Quote [76] – Attlee, Formation Of The Labour Party & Policy

“But the fighting core of the party was the I.L.P whose leader, Keir Hardie, was now reinforced in the house of Commons by MacDonald, Snowden, Clynes and others.

Without the I.L.P it would have been possible for this attempt to form a new Party to have failed, as had happened before.  The I.L.P was a remarkable organisation which enlisted the devotion of thousands of men and women.  It was not rigidly dogmatic.  It was inclusive rather than exclusive and preached a socialism which owed more to the bible than to Karl Marx. It was indeed a characteristically British interpretation of socialism.”

“As a contrast, the Social Democratic Federation was completely Marxist and preached the class war.  Its outlook was more materialist than the I.L.P”

The Labour Party – Formation & Nature As It Happened – C R Attlee
“The various strains in the Movement found their echo in our branch meetings and we used to discuss vehemently such topics as the advantages of revolutionary and reformist tactics and the question of industrial, as opposed to political, action.  I am sure that a substantial apprenticeship in the ordinary work of a local branch is of great value to anyone who is destined to play any part in political life, especially if he is to become prominent in a national sphere.” The Labour Party – representation & local involvement As It Happened – C R Attlee
  The Conservative Party remains as always a class party.  In twenty-three years in the House of Commons, I cannot recall more than half a dozen from the ranks of the wage earners.  It represents today, as in the past, the forces of property and privilege.  The labour party is, in fact, the one party which most nearly reflects in it representation and composition all the main streams which flow into the great river of our national life. As It Happened – C R Attlee

 

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