Chapter

Of all parties and of none: the League in party politics

Helen McCarthy

in The British People and the League of Nations

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719086168
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719086168.003.0003
Of all parties and of none: the League in party politics

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This chapter investigates the League of Nations Union's (LNU) efforts to present the League to the public as a cause which transcended party politics. The type of individual which the LNU attracted to its Executive was naturally of a centrist temperament. The League stood as an obvious focal point for Liberals feeling intellectually and morally dispossessed by the War. The decline of Liberalism as an electoral force did not signal the marginalisation of broader ‘liberal’ values within British politics. Cecil's resignation saw the charges of anti-government bias against the LNU increase substantially. Furthermore, Labour's attitudes towards the League and the LNU are explained in this chapter. The LNU's non-party strategy embraced the politics of centrism. The desire of Conservatives and Labour to enjoy some of the reflective glory enabled the LNU to recruit from and engage the attention of both parties for much of the period.

Keywords: League of Nations Union; party politics; Liberals; Conservatives; British politics; Liberalism; Cecil; centrism

Chapter.  15125 words. 

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