Independent Labour Party

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Independent Labour Party


(ILP) founded in Great Britain in January 1893, when the strike struggle had been reactivated and there was a growing movement for Great Britain’s working class to have a policy independent of the bourgeois parties.

The ILP’s leaders were J. K. Hardie and J. R. MacDonald. Its platform called for a struggle for the collective ownership of all the means of production, distribution, and exchange; the introduction of an eight-hour workday; the prohibition of child labor, and the introduction of social security and unemployment compensation. From the very beginning the ILP adopted bourgeois reformist positions and concentrated on the parliamentary struggle and on making parliamentary deals with the Liberal Party. Characterizing the ILP, V. I. Lenin wrote that it was “actually an opportunist party that has always been dependent on the bourgeoisie” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 39, p. 90).

In 1900 representatives of the ILP attended a conference that led to the formation of the Labour Representation Committee, which was renamed the Labour Party in 1906. Although the ILP was a collective member of the Labour Party, it tried to maintain its ideological and organizational independence until the beginning of World War I (1914–18). During the war the ILP’s leaders adopted a bourgeois pacifist position. In 1932, when there was an ideological split in the Labour Party, an ILP conference decided by a majority vote to leave the party. However, many ILP members joined the Labour Party in 1947.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (Spravochnyi torn .... part 1, p. 418.)
Vinogradov, V. N. U istokov leiboristskoi partii (1889–1900). Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE INDEPENDENT LABOUR PARTY All new political parties dream of having the impact that the party of Merthyr MP Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald had after it was founded in 1893.
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It originates from the collection of former Independent Labour Party politician and good friend of Maley, James Carmichael.
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The Plaid leader will also claim that his party is the true heir to the socialist mantle of Keir Hardie, the Independent Labour Party founder.
The Independent Labour Party made an important electoral breakthrough in 1920 as eleven of their candidates, some from jail, were elected to the Manitoba Legislature.
Yet Keir Hardie, the founder of the Independent Labour Party, used biblical language and religiously inspired idealism to convince Welsh chapel-goers that socialism was compatible with Christianity.
My paper argued that the mass base for Labour was created in working-class electorates in the cities through the political campaigns organised by the 'moderate' advocates of an independent labour party to win workers away from the Liberal Party.
Mullen (politics, Northumbria U., UK) traces the debates within the British left (consisting of the Labour Party, the trade unions, the Cooperative Party, the Independent Labour Party, the Social Democratic Party, and others) over the European integration project from 1945 to 2005.
The records show it was Orwell's replies to a questionnaire issued by Left magazine - the mouthpiece of the Independent Labour Party - that helped convince the security services he was not in with the Communists.

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