Towards a Politics of Labour The Labour Representation Committee had fought the 1900 election with its identity unresolved. Over the next few years, as the organisation’s durability became assured, so its political identity became clarified. By 1906 ambiguities remained, but the clarifications proved too much for Richard Bell. His arrival at Westminster inevitably raised a question of primary loyalty. The small group of Lib-Lab Members was an obvious magnet for Bell. They shared his political sentiments and his general view of industrial relations. They seemed the natural allies as Bell sought to use his new position to lobby for the policies of his union. Other Liberal Members were also sympathetic to labour demands. Given this context and his own inclinations, any suggestion that Bell should privilege an alliance with Hardie, and subsequently with a slowly expanding LRC Parliamentary Group, seemed implausible.1