Thursday, November 03, 2011

Labour's history lesson

Like Chris Trotter I enjoyed the election broadcast the Labour Party made on TV One last Monday night, and found the contrast with National's broadcast fascinating.

While Labour offered up an historical 'long view' of the present, using photos and newsreel footage disinterred from the archives, and then introduced a series of its members of parliament, each of whom seemed intended to represent some segment of New Zealand's diverse population, National's broadcast marooned John Key without his fellow MPs in what looked like a corporate conference room.

In an era where a twenty-four hour news cycle and social media like twitter and facebook sometimes seem to have created the political equivalents of amnesia and aphasia amongst wide segments of the population, Labour's insistence on the significance of the past to the problems of the present was welcome.

Labour offered viewers a rough timeline of the last century of New Zealand history, which took in events like the World Wars, the Great Depression, the post-war boom and its dissipation in the '70s and early '80s, and the trauma of Rogernomics. The party argued that, throughout the last century, thoughtful state intervention in the economy, and in society in general, had been vital to social progress. The Labour Party was presented as the means by which the New Zealand working class had taken hold of the machinery of the state and reformed society. Using their party, the workers had founded the welfare state, built state houses, created fair industrial practices, and ended discrimination against minorities. In the 1980s Labour temporarily slipped from the control of the Kiwi majority, and became the party of neo-liberalism, but that was, we were assured, an aberration.

National was presented throughout the broadcast as the party of the wealthy elite, with policies that sow class war and racial discord.

Some National supporters have criticised Labour's broadcast for making a tidy partisan narrative out of the complexity of the past. Like the Conservatives trying to interfere with the teaching of history in Britain at the moment, these folks seem not to understand that every historical narrative highlights certain events, and downplays or ignores others. History can never be a neutral procession of facts.

Accepting that there are different narratives which can be made out of the same past does not mean falling into some sort of crude historical relativism, of the sort associated with certain postmodernist thinkers. We can compare and evaluate different accounts of the past by asking which of these stories has the most explanatory power. We can ask, especially, whether the interpretation which the narrative is supposed to demonstrate fits with the events that make up the narrative.

This blog has at times discussed the ramblings of Kerry Bolton, New Zealand's most prolific neo-Nazi. Bolton's texts generally discuss the same events as those of more conventional historians, but they embed these events in a very particular and very peculiar narrative. Bolton believes, for instance, that when Roger Douglas and David Lange brought neo-liberalism to this country in the 1980s they were acting at the behest of a cabal of Jewish communists and Jewish bankers.

Bolton's story about the 1980s is not taken seriously because it is so clearly out of tune with the facts it seeks to explain. There weren't many commies in the Backbone Club, after all. Bolton is an extreme case, but he illustrates how we can assess a narrative by examining how well it explains the facts it contains.

How sucessful, then, was the history lesson Labour offered in its election broadcast?

I want to suggest that a number of the events in Labour's narrative actually contradicted the party's claim to be the historical agent of the Kiwi working class and of social progress.

Labour's broadcast began by talking about the formation of the party in 1916, and showing a photo from one of its early meetings. Explaining that Labour grew out of the struggles for better working conditions and wages in early modern New Zealand, the broadcast introduced a photo taken during the bloody Waihi Strike of 1912. This image, which was used on the cover of The Red and the Gold, Stanley Roche's book about the strike, shows workers protesting the death of Fred Evans, the miner who was shot in a Waihi union hall by a gang of drunken cops and scabs. The Waihi Strike was run by the 'Red' Federation of Labour, an organisation which used slogans like 'For the abolition of wage labour' and 'To the world's workers the world's wealth'. Inspired by the Industrial Workers of the World, which was enjoying its heyday in North America in the years before World War One, the 'Red Feds' refused to become involved in parliamentary politics, planning instead to seize power and overthrow capitalism with a general strike. In the 'Great Strike' of 1913 the Red Feds confronted the right-wing government of William Massey, fighting gunbattles in the streets of Wellington and setting up revolutionary councils in several West Coast towns. Cossey eventually defeated the Red Feds by deploying thousands of armed farmers on horseback, and the power of the union movement was much reduced.

