labour | post war

darren graham lilleker’s thesis 2001

The internal divisions in the British Labour party are amplified by the fact that the party was founded upon an alliance of autonomous organisations. This factor led → Shaw to conclude that Labour was “neither socialist nor… a party”.

He described the party as a confederation of societies that had amalgamated only because they represented, to differing extents, working class interests.

This has led political analysts to define Labour’s ideology not as socialism but ‘labourism’; a coalition of group interests some of which can be described as ideological but, in general, are nothing more than political objectives derived from the interests of a single class.

We can therefore view Labour party policy as having emerged out of a loose collection of ideological traditions, restricted by a traditional non-radical tendency within the electorate and the party’s structure and also by the existence of a largely right-wing parliamentary opposition.