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Conservative CenturyThe Conservative Party since 1900$
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Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202387

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202387.001.0001

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The Party and the Trade Unions

The Party and the Trade Unions

(p.499) 13 The Party and the Trade Unions
Conservative Century


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses that the Conservative Party retained a profound suspicion of organized labour, both as a political and as an economic force, throughout the century. It explains that the process begins with the challenge that the Taff Vale judgment posed to the special immunities which had been granted to trade-union funds in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The chapter discusses that, since 1979, the trade unions have been stripped of their mystique and prestige and lost many of their powers, and argues that they still have a major role to play in public life which the party cannot entirely ignore. The chapter also deals with the problems shown during the attempts to establish an effective structure for Conservative trade unionists and in appealing to the traditional ‘cloth-cap’ industrial working man.

Keywords:   Taff Vale, trade unions, nineteenth century, party, public life, trade unionists, working man

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