The Labour Party and the monarchy
This work examines periods and episodes which illustrate the Labour Party's developing attitudes towards the monarchy. Chapter One traces the historical background in the nineteenth century, identifying those aspects of radicalism, republicanism and a changing monarchy which had a subsequent bearing on Labour views. It finds that the lack of a serious challenge to the monarchy resulted from its increasing popular acceptance, the prevalence of anti-monarchic sentiment over republicanism, and the indifference of social democracy to strictly political reform. Chapter Two finds the monarchy increasingly accepted by Labour during the Great War, and includes sections on republicanism during the war, patriotism, anti-Germanism, royal visits, civil liberties, and the Crown and royal philanthropy. Chapter Three concentrates on the early 1930's, and examines Labour's concerns about the powers of the Crown in the aftermath of 1931. The ideas of Laski and Cripps receive particular attention, as does the paradox of the left's fear of the use of the Crown's powers to frustrate them, whilst recognising the necessity of its use to realise their Jacobin plans. The next two chapters incorporate discourse analysis techniques. Chapter Four takes an extended look at the 1935 Silver Jubilee and 1937 Coronation celebrations, and analyses the range of Labour responses to the events, at local as well as national level. The chapter includes a section of textual analysis, contrasting Labour's Daily Herald with its popular rivals in their coverage of the two celebrations. The contrastive analysis points up the centrality of Labour's constitutionalism to its approach to the monarchy. Chapter Five deals with the Abdication crisis, again analysing the spread of Labour opinion, contrasting those ready to exploit the political opportunity with the constitutionalists. Chapter Six looks at the Honours System, and at the development of Labour's attitudes and conduct in the matter. It finds Labour drawn into the system it inherited and examines the justifications offered.