The Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921: The Response of the British Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour Press

Gibbons, Ivan
April 2011
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Apr2011, Vol. 76 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
The British Labour Party became increasingly aware after the First World War that it was potentially a government in waiting. In opposition the party was generally supportive of Irish nationalism. It supported Home Rule and was adamantly opposed to the partition of Ireland contained in the 1920 Government of Ireland Bill. Despite the fact that the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 was inconsistent with Labour Party Irish policy, cementing as it did the partition of Ireland as well as hardly being an exercise in 'self-determination', both Labour MPs in the debate on the Treaty as well as the Labour press supported the Treaty as it offered a way out of the Irish imbroglio and a return to rational class-based politics. The overriding concern of, in particular, the parliamentary leadership of the Labour Party by now was to prove to the British electorate that it could be as protective of British state interests as its rivals. The article argues that this pragmatic about-turn was adopted as many members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) in particular were acutely aware that the party needed to be seen as patriotic, moderate, and responsible if it was to stand any chance of being elected to power. The article traces this reversal in policy by reference to contemporary parliamentary debates as well as through the columns of the contemporary Labour press.


Related Articles

  • MPs demand stronger role for personnel in Commons. Prickett, Ruth // People Management;12/10/98, Vol. 4 Issue 24, p13 

    Focuses on the move of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) in Great Britain to call for more protection for the Members of Parliament's (MPs) staff. Proposal of PLP on how MPs should handle its human resources; How MP's staff are treated; T&G union's support on the proposal.

  • Labour's chance for change at the top.  // New Statesman & Society;10/15/93, Vol. 6 Issue 274, p6 

    Discusses the British Parliamentary Labour Party's election for the shadow cabinet. Chance for change at the top; Poor performance of many senior figures on Labour's front bench; Under-used talents in junior bench posts; Members of the shadow cabinet deserving of replacement; Candidates for...

  • Blair to pick new team. Anderson, Paul // New Statesman & Society;10/14/94, Vol. 7 Issue 324, p7 

    Reports that Tony Blair will be picking up a new team for the Parliamentary Labour Party. Tony Blair's options; Unpredictable electorate; Women's representation in the shadow cabinet.

  • TEN YEARS OF THE IRISH FREE STATE. MacNeill, Eoin // Foreign Affairs;Jan1932, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p235 

    This article examines the condition of the Irish Free State, 10 years after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. It can be seen that Ireland has come well out of the test. Ireland has held on well in these years largely because, in comparison with her resources, her actual development stood on a low...

  • Sideliners. Roth, Andrew // New Statesman & Society;10/6/95, Vol. 8 Issue 373, p13 

    Opinion. Comments on prospects of political outlook of Labour Party membership of Great Britain; Tony Blair's pedigree; View that Blair would encounter problems with left wing membership of the party; Accommodation of Conservative Party defectors; Labour Party conference; Foreseeable problems...

  • Scenting the opportunities. Lipsey, David // Public Finance;7/30/2010, p5 

    In this article, the author discusses the political issue of the Parliamentary Labour Party in Great Britain. He is critical about the trend of the new government based on the bigger threat from the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat Left, as well as the forecasted scenario including...

  • Untitled. Seaman, Sir Owen // Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, June 9, 1920;1/1/1920, p34 

    The article offers information on various topics in London, England. It states that Sydney Richardson, a messenger-boy who went for Mister Darewski in America has returned. It mentions that the Parliamentary Labour Party might hold an annual red herring supper to preserve the traditions of their...

  • PERSON OF THE MONTH EMILY BROTHERS.  // Diva;Mar2015, p24 

    The article profiles Emily Brothers, a blind lesbian transgender who serves as the parliamentary candidate of the Labour Party for Sutton and Cheam in England.

  • Political Outlook.  // United Kingdom Infrastructure Report;Q2 2010, p64 

    This article provides information on issues involving Conservative and Labour parties in Great Britain. It is considered a hard fight for the Conservative party, considering the 2005 voting patterns where a lead of 9 to 10 percent has to be achieved to earn a one seat parliamentary majority. In...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics