BARRY WINTER celebrates the ILP’s 120th anniversary with a brief survey of its history and consideration of the lessons it can pass on to a left struggling to make headway in our highly disconnected and politically disenchanted society.
Posts Tagged ‘ The ILP ’
“Fellowship was the foundation of their politics,” said Barry Winter, recalling the culture of the early ILP at the organisation’s 120th anniversary Weekend School in Scarborough on 4/5 May.
PAUL SIMPSON examines the life and politics of ILP founder Keir Hardie, uncovering staunch principles, distinct traits and personal contradictions.
James Keir Hardie was born in Lanarkshire in Scotland in August 1856. At seven he began work as a message boy and by the age of 10 he was working in a mine as a trapper, one of the boys who opened doors to let a coal cart through. At 17 he signed the temperance pledge.
Prospective Parliamentary candidate Anna Turley will address the ILP’s annual gathering of members and friends at Scarborough’s Esplanade Hotel this weekend. Turley will speak on emerging co-operative alternatives to public sector privatisation as part of a two-day programme of political discussions entitled ‘Ethical Socialism, Capitalism and the State’.
KATH CONNOLLY delves into the early life of socialist firebrand Jennie Lee, finding a woman steeped in the ILP and the politics she learned at the family fireside in Fife.
Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s I remember Jennie Lee as a small, grey-haired woman, a fiery speaker and chair of Labour Party conference. And as an Open University graduate in 1978 I was aware of her role in establishing the OU. The ILP’s 120th anniversary is an opportunity to look at the roots of her politics and her political life in more detail.
GRAHAM TAYLOR celebrates the life and achievements of Alfred Salter, the brilliant doctor, Bermondsey MP and lifelong ILPer who helped transform an impoverished corner of south east London.
His life is chiefly known from Fenner Brockway’s 1949 classic of political biography, Bermondsey Story, which describes in moving terms how the young doctor dedicated his life to a slum area overrun by squalor and disease.
DAVID HOWELL remembers DH Lawrence and ‘the Eastwood circle’, a dissenting academy in Nottinghamshire ‘with the ILP at its heart’. Its lost world of Edwardian socialism shows that while ‘vision is essential, it is never enough’.
The Eastwood circle epitomised the ILP’s moral politics at a moment of optimism and diversity – a politics of ethical socialism, feminism, syndicalism and radical sexual thought.
Ethical socialism past and present, and its place in a ‘one nation’ Labour Party, will be the focus of debate at the ILP’s annual weekend gathering of members and friends at Scarborough’s Esplanade Hotel on 4/5 May.
JEFF CUTHBERT, Deputy Minister for Skills in the Welsh Government, grew up surrounded by history and principles thanks to his parents, lifelong ILPers Bill and Jennie Cuthbert.
My two brothers and I grew up with busts of James Maxton and Keir Hardie; bookshelves full of Fenner Brockway and George Orwell; regular deliveries of the Socialist Leader; holidays at summer schools (often raining); and aunties and uncles who turned out to be nothing of the kind.