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War declared Trotsky is the locomotive of history Bourne 1989p 191 When considering the attitude of the people towards the change governmental intervention had in their lives one must consider a number of different aspects The scene must firstly be set by ascertaining the mood of the people upon the outbreak of war and this Bourne eloquently describes The British urban working class was the oldest industrial workforce in the world Its class-consciousness was very strong It was well organised It had a sharp awareness of its industrial strength It was quite remarkably strike-prone It was also riven with divisions petty snobberies and subtle distinctions It was disciplined and deferential conformist and hedonistic patriotic and loyal It showed little interest in radical ideologies It had a vast fund of goodwill towards Britain s national institutions especially the monarchy and parliament From the point of view of a hard- pressed government in time of war the working class was far from intractable There was however a sticking point This was fairness a concept deeply rooted in Anglo-Saxon culture Government could ignore fairness only at its peril Bourne 1989 p 204 These were the people the government were given the task of cajoling into acquiescence people that had become accustomed to Free Trade private enterprise and minimal governmental interference Despite this scenario however political Liberalism was seen to be evolving in response to social problems and the rise of labour and the war became the locomotive which accelerated the change in British politics and society It was only when the pressures of war were brought to bear that the government gradually abandoned its laissez faire principles in favour of direct control The goal was to fight a war but simultaneously preserve the living standards of the civilians so as to uphold morale on the home front and in the factories needed to supply the military front Bourne suggests that The nature
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