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Title: The Labour Party's attitude to gambling, 1918-1970
Author: McClymont, Gregg
ISNI:       0000 0000 4973 2529
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2006
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The Edwardian labour movement opposed gambling. But hostility to this integral aspect of twentieth century working-class culture is presumed to have disappeared rapidly as the Labour Party moved towards political maturity. This thesis challenges the declinist assumption: what emerges, rather, is the partial nature of Labour's accommodation to gambling between 1918 and 1970. The introduction establishes the intellectual status quo and critiques it: the existing literature neglects the extent to which the Party maintained a socialist objection to gambling. Chapter one details the Party's opposition to the administrative regulation of betting on horses during the 1920s. Chapter two initially focuses on Labour's negative reaction to the growth of lotteries, dog racing and the football pools during the interwar years; it ends by examining the extent to which the political crisis of 1931 weakened the Party's objections to working-class betting. Chapter three suggests that the Second World War's redistribution of social esteem further encouraged an accommodation to gambling in its working-class forms - but only in some of its forms and only to some degree. Chapter four examines the Party's attitude to gambling during the 1950s and 1960s: liberalization continued but the pace was slow and the direction of change contested. The conclusion emphasizes that the Labour Party maintained a socialist critique of wagering on luck throughout the period 1918-70: this ensured that its tolerance of working-class gambling remained somewhat grudging and limited.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available