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MacDonald's PartyLabour Identities and Crisis 1922-1931$
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David Howell

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203049

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203049.001.0001

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Progressive Varieties

Progressive Varieties

(p.309) CHAPTER NINETEEN Progressive Varieties
MacDonald's Party

David Howell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Labour Party meeting held in the spring of 1924 featured two new party recruits, Oswald and Cynthia Mosley. The inclusion of a woman was indicative of the degree to which the Labour Party was integrated into the dominant culture, an integration which limited any iconoclasm and involved an effective acquiescence in inequalities. In the election of November 1922, Labour gained three seats in Sheffield, a city where Liberalism was in confused retreat. These parliamentary successes were the prelude to a Labour majority on the city council four years later. In a heavily industrial city, these advances seemed indicative of the party's potential strength amongst specific working-class occupations. Yet none of Sheffield's Labour victors in 1922 came from the trade union movement. For some recruits, the Labour Party of Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden seemed attractive. In the 1920s, this pattern of recruitment seemed to highlight a shift in progressive politics that fitted into a broader vision of Labour's Forward March. This presentation simplified the complex routes by which Liberals crossed into the Labour Party.

Keywords:   Labour Party, progressive politics, Ramsay MacDonald, Liberals, Philip Snowden, Cynthia Mosley

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