chapter  12
3 Pages


The Labour party had, during the period of thirty years or so covered by this study, experienced a remarkable advance. It had set up a national political organization of a new kind, which had proved both flexible and durable. It had greatly increased its electoral support, overtaking and almost destroying its Liberal rival. It had formulated and publicized a distinctive programme, resting upon a creed which aroused much enthusiasm and dedication, and it twice took on, under difficult conditions, the responsibilities of government. Its achievements on the first two counts were, admittedly, greater than on the third and fourth. Yet while doing little to demonstrate the practicality of its socialist faith, it played its part in sustaining a form of democratic and parliamentary government which, elsewhere in Europe, proved vulnerable and fragile.