Elite Migration from the Liberal to the Labour Party, 1917-1924, and the interaction with Popular Politics through the Union of Democratic Control.

Woodward, Brian Charles (1984). Elite Migration from the Liberal to the Labour Party, 1917-1924, and the interaction with Popular Politics through the Union of Democratic Control. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0001010b

Abstract

Following a preface indicating aims, Chapter 1 outlines the general situation of European elites in 1914 and the particular problem of an elite attempting to re-direct British public opinion in war-time through the agency of a pressure group. In Chapter 2 the aims and organisation of the U.D.C. are outlined. Chapter 3 indicates the nature of the U.D.C.'s involvement in popular politics: the membership ;connections with organised labour; branch proliferation; structure of communication flow; commitment to special effort in popular education; reactionary response to the U.D.C.; the stimulus of 1917; the Union’s change of policy after the Versailles settlement and retreat from immediate popular involvement. Chapter 4 is concerned with the factors involved in the Liberal U.D.C. elite’s migration to Labour: the nature of the migration from 1917 to 1924; ’rejective’ pressures and reformulatory forces; the dilemma of Radical allegiance illustrated in the correspondence of E.D.Morel; the common background and diverse pathways of nine prominent Liberal U.D.C. migrants to Labour. In Chapter 5 the factors connected with the U.D.C’s interaction with popular politics and the Liberal elite’s migration to Labour are reviewed and reinforced. The place of the U.D.C. within the background of pressure groups is outlined and the Union’s connections with the women’s movement and pacifist groups are indicated. Some wider ideological implications of Liberal-Labour definitions are discussed and the U.D.C.’s intervention in Labour Party politics is considered, with special reference to its influence upon the construction of a more sophisticated foreign policy. Chapter 5 concludes that the U.D.C, provided a pathway for Liberal elite migration to Labour after 1917 and that the Union’s intervention in popular politics was significant. The appendices include a review of the ideological background and a brief consideration of the U.D.C. elite’s ’pro-German involvement’.

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