The men and women who founded the Labour Party in 1916 were making a conscious effort to chart a new direction for the union movement and for the left. Where the Red Feds had talked of smashing capitalism, the new party talked of regulating and reforming the system. Fair wages and not the abolition of the wage system were to be the new aim. Where the Red Feds had eschewed 'ordinary' politics, Labour made parliamentary elections its focus.

Labour quickly became the dominant force on the left and inside the union movement, but the tradition inaugurated by the 'Red Feds' did not disappear from this country in 1916. A number of organisations, most notably the Communist Party, reaffirmed the revolutionary tradition of the Red Feds in the inter-war years. The Red Feds' example influenced militant post-war unionists like Jock Barnes, the leader of the watersiders during their epic 1951 confrontation with the New Zealand state. In the 1970s and '80s a new generation of radical leftists founded organisations with names like the Socialist Action League and the Workers Communist League, and played a major role in the union movement and in protests over issues like war and racism. Today many members of the left-wing faction in the Mana Party identify with the radical politics of the Red Feds and their various successors.

The Red Feds and their progeny create certain problems for Labour's propagandists. Last Monday's election broadcast tried to present Labour as the sole political representatives of the Kiwi working class, but the Federation of Labour was a mass organisation which espoused a politics very different from the social democratic ideology of Labour. And, although it has been nowhere near as popular as social democracy since 1916, the tradition represented by the Red Feds has persisted in a variety of organisations.

Last Monday's broadcast tried to deal with the Red Feds by making them part of the prehistory of the Labour Party, and this sort of interpretation might be supported by certain historians. Michael King, for instance, argued in his Penguin History of New Zealand and elsewhere that the revolutionary turmoil of the pre-war years was something exceptional in our national history, and that the Labour Party which emerged from the ashes of the Red Feds was, with its moderate ideas and constitutional methods, much more representative of the New Zealand working class than its revolutionary predecessor. King suggested that the leaders of the workers' movement had to be defeated, and to learn from their defeats, before they could found a durable and successful political organisation. The minority which still held to the politics of the Red Feds was rendered irrelevant. But the revolutionary tradition in the New Zealand left was not absent from Labour's election broadcast, even after that broadcast had moved its focus forward from the turbulent first decades of the twentieth century. Even if the revolutionaries were never acknowledged by the broadcast's voiceover, they could again and again be seen, on picket lines and in protest marches.

Labour's broadcast repeatedly referred to campaigns against injustice in New Zealand, and sought to associate Labour with these campaigns. Often, though, it was the members of the tradition represented by the Red Feds who were in the vanguard of the struggles that Labour wanted to claim as its own.

Labour's broadcast discussed the Great Waterfront Lockout of 1951, and expressed sympathy with the locked out wharfies who had their civil rights annulled by Sid Holland's National government. In 1951, though, Labour refused to throw its weight behind the embattled wharfies, who turned instead for support to the Communist Party.

Labour's broadcast went on to discuss the massive anti-Springbok protests of 1981, but it gave no hint that groups to Labour's left, like the Socialist Action League and Nga Tamatoa, played vital roles in running these protests.

During a discussion of the deeply unpopular National governments of the '90s, Labour's broadcast showed footage of the eviction of pensioner Len Parker from his state house in Balmoral. Supported by the State House Action Coalition (SHAC), Parker had barricaded himself in his home in protest at the charging of market rents for state tenants. Hundreds of people turned up to try to protect Parker, and to protest his eventual removal by heavily armed police. Despite repeated requests, though, Labour refused to throw its weight behind Parker's cause. Parker himself was a member of the Socialist Workers Organisation, and many of the activists in SHAC were linked either to the Alliance Party or to small Marxist groups like the SWO or Workers Power.

Labour wants to present itself as the sole political representative of the workers' movement and the sole agent of progressive politics in New Zealand, but when it attempted to tell the story of progressive politics over the past century on Monday night its claims to exclusivity began to unravel.

The voiceover in Monday night's broadcast may have avoided mentioning men like Jock Barnes and Len Parker and organisations like the Communist Party and the Red Feds, but the events the broadcast described and the images it provided hinted at a story more complicated and more interesting than the one Labour wanted to tell.

