Saturday, September 30, 2023

50 Years Ago: Britain’s Third 
Labour Government (1995)

The 50 Years Ago column from the September 1995 issue of the Socialist Standard
Britain’s Third 
Labour Government
“This time there can be 
no Alibis ”
For the third time Great Britain witnesses the spectacle of capitalism being administered by a Labour Government—though this time with a difference. The Labour Governments which entered office in January. 1924 (for eleven months) and in June 1929 (for two years) had only minority representation in the House of Commons, and were dependent on the support of Members of Parliament belonging to the Liberal Party. This time the Liberal Party is almost wiped out (only twelve M.P.s in a House of 640), and the Labour Party has an overwhelming majority.

The experiment now being embarked upon is that of trying to run the capitalist system as if it were not a capitalist system. A Labour Government is going to try to straddle the class struggle and to represent at one and the same time the interests of the owning class, and of the class exploited by the owning class! Labour supporters expectantly and hopefully await the outcome. Socialists do not need to wait to prophesy failure.

After experiencing Labour attempts to run capitalism in Great Britain the workers will discover that Labour administrators cannot make capitalism function in any but the accustomed way.

(From an article in Socialist 
Standard September 1945)

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