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

The Labour Party - key foundations & the controversy over Clause 4

Extracts from this document...


The Labour Party When it was founded (1900), its correct name was the Labour Representation Committee. It was founded by a group of moderate trade unions to get working men into parliament. It was an adjunct of the Liberal Party between 1906 and 1921, after which there was a transformation of British politics, where labour replaced Liberals as the main opposition. In 1918 the Labour Party's constitution was written by Sidney Webb. Clause 4 gives a definition of the Labour Party's version of socialism. The old Clause 4 says: "The Labour Party's object is... to secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange..." ...read more.


2 failed Labour governments * 1964 - 1970 Harold Wilson. Failed due to economic mismanagement: o Inflation o Poor industrial relations o 1967- forced to devalue Sterling * 1974 - 1979 Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. Also failed due to economic problems: o 'Stagflation' (stagnation + inflation) o 1976- Dennis Healey (Chancellor of the Exchequer) had to get an IMF loan. o 'The Winter of Discontent' (public sector strikes, winter 1978) By 1979, Labour's interpretation of socialism was failing. Labour in opposition 1979 - 1994 In 1979 James Callaghan resigned and Michael Foot became Labour's new leader until 1983. The party became so left wing in this period they were unelectable. Labour's 1983 manifesto was described as 'The longest suicide note in history.' ...read more.


Militant Tendency for control in Liverpool, Lambeth and Haringey. The Daily Mail dubbed them the 'Loony Left'. In 1986 Kinnock convinced the National Executive Committee to expel over 200 members of MT. * After the 1987 defeat, Kinnock launched a policy review to get rid of unpopular policies. They got rid of unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the EU and rationalising privatised industries. * Kinnock started the process of reducing the influence of the trade unions, eg. selection of candidates changed from decision of local trade unions to the 'One Member One Vote' system (from 1988 onwards), where local party members decide. In 1992 Labour had had some expectation that it would achieve a narrow victory. They had a victory party (premature triumphalism). As a result of their defeat, Kinnock resigned. He was succeeded by John Smith, who was a Christian socialist and a traditional Labour leader. ...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. How successful were the Labour governments of 1924 and of 1929-31?

    'Coal Mines Act of 1930' which served as a compromise cutting down working hours, reducing competitive pressure and stabilising prices and wages. It followed for the same basic act for agriculture in 1931. The London transport system was also regulated in order to use the profits of bus scheme to pay for underground losses.

  2. Why the Labour Party overtook the Liberal Party

    Labour's successes, and is seen by some historians as one of the most important concerning the first developments of the Labour Party. The political strategy that underlay Macdonald's thinking was centred on the point that Labour could actually govern, contrary to the other parties' opinions.

  1. How successful were Ferdinand and Isabella in laying the foundations of Spain's Golden Age?

    The use of the Santa Hermandades in 1476 were to act as a royal police force, although very harsh, ensured order in the localities of Castile. The corregidores helped establish royal control to report the state of the area without interference from members of the Church and the nobility.

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

    Until 1922 Labour had remained part of the Coalition but when it was realised that this was no longer in the best interests of the country it was dropped. In the 1922 election Labour gained 142 seats and in 1923 this rose to 191, still behind the Conservatives.

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

    If we look at the composition of MPs in government we notice that Conservatives severely outnumber Labour. With 11 conservative MP's and only 4 Labour Mps the party was outnumbered making it difficult for Labour to have any real influence over government action.

  2. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    Workers in the companies were offered cut price shares to encourage them to own part of the business this further removed the need for trade unions intervention. Thatcher encouraged everybody in society to play a part in ownership in the companies they worked and in the houses they live in.

  1. Was the 2nd Labour Government betrayed by Ramsey McDonald in 1931?

    Betrayal conjures up connotations that McDonald had made a conscious decision to go against Labour and that he intended and had planned to sacrifice the party to remain as prime minister. I believe McDonald misjudged the importance of telling Labour that he was going to head the coalition, but with

  2. Analyse the transition from 'Old' Labour to 'New' Labour.

    the more socialist middle ground element of the party and leaving the party free to be truer to its mass left wing beliefs. The conservatives returned to power in 1931 and remained there until the Second World War, when a coalition government of Labour and Churchill's Liberals took over.

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