British Labor Views the Future

British Labor Views the Future

A strange silence fell over the British Labor Party immediately after its electoral defeat. Even the flurry of mutual recrimination within the party leadership hardly lasted more than a few days. The annual party conference held in October of last year impressed observers more by its dullness than by anything else. Disunity remains, but a split has been avoided; disagreement continues, but the movement goes on.

The truth is that once the elections were over, the real issues before Britain’s socialist movement made the former struggle of party groups seem irrelevant. Yesterday’s issues were tactical or narrowly political while the new issues tend to replace old struggles and factions; they are problems of the movement as a whole. Perhaps for the first time in its history, the British Labor Party has been dragged out of its habitual provincialism, forced to take a look at its past and present and to search its very soul for the future.


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