• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do Sources A-G support the view that Ramsay MacDonald deserves to be remembered as, 'The Great Betrayer of the Labour Party.'

Extracts from this document...


Britain's Parliamentary Democracy c1888-1997 Part A: Assessment Objective 2 How far do Sources A-G support the view that Ramsay MacDonald deserves to be remembered as, 'The Great Betrayer of the Labour Party.' When considering this question the reasons for Ramsay MacDonald being considered the great betrayer are very important. The Labour government of 1929 was elected at an unfortunate time and following the Wall Street crash Britain found itself with unemployment reaching 3 million. Labour raised welfare but due to a fall in money from taxes soon became short of money. A policy of cutting teachers wages as well as those of the civil service and armed forces would be necessary as well as a 10% decrease in welfare, without these cuts the international bankers refused to extend or increase British loans. A vote was carried out within cabinet to consider this new policy 10 of the 21 MPs rejected it. This led MacDonald to make a decision to resign as PM and remove the Labour government. However after meeting with the opposition leaders and the king it was decided he would continue as PM of a national government. This decision was not a popular one with Labour MPs who believed that that he had planned this all along; he was removed from the party and from then on considered the great betrayer of the Labour party. ...read more.


This is arguably due to the Wall Street crash something, which was unpredictable but may have made it seem to the general public that the Labour government had been doing a poor job. However it is still important to realise that despite the government now being majority Conservative Labour still effectively have a major controlling force in Ramsay MacDonald who remained PM. In this position MacDonald was able to represent Labour ideology despite the massive Conservative majority. Source C is another primary source. It is a cartoon drawn by David Low; he was known to be left wing, and also being an expert at representing public opinion. It important to note that this cartoon was drawn in 1930 before the national government was formed the idea of Ramsay MacDonald was following a route dictated by Tory and Liberal rails suggests that Labour had little power originally and as in the cartoon were excursionists who were along for the ride. It is clear from the image that it was believed that the three groups would need to work together to get anything done. Written on the side of the tram is "concessions" and "accommodations" this sign represents the idea that Labour without a majority is forced to give in. in all this image shows that without support of the other parties Labour would be unable to force any policy through. ...read more.


Another point would be how much could Macdonald have betrayed his party when the Labour MPs of the 1930's were viewed to have a policy of "MacDonaldism without MacDonald" Finally source G, this source while secondary does seem to favour the MacDonald "MacDonald had always believed that Party loyalty could conflict with higher national or international loyalties and that it should come second if it did." While a retrospective view it does suggest that MacDonald had always been open with his opinion and his views country before party and so when it came down to it should Labour have been shocked at his choice especially after 1914 which to MacDonald was seen as a precursor. "He has often been accused of betraying his party, but if he had acted differently he would have betrayed his whole approach to politics." Sources A-G don't go very far to support the idea that MacDonald was the great betrayer of the Labour party. While evidence can be seen within them to support the idea the majority suggests to me that he was not. It seems that he was blamed for not being a Party politician something, which he had never claimed to be. The very fact that after he was ejected from the party they were seen to carry on with his policy would seem to show he did no betray the party. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Peel 'The Great Betrayer Of his Party' - How Far Do You Agree?

    Reducing tariffs off goods however could be seen as Peel betraying his Party because the Tories believed in keeping imported goods taxed for the landed class' vested interests because the Tories believed that the upper classes deserved to be privileged as they ran the country.

  2. Why the Labour Party overtook the Liberal Party

    other peace treaties, and the wider public to whom he seemed a 'brave new world' figure, full of hope for a better society. By the mid-1920s, MacDonald had built up the strongest democratic socialist Labour Party in the world. He had emerged as a dominant figure to which comrades in

  1. How far do you agree that the role of the Trade Unions was the ...

    72 saw a successful miners strike which led to pay increases, when an election was called in 74 Labour one by a tiny majority showing that with the support of the TUs now driven away from the Conservatives they could be much stronger.

  2. Did the Labour Party show that it could govern Britain competently in the years ...

    But this was not the only foreign policy success for Labour. They also introduced five new naval cruisers and continued the bombing of Iraq. MacDonald was clearly intending to disprove the rumours and jibes spread by the Conservatives, such as the fear that a Labour Government would liquidate the Empire and disband Britain's defence forces.

  1. The position of the New Labour government with Tony Blair ahead of that government.

    For example, according to the Guardian article for the year 1999, the education spending rose significantly compare to the period from 1979 to 1997 and was expected to rise by 5.1% a year (in contrast to an average of 1.4% between 1979 and 1997), health spending -by 4.7% a year (compare to an average of 2.5% between 1992 and 1997).

  2. Why were the 1930's a decade of disappointment for the labour party?

    With the National Government going on to establish themselves as an entirely capable organisation Labour now appeared weak in comparison. 'If a national government could handle the pressure why couldn't labour?' was no doubt a question haunting Labour supporters during this time.

  1. Using the evidence of Sources 2, 3 and 5, and your own knowledge explain ...

    Coward puts it "embraced two divergent trends". Therefore, these 'internal contradictions' made the aim of achieving a long-term political settlement more difficult. Nevertheless, Cromwell was able to establish a foundation on which he later hoped to build upon, the constitution, but was not able to due to the opposition.

  2. Nationalism as applied to business

    NATO and US are trying to take over the world through the slow erosion of indigenous cultures. Economic groups such as the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are used to undermine local governments. But this is just the top of the iceberg.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work