Life of John Wheatley
By John Hannan
John Wheatley was the architect of left-wing opposition on Red Clydeside during the First World War. He alone commanded the loyality and respect of all the different groupings amongst the socialists, including such diverse firebrands as Maxton, Gallagher and Kirkwood. It is to Wheatley that the main credit must go for the achievement of the Independent Labour Party in Glasgow which provided two-thirds of the city's elected representatives at Westminster.
Wheatley was appointed a minister in the 1924 Labour Government; his Housing Act becoming the one lasting monument of that administration. His challenge to the British Labour movement after that Government's fall remains pertinent today.
Labour's rising support in Scotland is a good springboard for the revitilization of the whole Party. The example of John Wheatley's imaginative, yet practical socialist commitment should be a real stimulus to that process.
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