A. Domingo, Grace Campbell, Otto Huiswoud, Revd Ethelred Brown. This cross-island collaboration could only have

in Empire and nation-building in the Caribbean
The political nationalism of the Irish diaspora since the 1790s
David T. Gleeson

and the sheep when the young men of Ireland are slaughtered, the old men and the old women left sonless, the young women obliged to bring up sons for men of other climes?’80 Redmond’s loyal following of British policy, she believed, would lead to the demise of the Irish people. Kelly became the founder of the Irish Progressive League, which sought to prevent American entry into the war on the side of Britain. The US’s eventual entry in 1917 was disappointing but Kelly and other newer Irish arrivals still sought to support the more radical nationalist cause. Katheen

in British and Irish diasporas
The next Lansbury generation and Labour politics, 1881–1951
John Shepherd

demonstrates in chapter 7 of the present volume, on the Progressive League, the early 1930s were crowded times politically, with new committees and various left-wing groupings of intellectuals and others wishing to revive Labour fortunes after the collapse of the Second Labour government and Labour’s catastrophic defeat in the 1931 general election. Around 1933 Raymond Postgate, and other family members, became involved in the Socialist Film Council (SFC), established by the Socialist League and supported by Fabians, Labour MPs and trade unionists. A member of the Lansbury

in Labour and working-class lives