The Labour Party Fall is Serious

The actions of the Labour Party in recent years have been much criticised, including the lack of attention to the main policy of the party, which is to increase and maintain the social rights of workers and low-income groups. This has made people distrust the party in many cases, including in education and culture.


The Labour Party was born at the turn of the 20th century out of the frustration of working-class people at their inability to field parliamentary candidates through the Liberal Party, which at that time was the dominant social-reform party in Britain. In 1900, the Trades Union Congress (the national federation of British trade unions) cooperated with the Independent Labour Party (founded in 1893) to establish a Labour Representation Committee, which took the name Labour Party in 1906. The early Labour Party lacked a nationwide mass membership and organisation; up until 1914, it made progress chiefly through an informal agreement with the Liberals not to run candidates against each other wherever possible.

After World War I, the party made great strides owing to a number of factors: first, the Liberal Party tore itself apart in a series of factional disputes; second, the 1918 Representation of the People Act extended the electoral franchise to all males aged 21 or older and to women aged 30 or older; and third, in 1918, Labour reconstituted itself as a formal socialist party with a democratic constitution and a national structure.

The party’s new programme, “Labour and the New Social Order,” drafted by Fabian Society leaders Sidney and Beatrice Webb, committed Labour to the pursuit of full employment with a minimum wage and a maximum workweek, democratic control and public ownership of industry, progressive taxation, and the expansion of educational and social services. By 1922, Labour had supplanted the Liberal Party as the official opposition to the ruling Conservative Party.

Entering the 21st century, the Labour Party tried to come up with better plans and reduce divisions within the party. These came to light with the coming to power of Tony Blair, who apparently did not succeed with foreign policy plans, especially the Iraq war.

The Traditional Goals of the Party Have Been Forgotten!

The Labour Party entered the sphere of power with difficulty; so to maintain its existence, it takes measures that are inherently contrary to its policies, including uniting with other parties in times of distress instead of relying on its own forces. It has lost the trust of the people, especially the middle classes. An example of this is McDonald’s action in 1931.

In 1931, the party suffered one of the severest crises in its history when, faced with demands to cut public expenditure as a condition for receiving loans from foreign banks, MacDonald defied the objections of most Labour officials and formed a coalition government with Conservatives and Liberals. In the ensuing election, Labour’s parliamentary representation was reduced from 288 to 52. The party remained out of power until 1940, when Labour ministers joined a wartime coalition government under Winston Churchill.

The Labour Party was formed to increase the social rights of low-income and poor sections of society, but the manifesto published in 2019 shows that the issue of education has not been paid attention to for the low-income groups, and VAT in private school  was even increased; this increase in income tax  only puts pressure on the low-income groups.

Manifesto Rearrangement is Required

Labour has promised to invest in a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to transform institutions in towns that have been “neglected for too long”.

While many in the arts and culture have welcomed Labour’s manifesto offering incentives for the arts, others have noted that the ambitious pledge to increase the proportion of GDP the government spends on the arts from 0.3% to meet the European average of 0.5% in the last manifesto has disappeared.

Numerous reports demonstrate the UK’s competitive and artistic edge in the cultural and creative industries and their impressive growth rate – even in times of recession and austerity. Between 2010 and 2017, GVA (the gross value added) of the creative industries increased by 53.1% and contributes around £23bn to GDP.

So, regardless of political ideology, it would seem strategic to introduce a competitive level of mandated investment in the country’s fastest-growing industry and to guarantee its long-term sustainability.

Ultimately, Labour’s manifesto commitments are dazzling but flawed. While ambitious, they’re less generous than the promises made in 2017 and based on some unsound logic. However, they do represent a step in the right direction. They also demonstrate a continuing acknowledgement of the vital role that arts and culture play in education and general well-being, alongside the positive impacts they can have on towns and cities.

This simple principle is sadly missing from Labour’s Culture for All section, and in its approach to the arts in particular. The bold institutional changes which underpin many good parts of the rest of the manifesto are essential if they are serious about culture and arts for all. Labour should be courageous in rebalancing and redistributing cultural funding across the UK and away from the affluent parts of London and the South-East. It should be devolving funding and decision-making to cities and regions, and enabling local authorities to support far more than libraries, museums and galleries – essential as these are, they are only part of what’s needed for vibrant local cultural ecologies. And Labour must recognise that the annual hundreds of millions of Lottery pounds for the arts need to be directed very substantially back towards the arts and cultural in the country’s poorest communities.

There have been shortcomings in the programmes for the cultural sector and the main programme for students has focused only on tuition and university loans; it has been emphasised even by Labour leaders that some paragraphs of the manifesto have been repeated or were a revival of past laws, so the Labour Party has little appeal to students.


The Labour Party was formed with great difficulty and faced shortfalls in the plans it made to attract people at first, especially to increase workers’ wages and try to meet many of their basic needs. But it was not all about raising salaries; there were also injustices in cultural matters. Cultural programmes were for big cities with large population concentrations, and the suburbs did not use these programmes much; the same is true of educational issues.

Perhaps one of the things that has created tension in the Labour Party so that it cannot create a dynamic and inclusive programme for all segments everywhere in England, regardless of the geographical area, is the existence of divisions within the party; because since 1952, the Labour Party has been divided on strategic issues and even Tony Blair, who came to strike a balance in the party, was unable to resolve the differences.

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