[Posted by Maps]

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ironic that labour lays claim to the 1981 springbok protests, led by john minto (amongst others) - but won't deal with john minto and mana because they are 'extremist'

8:09 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

They wont because they are liberals (or worse in many cases) who are not interested in radical or real effective change. (Nor are National.) In parliament everyone gets paid too much, so why should anyone who can sit on a big wage and talk crap, do anything really controversial or even undertake dangerous or effective and progressive work of any kind?

There is very little difference between Labour and National, they are like Tweedle dum and Tweedle dee. They play with us who think we achieve something by voting.

I recall that eviction of Len Parker.

Now Len Parker I knew since about 1969, he was in the Communist Party of NZ and managed the left wing book shop Progressive Books in Derby Street off Queen street Auckland.

Len Parker (if he is still with us) is (or was) a good man. He wanted to stop or inhibit rent rises not only within Council Flats but elsewhere. He looked after his sick mother for years.

Maps and I and many good radicals were involved in that event.

But the Labour Government and in particular Helen Clark would have nothing to do with it.

I repeatedly asked [a certain Labour Party person] but never got a reply; (I had list of people to phone if the police made a "sudden attack" to evict Len.)They did in the end and came through the roof and evicted him (but there was a large crowd of supporters there so a propaganda victory was achieved of a kind) but even the police were impressed by Len's bravery and persistence but NOT Labour or any other parliamentarian party I know of.

They are all too scared of losing votes and hence their nicely paid and pretty cosy jobs in Wellington. Once someone is in parliament they are no longer of any use to the people of NZ in real terms.

(The exception was perhaps Keith Locke of the Green Party who at least visited Ahmed Zaoui in Mt. Eden jail (which is a very scary place) who had been held without charge on trumped up terrorist charges. Only a few others visited him.)*

Nor would Anderton of the Alliance.

The Waihi strikers were on the right track. Labour betrayed them
and took over any kudos they took from them while remaining Liberal or worse.

*And to be honest I felt a sense of terror (from the authorities, not any so-called terrorists [the US and the British military etc are the real terrorists in hte world], there is nothing to stop them from picking you up, and you could well find your self in one of the US's Guantanamo's, don't believe it cant happen) in NZ which (under Labour) slavishly followed the US and Britain in importing extra anti Terrorist Laws.

11:06 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Labour should deal with Minto (and others like him.) He is someone of immense courage, integrity, belief, and determination. I wish I had that.

He was beaten up - dragged from his own home by rugby supporters in 1981 - but he kept on with his protest actions and still does.

He has strong beliefs in justice.

Admirable if highly unusual in this complex, schizophrenic, postmodernist, Schopenhaurian and divided age.

But as they say:

Nihil bastardum carborundum!

11:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fanatical extremism does no good.

9:44 am  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

The photograph featuring the banner proclaiming "If blood be the price of your cursed wealth, Good God we have bought it fair!" was actually carried through the streets of Auckland on the anniversary of Fred Evans' death - in November 1913 - not during the Waihi Strike of 1912.

And in 1912, Richard, the NZ Labour Party didn't exist - so can hardly be accused of betraying the strikers!

The extra-parliamentary Left has indeed played an honourable role in NZ history - but mostly as the vanguard (or, in the case of 1951, the reargurad) of the main social-democratic army.

Isn't it a bit hopeful, however, to expect the Labour Party to acknowledge this relationship in its opening party political broadcast?

11:26 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks for that correction Chris. I don't think I accused the Labour Party of failing to support the Red Feds in 1912-13, but I do think that Labour's broadcast implied an unproblematic relationship between the politics of the two organisations, when arguably the foundation of Labour marked, for better or worse, a break with the politics of the Red Feds.

There are certainly cases where the far left has acted as the vanguard for the social democratic left, but there have been other cases where the two have been at odds. At Chris' blog somebody made a sarcastic reference to the disaffiliation of the Carpenters Union in 1949, which saw Labour clashing directly with the Communist Party, and to some extent rehearsing the McCarthyite tactics National would use in 1951against the wharfies.

The extent of cooperation between National and Labour in the '40s and early '50s is something that is not hinted at in Labour's election broadcast. Viewers would never have guessed that the two parties shared government for years in the '40s.

I don't think this is a completely antiquarian subject, because Labour's unwillingness to accept that it hasn't represented the whole of the left can be linked to its failure in recent years to work well with the Alliance, the Greens, and Mana.

