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Labour Government 1945-51

Labour's Bad Memory

But this is terrible. They have elected a Labour government and the country will never stand for that. (Woman dining at Claridge's, 26 July 1945.)

Thirty years ago—on October 5 1951 to be exact—the British people voted to set themselves free, to expunge austerity from their lives, to replace snoek and dried eggs with good red meat. At least that was what Tory politicians (like Churchill, Eden, Butler, Woolton—how evocative the very names are now) had told them would happen if they got rid of the Labour government.

The government—Labour's first ever with its own majority—was elected, in the final stages of the 1939/45 war, on the promise to build a fair, abundant, secure Britain. What happened, between 1945 and 1951. to swing the voters the other way?

Book Review: 'The Worst Accident in the World'

An Inevitable Accident

'The Worst Accident in the World', by The Observer staff (Pan Books. £2.95)

Editorial: The Attitude of the London Dockers

The action of London dockers in coming out on strike over two ships that were concerned in a dispute originating on the other side of the Atlantic is a gesture that must be applauded by all those interested in the solidarity of labour. Whatever the merits of the dispute these London men were prepared to make sacrifices in a cause that had no direct influence on their own wages and conditions of labour. It is this aspect of the dispute that is heartening to socialists as it is one of the harbingers of that wider and more pregnant solidarity that will herald the triumph of Socialism. This particular strike has occurred at a time when prominent trade unionists and all the Labour Governments, including the Russian, are stressing the importance of nationalism.

Book Review: 'The Braddocks'

A Labour leader looks back

'The Braddocks', by Bessie Braddock, M.P., Macdonald, 30s.

When Labour achieved its landslide victory under Attlee in 1945, one of its leaders (Mr. Greenwood, father of the present "shadow cabinet" minister) made a speech to the jubilant crow of M.P.s at Westminster saying what a fine varied lot they were: barristers, solicitors, doctors, business men—as well as trade union leaders and the sons of toil. We do not recall that he said anything about noticing any Socialist among them; but no doubt this might be because it was taken for granted that they were all Socialists.

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