1903 Resolution by the Labour Representation Committee against Co-operation with and Promotion of the Liberals and Tories

I found this very interesting resolution, proposed by the pioneering Labour leader, Pete Curran, at the third annual conference in Newcastle of the Labour Representation Committee, the ancestor of the modern Labour, in Max Beer’s A History of British Socialism (New York: Arno Press 1979). Curran moved the resolution, put forward by the Independent Labour Party, because the Committee had been swamped by an influx of Lib-Labs – working class political activists affiliated to the Liberal party, while some Labour leaders, such as Richard Bell, John Ward and the older trade unionists had returned to the Liberal party. Curran and the ILP was therefore determined to establish the Committee’s official independence from either of the two established political parties. The resolution stated

In view of the fact that the L.R.C. is recruiting adherents from all outside political forces, and also, taking into consideration the basis upon which the committee was inaugurated, this conference regards it as being absolutely necessary that the members of the Executive Committee and officials of affiliated organisations should strictly abstain from identifying themselves with, or promoting the interests of, any section of the Liberal or Conservative parties, inasmuch as if we are to secure the social and economic requirements of the industrial classes Labour representatives in and out of Parliament will have to shape their own policy and act upon it regardless of other sections in the political world; and that the Executive Committee report to the affiliated association or bodies any such official acting contrary to the spirit of the constitution as hereby amended. (vol. 2: 335.)

This shows just how far the Blairites have moved from the original purpose of the Labour party. Not only are they are Thatcherite entryists, more interested in appealing to the middle class and promoting the interests of big business than the working class, but they have also made a deliberate appeal to the two other, rival parties in order to oust Jeremy Corbyn. Last week three councillors in Lambeth sent an email to Lib Dems and Conservatives urging them to join the Labour party to vote against Jeremy Corbyn. And yesterday it was reported that Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP urging May to declare a snap election in order to defeat Labour, had been approached by three unnamed Labour MPs, who wanted to support him as part of their plans to unseat the Labour leader.

The Blairites are a disgrace, and should either work to defend the working class and the historic principles on which the Labour party was founded, or should leave and go to their natural homes in the Lib Dems or Tories.

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2 Responses to “1903 Resolution by the Labour Representation Committee against Co-operation with and Promotion of the Liberals and Tories”

  1. jeffrey davies Says:

    The Blairites are a disgrace, and should either work to defend the working class dont be silly they are the greeie people whose only goal is to stuff their pockets

  2. Blissex Says:

    «Thatcherite entryists, more interested in appealing to the middle class and promoting the interests of big business than the working class»

    There is a story that labour needs to be a coalition of lower income and middle income voters, but in the interests of both, not just the upper-middle classes.

    However there is this interesting interview with T Watson that might go a bit farther than that, making this example as to the real constituency of New Labour:

    «He says he met one man on a constituency visit who summed up the problem. “He said to me ‘I employ 6 staff, I can’t get a mortgage because I’ve got an insecure cash flow. But my six members of staff have all got a mortgage because they’ve all got a regular income from me’. “I just think to myself that’s where governments can provide reassurance to businesses, look at Germany where there’s still a strong tradition of supporting family businesses, I think we can make the case to those groups of people. We need to be very methodical in re-engaging with those microbusinesses and SMEs.”»

    That’s the “bosses representation committee” instead.

    Never minds the attacks on G Brown for being a hard-left extremist:

    «Although Mr Brown talks a lot about aspiration, he means it in the sense that people at the bottom of the pile should be able to get to the middle, rather than that those in the middle should aspire to get a little bit further towards the top.
    His preoccupations with child poverty, Africa and banning plastic bags are all very worthy – but they leave the conservatory-building classes thinking: what about us?» «His talk of “opportunity for all” somehow conveys a vague sense of disapproval of ballet lessons and Carluccio’s and Charlie and Lola. The Budget, with its tax rises for wine drinkers and 4×4 drivers, confirmed the feeling of these hard-working families that they were under attack.»

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