Labour poured resources into a fight with Laila Harre in 2002, and thus removed the Alliance from parliament, turned to Winston Peters instead of the Greens for a coalition partner in 2005, and has in recent times refused to deal with Mana.

Thanks Richard for your memories of the campaign against the eviction of Len Parker. Labour was campaigning for the abolition of market rents in the 1999 election, but couldn't be persuaded to take up Len's cause (I remember being part of a convoy of SHAC vehicles which pursued Helen Clark's mobile office round her electorate one Saturday morning, trying to get an audience with her majesty. She'd see us coming and motor off!)

The Alliance, to their credit, sent their MP Grant Gillon to speak at the public meeting which followed Len's election.

4:13 pm  
Anonymous warmaker said...

The USA is the only country left with serious war making/ending capability...

key feature lacking in all the rest, including the Ruskies and Chicoms, is transport. They don’t have any. No one else has enough rolling/flying stock to get a meaningful force out of its own way. The Chicoms seem to be trying to put enough of a fleet together to get to Taiwan——big bleeping deal. The Taiwans have a lot to say about that clever bit of thinking. The entire Asia Minor complex can’t put a decent camel train together let alone a foreign invasion force. The Turks, for instance, can’t handle the Kurd bandits so they sure as bleep aren’t going to bother anyone else, even the Cretes. The entire Eurotrash theater couldn’t put on a decent fight with itself-—remember, the Germans are going down to a 180 K military, a really far cry from the 12 million they put in the field last time they got frisky.

The financial bust is going to happen. Way too many people/countries have been spending way too much of other people’s money and now it is gone. there is not the production capacity to pay off the Eurodebt under the best of times, never mind no-growth times. The Gleeks lied to the Euros about their debt load. Now the rest of the Euros are lying to each other about how bad the debt/production problem is. But in my view it’s just going to be a slow motion train wreck. A few politicians/bankers might get their throats cut but nothing really dramatic because the whole dam bunch are out of gas. Proof: Witness the wimpya$$ effort put on by the current “öccupy” movement and that bunch even seems to have financial backing.

And by the way-—the only thing it takes to knock out Iran’s nuke program is eliminating their electrical generation-——they just can’t make nukes or kibbles without megawatts...

so let it roll...

5:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Revolutionary Communist Organisation for
Liberation (RKOB), based in Austria, the United Lanka Workers Party (ULWP),
based in Sri Lanka, and the Revolutionary Workers Collective (RWC),
based in the USA, have decided to work together for the formation of an
international revolutionary communist tendency. The founding cadres of these
organisations were leading members of the League for Fifth International (LFI)
from
which they were either expelled or resigned in the recent past.
At the
moment no consistently revolutionary international organisation exists. All the
existing international tendencies which claim to stand on the basis of Marxism,
Leninism and Trotskyism have shown that in fact they are non-revolutionary,
centrist formations. In various articles which we have published recently we
demonstrated this using the examples of two major events in the global class
struggles 2011 – the Arab Revolution and the August Uprising of the poor in
Britain.
This crisis
of the working class leadership is a tragedy given the tasks and challenges of
the new historic revolutionary period which opened at the end of the 2000s.
Capitalism as a system is in a historic crisis. of the

7:53 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I didn't mean they betrayed them in Waihi. The right wing farmers and general Tories and so on were more to blame...

I used that term in order to get some reaction from Labourites by the way.

At the time of Len's drama I have to concede I didn't expect Labour to get involved as an election was in the air...what year was that Scott?

It seems to me that the pre 1984 Labour-National difference was much clearer. But they were never "radical". At poor old Brent Lewis's funeral, where I saw Goff (he comes across better in person than on TV by the way) I told Mike Moore he and his mates were a bit hypocritical (pretending or thinking they were Red Feds) but he looked sad and said "Sorry"!!; so I felt bad about it! They had really enjoyed singing their song about Joe Hill!!

When I saw National's (policies) in last Thursday's Herald I did a double take. If they can even think of or allow terms such as "only those who are terminally ill will be exempt" (from seeking work.) That is terrible.

