From Chartism to New Labour: how relics survive

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2017 by kmflett

Guardian 22nd July

Bronterre O’Brien

Owen Jones notes that we are living in age when the ideas of Jeremy Corbyn fit the reality and those of Tony Blair don’t (20.7). Change can sometimes happen quickly but ideas and the individuals who have them are often slow to catch up, which means New Labour and its supporters will be around for a while yet.

For example while Chartism as a national movement was effectively dead by 1860, Chartists remained politically active, primarily as Liberals, until the 1890s. Nor had they forsaken the ideas they had picked up in the 1840s and 1850s. W Sanders in his book Early Socialist Days noted meetings of the marxist Social Democratic Federation in Battersea in the 1880s attended by supporters of the long since departed Chartist Bronterre O’Brien. Nevertheless they were still to be found putting forward his ideas that currency reform was the way to grapple with capitalism. They were of course, as Sanders notes, regarded as relics from another age, a fate which one suspects will in due course befall Blairites.

Owen Jones Guardian article


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