Chapter 14 – The Labour Party consolidates its Jewish votes

by Jason Lever

Posted on Sun, 01 Dec 2013 17:25:36 GMT

Solomon enters union leadership

Labour’s entry into the coalition government in 1915 made the party more mainstream. The extended franchise in 1918 brought it more working-class (including Jewish) voters and growing post-war economic and social pressures helped create demands for social reform, all in the Labour Party’s favour (ref: Alderman 1983; Weightman and Humphries).

During the First World War, socialists had already gained appeal by opposing the government’s “conscription or deportation” policy, which had led to anti-Jewish riots in London and Leeds.

By the mid-1930s, Labour was the normal political home of the mass of working-class Jews as well as many middle-class Jews. Increasing prosperity in the clothing and the boot and shoe trades created the population shift of Jews from the East End to Hackney, Stamford Hill, Walthamstow, Bow and Leyton, yet many remained Labour supporters (ref: Alderman 1983 and 1981).

By the end of the 1920s, Solomon Lever was grappling with the finances of the London Jewish Bakers Union. Michael Pruth (or Prooth), general secretary, had been deported to Russia after riding a white horse in a demonstration during the general strike in 1926. His successor, L. Brenner, was convicted of misappropriating funds. H. Wilson was jailed for forgery.

From 1929, under Solomon Lever’s stewardship, ‘the administration of the union as a whole was put in order’ and he remained at its helm for three decades (ref: Wayne).

Hackney Jewish-Unions Labour-Party

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Chapter 1 - Introducing Solomon Lever and his l...Chapter 2 - The Jewish East EndChapter 3 - A family history of Solomon LeverChapter 4 - A Jewish East End education for Sol...Chapter 5 - Joining East End cultural and commu...Chapter 6 - Solomon as a cabinet makerChapter 7 – From cabinet maker to trade union g...Chapter 8 – Rise of the London Jewish Bakers UnionChapter 9 – Dealing with the challenges of a de...Chapter 10 – Solomon’s journey to Jewish trade ...Chapter 11 – Interlude of anarchism’s appeal to...Chapter 12 – Solomon Lever finds his home in th...Chapter 13 – The Liberal and Conservative partiesChapter 14 – The Labour Party consolidates its ...Chapter 15 – The appeal of East End councils’ s...Chapter 16 – The rise and fall of communist sup...Chapter 17 – Surging Labourism after the warChapter 18 – The Labour Party’s support for Zio...Chapter 19 – Short-lived Labour-Zionist honeymoonChapter 20 – Solomon Lever’s 1947 broadcast spe...Chapter 21 – Solomon Lever’s 1948 speech from t...Chapter 22 – Solomon Lever’s 1954 speech from t...Chapter 23 – Solomon Lever’s final TUC speech i...Chapter 24 – His Worshipful The Mayor and Mayor...Chapter 25 – Family connections in the Mayor’s ...Chapter 26 – Important social issues raised wit...Chapter 27 – The adbuction of Solomon LeverChapter 28 – Discovery of Solomon’s bodyChapter 29 – InquestChapter 30 – The death of Solomon LeverChapter 31 – Solomon’s funeral and obituaryChapter 32 – The death knell of the London Jewi...Chapter 33 – An appraisalChapter 34 – Bibliography