- Created by: oanderton
- Created on: 31-08-20 18:51
Labour lost the 1924 election due to 2 scandals
- The Campbell Case
- A Communist opposes the repression of strikers but urging troops not to support force against them and is sued by the attourney general. MacDonald throws out the case.
- Makes Labour look sympathetic to Communists.
- The Zinoviev Letter
- A forged letter, supposedly from a Russian Communist leader, Zinoviev, urging British Communists to support LAbour.
- Lead public to associate Labour party with Communims & causes a red scare within Britain.
These 2 scandals made the 1924 election focus on the red scare & the opposition focused on Labour being Communist.
- Trade treaties with USSR & Labour's Maifesto also became focal points of this campaign.
1934 election showed Labour would never be elected on a purely radical socialist programme.
- Red scare showed Communism would never appeal to the British public.
The Campbell Case
- Government only lasted from January to October 1924
- Record was impressive considering the limited time period
The Labour government fell because MacDonald mismanaged a relatively trivial incident - The Campbell Case.
- Labour government was unsympathetic to strikers and ordered troops against them.
- In July 1924, J.R.Campbell published a letter calling for troops to refuse to act against striking workers.
- Attorney general prosecuted for incitement to mutiny. Under an act of 1797.
- Labour left was very angry.
- In August, MacDonald withdrew the prosecution.
- Due to pressures from backbenchers in Labour party.
- Liberals saw political influence being used in a matter of law.
- Called for investigation
- MacDonald decided to make it a matter of confidence
- Could have ignored the criticism
ii. The Campbell Case
- Chose to make it clear that if the government was defeated then this would make it a vote of no confidence.
- Showing he could no longer govern and would resign.
- Baldwin decided to support the Liberals
- Vote of Liberals and Conservatives brought the government down
- Relations between Labour and Liberals had been poor.
- Decision was seen by many as unfair
The Zinoviev Letter
1924 election: characterised by wild talk of Labour's support for Communism.
- Zinoviev letter: a forged letter, supposedly from Zinoviev, a Russian Communist leader.
- Urging British Communist party to support Labour.
- Caused a red scare in Britain.
- Voters convinced that a vote for Labour would mean a vote for Communism.
- Evidence for the suppose threat.
- The Russian Treaty
- Reference in Labour's manifesto to 'a socialist commonwealth'.
- Effects of Zinoviev letter have probably been exaggerated.
- Labour did not lose votes.
- Labour actually increased its popular vote.
- Gained support for its idealistic foreign policy.
- Electorate decided that the choice was now between Labour and Conservatives.
- Losers in this election were the Liberals.