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Ernest Bevin v Stafford Cripps

Anne McElvoy traces the battle for British socialism's soul amid the crises of the 1930s - between trade union leader Ernest Bevin and revolutionary barrister Sir Stafford Cripps.

In the 1930s, the Depression hit Britain, fascism advanced in Europe, and the Labour Party was thrown into crisis by its leader's decision to form a National Government with Liberals and Conservatives.

In this episode, Anne traces the battle between rival traditions of British socialism amid the crises of the 1930s.

Should the Labour Party's goal be pragmatic reform in concert with the trade unions - as advocated by union leader Ernest Bevin?

Or should socialists follow revolutionary barrister Sir Stafford Cripps and aim for all-out transformation of Britain, however ferocious the ensuing right-wing opposition? Even if it meant suspending democracy?

With: Laura Beers, Steve Fielding, David Howell, Jon Lawrence

Producer: Phil Tinline.

Available now

15 minutes