Pressures and Controversies—the Labour initiative and the Conservative response
THE Labour Party in Wolverhampton was founded by the Trades Council and financed by trade unions; its Councillors were often unpaid part-time branch officers and some were even full-time district officials of their unions. In its early years the policies of the party reflected the interests of the trade unions, and it acted in the Council to promote some specific trade union objectives. The bulk of the Labour Party’s votes and membership came from the working class, and its policies reflected their interests too. Through the whole period of its existence it sought to improve the social conditions of the working class, an aim which remained constant, even though its role as a trade union pressure group declined. Council house tenants and the Co-operative Society were two particular groups which gave support to the party; and its policies consistently advanced their interests, particularly those of the former. In pursuing the causes of these groups the party came into conflict with those groups examined in the last chapter. As a defensive move against growing Labour pressure they united their forces, which before had been divided, under the aegis of the Conservative Party.
KeywordsTrade Union Private Enterprise Labour Group Labour Party Conservative Party
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