BLOSFELD E.G. The Left Labourites and the General Strike of 1926 in the UK


Evgeniya G. Blosfeld

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Department of World History and Methods of Teaching History and Social Sciences, Volgograd State Social-Pedagogical University, 

Prosp. Lenina, 27, 400013 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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Abstract. The author analyses the left labourites’ attitude to the interaction of the Labour Party and trade unions and use of general strike as a means of the social struggle. Besides the article analyses the left labourites’ estimation of 1926 general strike and the causes of the defeat, and the strike of the miners who decided to continue it. 

The left labourites defended the branch principle of the trade unions’ organization based on the shopstewards’ model which was better adopted for the strike struggle. The left labourites took into account that the general structure of the labour movement would remain the same, but the Labour Party would take over the leadership from trade unions.

The left labourites supported the peaceful way of transition to socialism and they considered the general strike to be analogy of social revolution or a means of pressure of the government for nationalization of the main economic branches and the improvement of the workers’ life conditions. Under extreme circumstances, the general strike was considered to be a means to prevent antidemocratic revolution.

Evaluating the general strike of 1926, the author marks the absence of unity in the leadership, hesitations and inconsistency of the left labourites themselves. They didn’t give a single proposal about the improvement of the working-class movement organization except of state British Trade Unions Congress. As a result, the criticism of the General Council’s renegade position was bestowed upon the leadership of the Miners Federation who didn’t submit to the General Council order to stop the strike.

Key words: general strike, working class movement, left labourites, trade unions, Great Britain.

Citation. Blosfeld E.G. The Left Labourites and the General Strike of 1926 in the UK. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 145-153. (in Russian). DOI:

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The Left Labourites and the General Strike of 1926 in the UK by Blosfeld E.G. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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