Staying in neutral part two

The Eye
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What a business this has been!

In all the hullabaloo about the General Election (GE), it has been little remarked on that it is 100 years since the FIRST Labour Government took office.

This is a historical fact, rather than a partisan political point, although presumably for Labour supporters it might augur well.

A leader AND a traitor?

In January 1924Ramsay MacDonald (Ramsay Mac) led the first Labour Government into office.

It was only for nine months then, but the same happened between 1929 and 1931, and it was for its time a very diverse cabinet, with most of its members having left school at 15,

From 1931 to 1935, he headed a National Government dominated by the Conservative Party and was supported by only a few Labour members, so he was expelled from the Labour Party as a result.

Ramsay Mac, along with Keir Hardie and Arthur Henderson, was one of the three main founders of the Labour Party in 1900, and was also chairman of the Labour MPs group before 1914.

Ramsay Macdonald led Labour into Government for the first time

From then on Labour, not the Liberals, were the major opposition in the UK Parliament to the Conservatives, as well as the main agent for ‘progressive’ politics.

This position has not been ceded ever since.

He has though, among Labour people, become a by-word for treachery.

It is thought by Labour stalwarts that Ramsay Mac did not conduct proper ‘socialist’ policies, indeed presided over deep cuts in social welfare, and the worst thing of all, threw in his lot with the Conservatives.

Will fortune smile on Labour today?

So Sir Keir Starmer (named after Keir Hardie by the way) doesn’t mention Ramsay Mac, and prefers to take inspiration from Labour victories in 1945, 1964 and 1997.

History, though, could be kinder to Ramsay Mac, and Labour may come to warm to a man who led them to their first victory 100 years ago!



The memories of our Editor Welshman Phil Parry’s decades-long award-winning career in journalism (when commenting on major political stories was always paramount), as he was gripped by the rare disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.