Eaden, James; Renton, David
December 2004
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Dec2004, Vol. 69 Issue 3, p349
Academic Journal
This article discusses the history of the Communist Party in Great Britain. Communists sought at first to operate within a well-established labour movement, in a matrix of district and constituency Labour Parties, trade union braches and Co-operative societies. For much of the early period of their party's existence, British communists attempted to implement a unity strategy towards Labour and the trade unions, allying themselves with left-wingers within the movement and seeking to affiliate the CPGB to the Labour Party. Despite unfavourable conditions, the Communists sought to extend their support beyond the sectarian limits of previous British socialist parties. According to Walter Kendall, The Communist Party absorbed within its framework practically the whole pre-existing revolutionary movement and leaders. This movement and its participants, whatever its other faults, was at least, self-acting, autonomous, a genuine endeavour to come to grips with the problem of British reality. The slow attrition of the original politics of the British party can be traced through a series of manoeuvres. These included the programme of Bolshevization begun by Arthur MacManus, Harry Pollitt and Rajani Palme Dutt, the removal of a first generation of Communist Party leaders, and the launch of the Anglo-Russian Committee of trade unionists.


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