By Andrew Thorpe

After 13 years in energy, Labour unexpectedly lower back to being the occasion of competition in 2010. This re-creation of A historical past of the British Labour Party brings us updated, studying Gordon Brown's interval in workplace and the Labour celebration below the management of Ed Miliband. Andrew Thorpe's examine has been the top single-volume textual content at the Labour celebration when you consider 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 push to moment get together prestige and noteworthy restoration from its difficulties within the 1980s
• discusses the most occasions and personalities of the Labour occasion, equivalent to MacDonald, Attlee, Wilson, Blair and Brown

With his approachable sort and authoritative demeanour, Thorpe has created crucial studying for college kids of political background, and an individual wishing to familiarise themselves with the background and improvement of 1 of Britain's significant political parties.

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Extra resources for A History of the British Labour Party

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During this period three basic challengers contested the claims of the 'Labour alliance' to be the sole representative of socialism in Britain: Marxism, syndicalism and guild socialism. The Marxist left had fragmented somewhat after the SDF's disaffiliation from the LRC in 1901. In 1903, supporters of Daniel de Leon's ideas of industrial unionism had broken away to form the Socialist Labour party (SLP), a small but influential group whose main strength was on Clydeside. The following year, a group had broken off to form the Socialist party of Great Britain.

The UDC and analogous bodies were, therefore, a crucial conduit of middle-class radicals into the Labour party. 25 They were also important, ultimately, in setting the Labour party's foreign policy agenda. At first, Labour in wartime was more than ever parochial in its concerns. 26 But the party conference of January 1916 set up a committee, which included MacDonald, to look at post-war issues, and the party's new-found prominence in government after December 1916 also encouraged it to think in larger terms.

Despite its occasionally ludicrous medievalism, guild socialism was a serious attempt to marry the syndicalist critique of statism with the Labour critique of syndicalism. It argued that a future socialist society dominated by the state might well be just as undemocratic, even tyrannous, as capitalism; but that, on the other hand, syndicalism alone would not guarantee freedom from industrial tyranny. Accordingly, its leading advocate, the young academic G. D. H. Cole, put forward a model of society in which reformed trade unions, or guilds, would remain to run industry on the basis of democratic workers' control (representing the producers), while the state would remain to represent consumers and guarantee broader liberties.

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