First published in 1973. In this study, the author adopts a historical approach, tracing the evolution of socialist thinking during the past century and relating this to the growth of the union movement. The Taff Vale judgement, the Osborne judgement, the roles of the SDF, the Fabians, and the ILP - these episodes are re-examined from a novel perspective, and the historical material is frequently illuminated by the use of contemporary analogies.
The second half of the book presents an analytical study of differing union political theories and attitudes against the modern industrial background. Here the Marxist case is studied in depth and contrasted with the views of the Social Democrats. The author then considers the ownership and control of the economy, industrial relations, prices and incomes and inflation, making it clear where he feels the movement should stand on the key political issues of today. Finally, the book suggests the way in which the Labour Party and the trade unions should organise for power in the country.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction 2. A Trade Union Historical Perspective 3. The Birth of the Labour Party 4. The Shaping of Union Political Action 5. The Unions and Political Alignment in the 1970s 6. Osborne: The Remedy – Then and Now 7. The Fermenting Years 8. Failure of the Tripe Alliance and the Birth of the Communist Party 9. 1926 – The General Strike 10. Unemployment, War and a Labour Government 11. Thirteen Tory Years and then Another Labour Government 12. Which Political Way for Labour? 13. Control and Ownership – A Policy for Labour 14. Industrial Relations 15. Prices, Incomes and Inflation 16. Organising for Power 17. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index