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Why Was the Opposition to the National Government So Ineffective?

Essay by   •  October 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  837 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,477 Views

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Why was opposition to the National Government so ineffective?

The opposition to the National Government were ineffective because they were either too extreme or communist. There were many opposition groups such as; Oswald Mosley and the British Fascists, The Socialist League, Labour, National Unemployed Workers Movement and many more. The reason the majority of these were ineffective was that the National Government had made too many decisions that were very beneficial to the majority of British public.

One of the many opposition parties to the National Government was the Socialist League; their main objective was 'common ownership of the means of production'. People were wary of this strategy as it implied the mines should be nationalised by the government to be made into common ownership, so essentially the state would own them. This would move the direction of politics towards communism. Even a hint of communism made the public become automatically wary of the party. Another reason the Socialist League were unsuccessful was because they believed in pacifism, but dropped this in response to Hitler's. However the leader Cripps didn't agree with dropping their party morals, so he repudiated this and returned to the pacifist direction originally planned. This made a bad impression on the public as at the time there was high antagonism towards Hitler as an aggressor. The party was started by expelled members of the Labour Party. The reason for their split from Labour party was because Labour wanted more moderate policies but the Socialist League wanted more radical, fascist policies.

Another party that was ineffective competition to the National Government was Communism. The communists were extreme socialists committed to revolution and class war. Since they were resolved on revolution and purging Britain of the anarchy and government, their pleas didn't go down well with the population. The only example of communism at the time was Russia who had brutally murdered their royal family and seemed to be governed by a dictatorial leader, Stalin, being communist was not desirable. Britain did not want a reason for further bloodshed. This party was ineffective in opposition to the National Party because it did not generate any support for their cause and they were too radical for most Britons at the time.

A different party was Oswald Mosley and The British Union of Fascists. The party was based on the Italian fascists. They had uniforms with a silver flash symbol; this was very similar to the Nazi uniform. Like the Nazi's The British Union of Fascists were mostly supported by the working class men. The party believed in National strength and Dictatorship, just like the Nazi's. The party was very influential at its height as it had the support of the Daily Mail therefore things printed were very beneficial

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