“The Labour Party in Historical Perspective”

A Socialist History Society Occasional Publication

£6 – Available from:

The Labour Party was established in 1900 by trade unionists and socialists as a means of giving a strong independent political voice to working men and women in Parliament and in local government. Its core socialist values were definitively defined in its classic Constitution adopted in 1918 at a time when the party was reorganising itself to become a more efficient national political machine. For over a hundred years the Labour Party has offered hope for millions of people that a more equal and fairer society could be built. Despite its remarkable achievements in government such as the creation of the Welfare State and the introduction of a National Health Service, the scourges of poverty, inequality and injustice persist in modern Britain with even more challenging social problems emerging which demand urgent remedies, such as homelessness, debt and job insecurity. As a consequence people are crying out for the return of a reforming Labour government equipped with a credible programme and commanding majority support. Parallels with the election of the 1945 Attlee government are not too exaggerated.
This publication is produced in the belief that today’s generation of activists can learn much from the history of the Labour Party and its past struggles. Our contributors address aspects of party policy, its ideology, influences, successes and achievements in different regions and policy areas such as trade union law and foreign affairs.

The Labour Party in Historical Perspective by Willie Thompson
The Origins of Jeremy Corbyn by Graham Taylor
The Rising Sun of Socialism: The emergence of the Labour Movement in the textile belt of the West Riding of Yorkshire c.1890-1914 by Keith Laybourn
Liverpool Labour by John Belchem
Labour and Communist Politics in the City of Oxford between the Wars by Duncan Bowie
The Labour Party and the Law on Strikes: From Taff Vale 1901 to the 2016 Trade Union Act, via In Place of Strife 1969 by Dave Lyddon
Intellectuals and the Making of Labour Foreign Policy: The Forgotten Career of Leonard Woolf by David Morgan

a review by Independent Labour Publications…
a review in Counterfire…