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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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Federation Factionalism

Federation Factionalism

(p.118) CHAPTER EIGHT Federation Factionalism
MacDonald's Party

David Howell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

By the mid-1920s, a pattern of factionalism had developed within the Miners' Federation of Great Britain which would characterize the union for many years. The Right included most District Officials who emphasized a realistic defence of miners' interests backed by thorough expression of loyalty to the Labour Party. The character of the Left was sharpened by the formation of the Miners' Minority Movement in 1924. Its initial strategy of an alliance between Communists and other left-wingers reflected current Communist concerns to achieve a broad left alliance within the trade unions and the Trades Union Congress. This factional alignment crystallized slowly. In 1924, the ‘proper’ relationship between the Communist Party and the Labour Party remained unclear. The unions still jealously protected their power to select their delegates to Labour Party meetings without outside interference. This chapter also looks at Arthur Cook and his politics and industrial leadership compared with Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald.

Keywords:   factionalism, Miners' Federation of Great Britain, trade unions, Labour Party, Communist Party, politics, Trades Union Congress, Arthur Cook, Ramsay MacDonald

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