Also for me there is no question that any women or person who is caring for children for me up to 18 or even longer should be required to NOT work [except in the case where the child is over 15 (or at a reasonable age) and there is sufficient care available] and be supported by the state. The family is hugely important. National are prepared to sacrifice people it seems.

Conversely, whatever the cost, if women (or an other carer) wishes to work and child is of reasonable age and can be cared for the State need to provide for that.

Something to that effect, in any case no one should be put under duress who is not well for work or who is caring for children.

I also oppose asset sales. In fact if I was Government, I would go further, I would put the electricity generation and distribution and telecommunications immediately into Government hands. I would use force if necessary.

But that is why I will never be the Dick Tator of NZ!

So I will vote Labour for the same old reasons, I prefer Labour on certain humanitarian issues. But the difference is not so great these days.

And I think that say Helen Clark with all her faults from the (far?) Left's point of view, did have good qualities as the last real leader...but that is only a subjective reaction. Goff isn't bad as a person but again the system means he will be "corrupted". This doesn't mean he cant do better than Key. Probably can as long as he doesn't tinker with retirement etc.

But from a realistic point of view Key (who smiles too much for me) seems to have the initiative...as if it were a game of chess!

I think people start with good intentions but they get paid too much in the end.... "Money corrupts and absolute money corrupts absolutely."

9:22 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

1999 it was. Now I can fix the time.

"warmaker said...

The USA is the only country left with serious war making/ending capability... "

You're not script writer for the Simpsons are you by the way?

9:27 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Yes, my history is not as good as it could be. I wished I had studied more history now. But it is so vast a subject.

I'm sacred to start on say NZ history as seriously as literature as I would have to buy another house to store my (inevitably huge) collection or amassment of books on the subject, most of which would be unread! Or partly read...and even less of it understood as with literature or whatever else I have accumulated.

But, as if more were more indeed, I would collect or obsessively acquire them like all hoarders and collectors as a kind of desperate measure to fend off death I suppose.

I love that song John Rowles use to sing about time...

"Time like the wind goes a hurrying by..."

9:42 pm  
Anonymous warmaker said...

hey crapstain you want to fucki fight???

just put up your dukes mate...any fuckin time any fuckin place.

ill nock your fuckin block off

9:43 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

You're too kind.

9:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warmaker by name, Warmaker by nature.

What a plonker.

10:03 pm  
Anonymous warmaker said...

The left never go to war. They are pacifists and cowards. The first Labour Govt was full of them, many from Australia including Savage. Indeed no MP could be in Savages Cabinet if he had been to war. That created the problem with John A Lee as he was the only Labour person who had been an enlisted soldier. And look what the lefties did to him. His story is a good read although most of the lefties deny it.Clarks lot were the same as are most of their camp followers.

FUCKIN TRAITROS!!!1

10:47 pm  
Blogger Garage Collective said...

I was about to point out the mistaken date re the Evan's procession, but I see Chris has done that already.

Just a quick note: the Red Feds never completely ruled out parliamentary politics; instead the majority employed the De Leonite 'double-wing' theory of an industrial, direct action wing coupled with revolutionary political action. This was heavily criticised by the Industrial Workers of the World in NZ.

I'm not saying this to counter the main argument that Labour comes from this tradition, because I agree they do not (and have argued this in my book: http://libcom.org/history/remains-be-seen-tracing-joe-hills-ashes-new-zealand, and on air: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/documentaries/wobbliesdownunder). But simply to point out that the IWW was more representative of direct action, class struggle politics than the Red Feds, and that it was from this tradition that helped keep anti-political struggle an influential (if only a minority) strand throughout our labour history.

For anyone interested in what Maps has posted, I would recommend reading anything by Kerry Taylor, who has contributed a lot of work towards critiquing the Labourist mythology that has dominated the historiograph (see here: http://redruffians.tumblr.com/post/10030347168/our-motto-no-compromise-the-ideological-origins-and)

Jared Davidson

11:06 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks for that Jared. I've found Kerry Taylor's writing on the Communist Party - his essay on the party's relationship with Maori, for instance - interesting.

11:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maps!

It's been a while since I've checked in. I just wanted to thank you for your previous post re: E.P Thompson (some time ago) as this lead me to search out one of his books entitled 'The Making of the English working class' which I plan to read soon.

Love this site!

Regards
M (the M from the USA, not the other one!)

