The British Political Parties – Labour Party – What they stand for and where they came from.
Disclaimer – I would consider myself a left-wing moderate and pragmatist. While I will try to be objective and impartial one must always bear that in mind when reading further. My bias may subconsciously select words for me.
It is quite apparent to me, from my years in education, that the majority of people do not have a clue as to what the political parties stand for. Their philosophy has become shrouded in obfuscation. All the politicians are interested in is power and that means votes. In order to get elected they have to compromise and disguise their intent. That is politics.
I am attempting to state clearly, simply and objectively what the main parties stand for and where they came from.
The Labour Party.
The Labour Party are a centre/left party.
They came out of an amalgamation of the Socialist Party and the Trade Union movement of the late 19th Century. They were founded in 1900.
They were formed in order to give working men a voice in parliament and fight for reforms that would improve the conditions and pay of working people.
The Labour Party is a broad church ranging from extreme socialists to moderate social democrats.
They believe in social ownership of the means of production – ie. State ownership.
They believe in the principle of – ‘To each according to his contribution’ and/or ‘From each according to ability; to each according to need’. That is basically a fairer distribution of the wealth of the nation.
They embraced social concerns to improve the lot of ordinary people – environmentalism, feminism, and liberalism.
They oppose the premise of capitalism.
They believe in government intervention in business, taxation to provide services, redistribution of wealth, rights for working people and a welfare state.
Nb. No doubt my political friends of a left-wing bias will put me right on a few of my assertions!
6 thoughts on “The British Political Parties – Labour Party – What they stand for and where they came from.”
It might be necessary to explain what ‘left’ means and why is it so. Similarly with ‘right’ on the Conservative blog. Almost nobody I’ve ever asked has a clue about this.
OK – that sounds good. I did a quick browse and this looked quite good. I hadn’t realised it had originated in France during the revolution.
This is what Mental Floss had to say on the origins of Left & Right Wing based on where they sit in the House.
‘With all the political debate recently, there has been a lot of labelling certain people or policies as ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’. But why do we use there terms? Where do they come from?
It may surprise you to learn that the answer doesn’t lie in Britain, but in France.
During the French Revolution, politicians who met at the National Assembly began to organise themselves into two groups – supporters of the Revolution, and supporters of the King. ‘Left’ and ‘right’ was from the perspective of the President, who held a similar place to the Speaker of the House of Commons in Britain.
However, Britain didn’t fully adopt these terms until the 1930s, when the House Of Commons split due to debates regarding the Spanish Civil War. But the meaning of the terms remained broadly the same; the Right being taken up by more conservative views, and the Left being held by those of a more liberal bias.
A book published in 1947, The Web Of Government by Robert M. MacIver, shows that not much has changed today:
“The right is always the party sector associated with the interests of the upper or dominant classes, the left the sector expressive of the lower economic or social classes, and the centre that of the middle classes. Historically this criterion seems acceptable. The conservative right has defended entrenched prerogatives, privileges and powers; the left has attacked them. The right has been more favorable to the aristocratic position, to the hierarchy of birth or of wealth; the left has fought for the equalization of advantage or of opportunity, for the claims of the less advantaged. Defense and attack have met, under democratic conditions, not in the name of class but in the name of principle; but the opposing principles have broadly corresponded to the interests of the different classes.”
Incidentally, if you’re unsure about which side you identify with more, here is a wonderful infographic outlining the key points of both ends of the political spectrum.’
On principle I should really fall into the centre left, but it’s obvious that these principles got screwed up with extremity, hence, why I sit firmly in the middle. But I can agree with both sides depending on the issue.
I thought it was a concise précis of the terms – well put.
Reblogged this on Opher's World and commented:
I think it is important in a democracy to understand where political parties come from and who they represent.
In these political times we need to know what we are talking about.
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