Barbara Humphries continues her series on the history of the Labour Party. 1945 marked a watershed for Labour and for British society. The Labour Party won an historic victory, with a 146-seat majority over all other parties. It was won on the most radical election manifesto, before or since. This article was originally published in Socialist Appeal, issue 50 April 1997.
In this last article in her series on the History of the Labour Party, Barbara Humphries looks at how the turn to the left in the 1970s was cut across and how the present Blairite clique came to dominate the party, and draws the lessons for today's activists. The present turn to the right is nothing new in the party's history. As in the past it will be followed by a turn to the left.
In this article in our series on the history of the British Labour party, Barbara Humphries looks at the early years of Labour in parliament and how the development of the class struggle forced the leaders of the party to make the final break with Liberalism. (Originally published in Socialist Appeal, issue 48, February 1997).
Barbara Humphries continues her series on the history of the Labour Party with a look at the experience of the first two Labour governments. This article was originally published in Socialist Appeal, issue 49 March 1997.
Two Motherwell (Scotland) train drivers refused to move a freight train
carrying ammunition believed to be destined for British forces being deployed in
the Gulf. This militant and courageous stand was reminiscent of the actions
against General Pinochet back in the 1970s and the Jolly George incident in
1920. Railway managers cancelled the Ministry of Defence (MoD) service after the
crewmen, described as "conscientious objectors" by a supporter, said
they opposed Tony Blair's threat to attack Iraq.
As we put this article online, the Blair government has launched a new
offensive against the firefighters. Deputy Prime
Minister Prescott has announced his intention to change the law to take direct
control of the fire service and impose a settlement on the firefighters. This
would mean the imposition of the Bain proposals, the derisory pay offer of 4%
and thousands of job cuts, resulting in the closure of fire stations and the
undermining of the fire service. Such measures are a threat to the entire labour movement, and
must be answered by the movement as a whole.