Support Occupy Wall Street!

2:39 pm  
Anonymous warmaker said...

For the life of me, I can’t fathom that the Democrats didn’t appropriate funding to building a statue of Mitt Romney. Romney the Red Menace might technically be a Republican but in his heart he is a Communist as Mao or Lenin. Mere gratitude would seem to suggest that the Democratic Party would honor the scoundrel who made Socialist health care a reality in the United States. Alas, Romney the Red Menace will have to settle for screwing up the opportunity for Republican Party to make Barack Obama a one-term President. After all, if the choice is between two hardcore Communists, then why vote for the Republican nominee at all (same goes for Jon Huntsman).

The fact that Mitt Romney is the current Republican front-runner for the Republican nomination speaks volumes about how bad the Republican establishment has become under the influence of the evil and treasonous Bush Family. Speaking of the stench that is the Bush Family, I recall a Newsmax article a few years ago where Jeb Bush praised Mitt Romney’s Communist health care plan. At that time Mitt Romney was only screwing up the state of Massachusetts, rather than the entire country. Makes perfect sense since both Bush and Romney are Socialist birds of a crooked feather. Jeb Bush is pro-amnesty for millions of hardened and unrepentant criminals for the outlaw nation of Mexico. Romney the Red Menace loves to hire the illegal aliens to do his yard work. I bet Mitt Romney doesn’t even know how to start a lawn mower since he seems to be distinctly unacquainted with real work.

So Romney the Red Menace has the blessing of the Republican establishment and the Bush Family. It makes sense since the Bush Family is desperate to get Jeb Bush into the White House by hook or crook (mostly crook). This why the Karl Rove, the Architect of Destroying the Republican Brand, is on retainer by Fox and

10:48 pm  
Anonymous warmaker said...

For the life of me, I can’t fathom that the Democrats didn’t appropriate funding to building a statue of Mitt Romney. Romney the Red Menace might technically be a Republican but in his heart he is a Communist as Mao or Lenin. Mere gratitude would seem to suggest that the Democratic Party would honor the scoundrel who made Socialist health care a reality in the United States. Alas, Romney the Red Menace will have to settle for screwing up the opportunity for Republican Party to make Barack Obama a one-term President. After all, if the choice is between two hardcore Communists, then why vote for the Republican nominee at all (same goes for Jon Huntsman).

The fact that Mitt Romney is the current Republican front-runner for the Republican nomination speaks volumes about how bad the Republican establishment has become under the influence of the evil and treasonous Bush Family. Speaking of the stench that is the Bush Family, I recall a Newsmax article a few years ago where Jeb Bush praised Mitt Romney’s Communist health care plan. At that time Mitt Romney was only screwing up the state of Massachusetts, rather than the entire country. Makes perfect sense since both Bush and Romney are Socialist birds of a crooked feather.

10:48 pm  
Anonymous warmaker said...

saw on Youtube, Erika Grey, a Biblical prophet read some scriptures indicating that the Antichrist comes from the Tribe of Dan.
My friend from Utah told me that her grandfather is one of the Quorum. (The Mormon church's governing hierarchy)
She told me that their top secret is to gain world power and become the world leader but, they first need to have a US president. I asked her if she knew about the Tribe of Dan? She replied, "Yes, they are the Mormon church's secret service and they do exist."

10:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the composition of “Occupy Wall Street” is really a small clique of vanguardists-by-any-other-name steeped in High Theory and nihilism, and a much larger mass of well-meaning people who, but for a set of cultural or generational reference-points, might as well be going to Tea Party events. The ease with which the incoherent “99%” slogan was taken up, as well as the odd prominence of the term “occupation” (a buzzword of the academicized ultra-left), makes me wonder.

12:05 am  
Anonymous markus said...

I come from a strong Labour family. My grandmother, for instance, had been very active in the Party since the early 1920s and knew most of the leaders (including, of course, the former Red Feds).

My mother was a Junior Labour Party activist in the late 40s and early 50s in Wellington, but she told me recently that she was so incensed by Nash's refusal to come down on the side of the Wharfies that at the 1951 Election she voted for the Communist candidate as a protest, albeit a silent one(she was 21, it was her first ever vote). The only election where she hasn't voted Labour.

5:02 am  

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