Was There Any Realistic Scenario Which Could Have Prevented The UK Labour Party Developing?

General Urko

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The British Labour Party was apparently founded in 1900, by 1906 it had 29 seats at Westminister and 42 seats in 1910.
Ramsey McDonald led The first Labour Government in 1923, which lasted only 9 months, but he was back again in 1929, with a minority Government.
The 1930s were quite a barren period for them and of course under Atlee they came back to power in 1945!

Is there any realistic situation where, the development of The Labour Party could have been stopped or halted.

If you look at other English Speaking Countries The USA, Canada and Ireland, the equivalent is virtually non existent or in the case of the latter, devolved into a laughing stock!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Labor_Party
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Party_of_the_United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Labour_Party

Of course, the comparable parties in New Zealand and Australia are quite strong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Labour_Party
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Labor_Party
 


Hitchcock

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The British Labour Party was apparently founded in 1900, by 1906 it had 29 seats at Westminister and 42 seats in 1910.
Ramsey McDonald led The first Labour Government in 1923, which lasted only 9 months, but he was back again in 1929, with a minority Government.
The 1930s were quite a barren period for them and of course under Atlee they came back to power in 1945!

Is there any realistic situation where, the development of The Labour Party could have been stopped or halted.

If you look at other English Speaking Countries The USA, Canada and Ireland, the equivalent is virtually non existent or in the case of the latter, devolved into a laughing stock!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Labor_Party
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Party_of_the_United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Labour_Party

Of course, the comparable parties in New Zealand and Australia are quite strong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Labour_Party
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Labor_Party
Is there any realistic situation where, the development of The Labour Party could have been stopped or halted.
Might I ask why you're asking?
 

General Urko

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Might I ask why you're asking?
Just interested, I suppose, it could be flipped, why did equivalents not develop in the other highly developed industrialized English Speaking Nations - Canada and The USA?
 

redhead

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Just interested, I suppose, it could be flipped, why did equivalents not develop in the other highly developed industrialized English Speaking Nations - Canada and The USA?
What has language got to do with it? Canada and the USA were relatively young countries without the history of social upheaval and unrest found in Western Europe at the time. The Labour Party in the UK had its roots in the Trade Unions and European Socialist movements.
 

GDPR

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The Liberal Party in the UK did try to head off the Labour Party by passing legislation which laid the foundations of the Welfare State. However Liberalism while it recognised trades unions, in fact giving them the status of a medieval immunity against prosecution for offences committed by lawful strikers in the 1906 Act, could not embrace the theory of collective rights underpinning socialism. The trades unions became powerful enough to prevail.

At the same period the US was still 80% agricultural, most of it small-holdings. This is not fertile ground for socialism.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Always amused me in Ireland, the self-promoted intellectuals of socialism in Ireland, who were almost invariably academics from the universities, predominantly sociologists in the 1970s and 80s.

They had this weird notion that out there somewhere was a sort of Ruhr valley for them to play with and have pamphlets handed out at the numerous non-existent gates. They would speak of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as if they were in exile in a cafe in Geneva and not in a state that had no massive steelworks,ship-yards, no great Ruhr valley of discontent for them to play with.

Never liked those putative intellectuals of the left in Ireland, every one of them signed up to be the intellectual and none of them apparently aware of the realities of the economy they were actually living in. An Irish version of ivory-tower academic if ever there was one.
 

making waves

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Just interested, I suppose, it could be flipped, why did equivalents not develop in the other highly developed industrialized English Speaking Nations - Canada and The USA?
The Labour Party was the political wing of the trade union movement - it emerged as part of the campaign for democratic rights to women and working class men (women did not just win the vote for women - men of no property were also given the vote). In a class based society it is inevitable that a party representing the interests of the working class will emerge at some point.

There is a large-ish 'social democratic' party in Canada - the New Democratic Party

There were several significant left-wing/ scoial democratic parties in pre-WW2 America - the Socialist Party of America led by Eugene Debs had a couple of people in Congress - dozens of state representatives - a couple of hundred mayors and hundreds of city council positions. The American Communist Party was quite influential in the 1920s and 1930s - it had an estimated 60,000 members in the mid-1930s. It had a lot of influence in the US trade union movement. Both parties were decimated as a result of the Red Scare and the McCarthy witch-hunts in the 1950s. The leadership of the trade unions were so terrified of being accused of communism that abandoned all demands for progressive reforms and social supports.

