Some Scenes from the Battle of Liverpool

A.J.P. Taylor

  • Democracy and Sectarianism: A Political and Social History of Liverpool 1868-1939 by P.J. Waller
    Liverpool, 556 pp, £24.50, May 1981, ISBN 0 85223 074 5

Liverpool has always been a special case in British politics. At first glance the pattern may appear much the same as anywhere else: Whig and Tory, Liberal and Conservative, with Labour intruding towards the end. The names may be the same: their significance was widely different. For instance, Unitarians provided early 19th-century Liverpool with its intellectual aristocracy. Somewhat later, Liverpool more than anywhere else produced that strange anomaly, the Conservative working man, who kept Liverpool Toryism afloat. Liverpool was also distinguished by the rule of the party boss. The Conservatives had a whole dynasty of them: Sir Arthur Forwood, Sir Archibald Salvidge and Sir Thomas White. Even Labour followed the example thus set, in the person of John Braddock, a founder member of the Communist Party who lapsed into respectability. Perhaps one should include his wife Bessie in the list.

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