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.
The book offers new explanations and points of emphasis in relation to
Labour and other forms of working-classpolitics. Explanations of these 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. In
turn these factors have been located predominantly in the structures, conditions and
subjective, nationally based
experiences of industrialisation, urbanisation
figures for Germany were 1,376 metalworkers, 16,000 workers in textiles
and a staggeringly paltry 83 miners! Moreover, strikers in Germany had
less success in the outcome of their actions and German employers more
success with lockouts than their British counterparts.38
Independent working-classpolitics and culture in Germany also
stemmed from the general hostility of bourgeois parties to the labour
movement. It is true that there were signs of a resurgent liberalism in the
empire in the years immediately before the First World War but as far
as labour was concerned
The political history of two principal trends in British Trotskyism, 1945–2009
with some success to the political conditions of post-war working-classpolitics, it built itself up as a distinctive Trotskyist brand that became
something of a household name. But this was to change as the character
of class politics changed.
The rise of the SWP
The immediate origins of the SWP are located in the RCP and FI disputes
over the class nature of the USSR and its client states. It escalated at
the outbreak of the Korean War, where, in opposition to the rest of the
Trotskyist movement and raising the slogan ‘Neither Washington nor
working-classpolitical agitation during the 1830s and 1840s.9 Generally, the
guiding principle of these societies was to instruct, rather than entertain,
the more ‘respectable’ working class in religious and secular ideas. By the
1840s most towns and cities possessed societies that were designed to
‘improve’ the working class. However, organisations such as the Useful
Knowledge Society, the Mechanics Institute, and the Mutual Improvement
Rational recreation and the creation of the model citizen
Society all shared an unwelcome feature: a near total rejection by both
The impact on working-classpolitics: Republican LEWS
A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says “watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”
The thinning of democracy by subjecting it to the principles of neoliberalism compromises people's ability to actively participate in the public
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.
outlined in this study highlights the ambitions for wholesale reform
integral to working-classpolitical activism during the early-Victorian period.
Chartism’s incorporation of the infidel, Owenite, and Radical traditions made
it far more than simply a protest against ‘Old Corruption’. Chartism is not
part of a continuous Liberal tradition that has stretched into the twenty-first
century and which limits its objectives to political reform and half-hearted
attempts to relieve suffering. Chartists saw the Charter as the political starting
point of widespread economic
This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.
In 1960–62, a large number of white autochthonous parents in Southall became very concerned that the sudden influx of largely non-Anglophone Indian immigrant children in local schools would hold back their children’s education. It was primarily to placate such fears that ‘dispersal’ (or ‘bussing’) was introduced in areas such as Southall and Bradford, as well as to promote the integration of mostly Asian children. It consisted in sending busloads of immigrant children to predominantly white suburban schools, in an effort to ‘spread the burden’. This form of social engineering went on until the early 1980s. This book, by mobilising local and national archival material as well as interviews with formerly bussed pupils in the 1960s and 1970s, reveals the extent to which dispersal was a flawed policy, mostly because thousands of Asian pupils were faced with racist bullying on the playgrounds of Ealing, Bradford, etc. It also investigates the debate around dispersal and the integration of immigrant children, e.g. by analysing the way some Local Education Authorities (Birmingham, London) refused to introduce bussing. It studies the various forms that dispersal took in the dozen or so LEAs where it operated. Finally, it studies local mobilisations against dispersal by ethnic associations and individuals. It provides an analysis of debates around ‘ghetto schools’, ‘integration’, ‘separation’, ‘segregation’ where quite often the US serves as a cognitive map to make sense of the English situation.