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David Thackeray

3 The challenge of class politics A week before polling at the 1907 London County Council (LCC) election, the London Municipal Society held a rally in Trafalgar Square. Municipal Reform supporters processed past Nelson’s Column carrying banners bearing messages attacking the record of the incumbent Liberal-linked Progressive administration. Amongst the slogans were: ‘Every vote given for the Progressives is a vote for Socialism’ and ‘Wastrels pay their men three and a half pence an hour but throw away £100,000 on steamboats’, a reference to the council’s bungled

in Conservatism for the democratic age
Britain and Australia 1900 to the present
Author: Neville Kirk

Explanations of working-class politics in Australia and Britain have traditionally been heavily rooted in domestic 'bread and butter', socio-economic factors, including the much-debated issue of social class. 'Traditional' and 'revisionist' accounts have greatly advanced our knowledge and understanding of labour movements in general and labour politics in particular. This book offers a pathbreaking comparative and trans-national study of the neglected influences of nation, empire and race. The study is about the development and electoral fortunes of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the British Labour Party (BLP) from their formative years of the 1900s to the elections of 2010. Based upon extensive primary and secondary source-based research in Britain and Australia over several years, the book makes a new and original contribution to the fields of labour, imperial and 'British world' history. It offers the challenging conclusion that the forces of nation, empire and race exerted much greater influence upon Labour politics in both countries than suggested by 'traditionalists' and 'revisionists' alike. Labour sought a more democratic, open and just society, but, unlike the ALP, it was not a serious contender for political and social power. In both countries, the importance attached to the politics of loyalism is partly related to questions of place and space. In both Australia and Britain the essential strength of the emergent Labour parties was rooted in the trade unions. The book also presents three core arguments concerning the influences of nation, empire, race and class upon Labour's electoral performance.

Neoliberalism and working-class lives
Author: Brian Elliott

How are we to understand the recent rise of populism in Britain and beyond? In this book, philosopher Brian Elliott traces the roots of contemporary populism back to the waves of intensified globalization and deindustrialization that began in the 1970s and early 1980s. This period of our political history witnessed a radical transformation of democratic party politics, where the potential for organized labour to influence high-level politics was diminished. The Reagan–Thatcher era brought about a neoliberal reconfiguration of the democratic state that weakened or destroyed traditional sources of working-class social and cultural capital. In the UK, the Labour Party was transformed through a ‘Third Way’ agenda under the leadership of Tony Blair. The long-term consequence of this has been an inexorable undermining of working-class support for the party and a notable drift towards Conservative-led anti-European Union sentiment. Populism, in the UK and elsewhere, should not simply be attributed to increasing nationalism, nativism and xenophobia among the working-class electorate. It also gives voice to a desire to make the political class more directly accountable to the people it is meant to serve. At the same time, the populist wave is a reaction to a decades-long denigration of working-class lives and culture. Charting seminal episodes in the rise of the British working class in light of recent sociological and political analyses of the nature of work, the analysis offered in this book grants to contemporary populism a deeper and more coherent meaning.

League activism and class politics
Helen McCarthy

6 Classes and cultures? League activism and class politics No movement on behalf of the League of Nations can be either adequate or effective which is anything short of National – ie, a movement covering the whole of the British Isles and embracing every class of citizenhood . . . We shall speak with power and effect only when we can speak on behalf of the Nation as a whole. (Lord Robert Cecil, 1920)1 In 1921, the LNU issued a short story telling the tale of how a little girl named Peggy became converted to the League of Nations.2 The daughter of a vicar

in The British people and the League of Nations
Cathy Bergin

articulated a rich and ambitious race-centred class politics and a class-centred race politics. Even in early editions of the Garveyite Negro World the Russian Revolution is celebrated, and not just by socialist writers like Hubert Harrison and W.A. Domingo who wrote for it. Marcus Garvey himself wrote in March 1919 that ‘The Russian people have issued a proclamation of sympathy towards the labouring people of the world.’ While stressing that black people were not ‘concerned as partakers’ in the revolution, he saw in it ‘a

in The Red and the Black
The London left and the 1984–85 miners’ strike
Diarmaid Kelliher

discussing feminist, black, and lesbian and gay support groups, I highlight how the miners’ industrial struggle resonated and was politicised in diverse ways. I argue that this support contested the boundaries of class politics and the radical left, reflecting a broader period of flux and realignment. The divisions and weaknesses of the radical left prevented it from independently developing mass action that could have had a decisive impact on the strike. Nevertheless, I argue that this history helps us understand how solidarity can be constructed between diverse places

in Waiting for the revolution
Abstract only
The native volunteer movement, 1885–86
Mrinalini Sinha

in the colonial ideology of martial traditions can be traced to the development of the Volunteer Force as an institution of social control in India. The bivalent racial and class dimension that underpinned the history of volunteering in India was shaped not simply by grafting the strategies of domestic class politics in Britain on to the racial politics of colonial rule. 12 Rather, it was shaped by the particular

in Colonial masculinity
Abstract only
Class and nation
Arthur Aughey

regret. Yet if it were true that the successful Blairite electoral ‘triangulation’ served to diminish the old politics of class, surely this was the natural territory of the Conservative Party rather than of their opponents? Had not the class basis of British politics made Conservatism appear at odds with the march of history? If the ‘grand narrative’ of class politics was no longer persuasive on its own, should not the traditional Conservative discourse of patriotism, nation, institutions, limited government and property (Norton 1996b: 82) come into its own? If

in The Conservative Party and the nation
The milieu culture of DIY punk
Peter Webb

against and move beyond the rigidity of class politics and personal class position. By the time Crass had started work on their fourth album, Christ: The Album (1982), however, Margaret Thatcher’s new-right regime had taken a firm hold on the UK. Mass unemployment had reached 3 million; there were riots in many of Britain’s major cities, trade union disputes, H-Block protests in Ireland and an economic recession. Crass, though, had been creating a large audience for the anti-war movement. The band’s anarchism was being taken The milieu culture of DIY punk -111

in Fight back
Stephen Howe

any Nationalist formation and affirming a Origins of the Labour left’s thought on Ireland 187 ‘pure’ class politics. Militant placed great hopes in trade union action as a solvent for Northern Irish conflicts – for instance, in the Trade Union Congress’s Better Life for All Campaign – as did both British and Irish Communist parties. Militant, in one of its more implausible policies, also argued that if British troops were to be withdrawn they should be replaced by a trade union-based workers’ militia.17 Overlaying and in part crosscutting those general divisions

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland