Labour Party in Britain in the Years 1924-31

2050 WordsJun 21, 20189 Pages
Labour Party in Britain in the Years 1924-31 Historians have debated just how competent the two Labour administrations were between 1924 and 1931. Governments are normally only considered “competent” if they have managed the economy efficiently, prevented widespread corruption and maintained law and order. Labour came to power at the end of 1923, a time when the Conservatives and other right-wing groups were spreading vicious rumours about Socialism. MacDonald was determined to disprove these fears, particularly Churchill’s jibe that a Labour Party would “not be fit to govern”. Since the Prime Minister is an integral part of a government, it will also be important to look at the competency of…show more content…
Other historians have stressed Labour’s poor industrial relations during their first term in office, claiming that this indicates a degree of governmental incompetence. MacDonald was determined that the Labour Party would be representative of the nation as a whole, and not merely a political wing of the TUC. Therefore, MacDonald did not want to be seen as giving in to strikers or other industrial activists. In February 1924 there was a national dock strike for higher wages which ended in success for the workers, but MacDonald had been planning to use troops to unload ships had it continued. The following month he proclaimed a state of emergency during a London tram and bus strike. Some historians have argued that the fact that MacDonald was determined to stand up against the TUC and strikers suggests that his party was competent at running the country, since it was not simply pandering to the industrial movement. But others claim that MacDonald was unable to deal with the strikes sufficiently, making his government look weak and incompetent. Some historians have argued that the cabinet of the first Labour government was chosen poorly, with many of the ministers knowing little or nothing about their departments. For example, J.H Thomas, the former railwaymen’s leader, became Colonial Secretary despite knowing

More about Labour Party in Britain in the Years 1924-31

Open Document