The largest 'left' party in the US is the Democratic Socialists of America whose membership has grown to nearly 40,000 on the back of the Bernie Sanders campaign and the election of Trump. The left group in America that has had the biggest impact in recent times is probably Socialist Alternative which is the sister party of the Socialist Party. Socialist Alternative grew out of the Occupy movement and led the campaign for a minimum wage of $15 an hour which became a major part of the US presidential campaign and has succeeded in forcing dozens of city councils around America to pass legislation for a $15 minimum wage. It has also led a nationwide campaign against evictions and foreclosures that has had some success and has been very involved in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Socialist Alternative has the most high-profile and nationally known elected socialist public representative in the US in Kshama Sawant on Seattle City Council.
 

gleeful

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Just interested, I suppose, it could be flipped, why did equivalents not develop in the other highly developed industrialized English Speaking Nations - Canada and The USA?
In the US a left wing pro-worker movement did start. It was called the "peoples party" and it was defeated by divide and rule tactics. Its the reason Jim Crowe laws were adopted. Check out this podcast on the topic: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tbf4g
 

Catalpast

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The Labour Party was the political wing of the trade union movement - it emerged as part of the campaign for democratic rights to women and working class men (women did not just win the vote for women - men of no property were also given the vote). In a class based society it is inevitable that a party representing the interests of the working class will emerge at some point.

There is a large-ish 'social democratic' party in Canada - the New Democratic Party

There were several significant left-wing/ scoial democratic parties in pre-WW2 America - the Socialist Party of America led by Eugene Debs had a couple of people in Congress - dozens of state representatives - a couple of hundred mayors and hundreds of city council positions. The American Communist Party was quite influential in the 1920s and 1930s - it had an estimated 60,000 members in the mid-1930s. It had a lot of influence in the US trade union movement. Both parties were decimated as a result of the Red Scare and the McCarthy witch-hunts in the 1950s. The leadership of the trade unions were so terrified of being accused of communism that abandoned all demands for progressive reforms and social supports.

The largest 'left' party in the US is the Democratic Socialists of America whose membership has grown to nearly 40,000 on the back of the Bernie Sanders campaign and the election of Trump. The left group in America that has had the biggest impact in recent times is probably Socialist Alternative which is the sister party of the Socialist Party. Socialist Alternative grew out of the Occupy movement and led the campaign for a minimum wage of $15 an hour which became a major part of the US presidential campaign and has succeeded in forcing dozens of city councils around America to pass legislation for a $15 minimum wage. It has also led a nationwide campaign against evictions and foreclosures that has had some success and has been very involved in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Socialist Alternative has the most high-profile and nationally known elected socialist public representative in the US in Kshama Sawant on Seattle City Council.
It had a lot of influence in the US trade union movement. Both parties were decimated as a result of the Red Scare and the McCarthy witch-hunts in the 1950s. The leadership of the trade unions were so terrified of being accused of communism that abandoned all demands for progressive reforms and social supports.

Communism wasn't seen as that much of a threat to the USA in circa 1935

- it was a completely different scenario in 1955!

Anyone talking Commie by that stage was a person to be watched....
 

Dame_Enda

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I think the Representation of the People Act 1918, by enfranchising the working class and unemployed made it inevitable but I think that the Liberal Party could still have remained a major force but for the split between the Asquith and Lloyd George wings over coalition with the Tories.
 

GDPR

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I think the Representation of the People Act 1918, by enfranchising the working class and unemployed made it inevitable but I think that the Liberal Party could still have remained a major force but for the split between the Asquith and Lloyd George wings over coalition with the Tories.

Liberalism had split long before that. They didnt have any answers. Not saying the Labour or Tory answers were right. The Liberals had none.
 

Dame_Enda

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Liberalism had split long before that. They didnt have any answers. Not saying the Labour or Tory answers were right. The Liberals had none.
The only major split before that was the Liberal Unionists breaking away under Chamberlain, but that happened in 1886 and it didnt stop Gladstone returning to power in 1892.
 

GDPR

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The only major split before that was the Liberal Unionists breaking away under Chamberlain, but that happened in 1886 and it didnt stop Gladstone returning to power in 1892.
Thats being Aspergers.

Liberalism as a foundational political movement in England had run out of any answers to the c20.
 

parentheses

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I think the Representation of the People Act 1918, by enfranchising the working class and unemployed made it inevitable but I think that the Liberal Party could still have remained a major force but for the split between the Asquith and Lloyd George wings over coalition with the Tories.
Good Post. The crucial event was the Maurice Debate in 1918. Britain had come close to defeat by the Germans on the western front. It was alleged that Lloyd George had diverted British soldiers to Palestine thereby endangering the western Front. Asquith confronted Loyd George over the matter in the House of Commons.
ccording to A J P Taylor, the historic Liberal Party committed suicide on 9 May 1918 in a parliamentary debate which saw the former Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith openly inferring that his former Liberal colleague and wartime Premier, David Lloyd George had misled the House of Commons about the number of British troops serving on the Western front during a German attack in March of that year.
The Maurice debate, 9 May 1918 · Liberal History
 


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