Welcome to The Keir Hardie Society
The First Labour Government
This year is the centenary of the very first Labour Government in the UK, led by Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. Here, we tell the story of that government and pose some lessons from history for the Labour Party today. jan_24_election.pdf. Our blog also has a review of David Torrance's excellent new study of the period, The Wild Men.
Keir Hardie and the ILP formation
Come and join a discussion, in person or online, on Monday, 13 November 2023, at 7 p.m. in John Smith House, Room 4 145/165 West Regent Street Glasgow G2 4RZ. Chair: Pauline Bryan Labour Peer. Speakers: Richard Leonard, MSP and Dave Watson, Secretary, Keir Hardie Society. Register here.
Keir Hardie and India
Keir Hardie visited India from 18 September 1907 to 17 October 1907.
His deep involvement in the movement for Indian Independence broadened the vision of Labour regarding conditions in India and began the process of giving Labour a viable imperial and colonial policy which bore fruit in 1947. He is fondly remembered in India to this day. We have a new page with resources on this visit.
Keir Hardie and the Merthyr election of 1900
In our latest blog post, Dave Watson takes a look at how Keir Hardie became the unlikely MP for Merthyr Tydfil in 1900.
Annual General Meeting - 24 October 2023
Our latest bulletin includes details of the society AGM on 24 October 2023 at 7pm.
As on that day in 1900, the General Election concluded, and Keir Hardie was elected as the MP for Merthyr Tydfil, the theme will be Keir Hardie and Wales.
Keir Hardie speeches in the House of Commons
This is a new section on the website in which we will highlight Keir Hardie's speeches as an MP.
The first covers the South Africa Bill of 1909 and the non-racial franchise. Then the South Wales Coal Strike of 1910-11.
The August 1911 debate on the employment of the military in strikes has several parallels with the UK government's handling of current day disputes.
You can watch Jon Hyslop's presentation on our YouTube channel.
Scottish Labour Party conference
If you are attending the Scottish Labour Party conference in Glasgow, 4-6 March 2022, come and say hello. We are at Stand 8. For a topical take on Keir Hardie's views on Russia, we have a new blog post. on the subject.
Keir Hardie and Christianity
Keir Hardie was a Christian and a socialist, a man of firm religious conviction, but not a supporter of the orthodox churches, which in his view had strayed from Christian teaching. As Hardie himself said, ‘Believe, says the preacher. Believe and Act, says the socialist.’
In this article we explore Keir Hardie's views on Christianity.
People's History Museum
The People's History Museum in Manchester has an excellent collection of materials related to Keir Hardie and the period. Well worth a visit.
AGM and Open Meeting
The next meeting of the Keir Hardie Society will be held on Thursday 28 October 2021 at 7pm. This meeting will be held over the video conferencing system Zoom. We hope this will be an opportunity for members and supporters worldwide to participate.
The guest speakers will be Lachlan Munro and Gerry McGarvey on R.B.Cunninghame Graham and Keir Hardie. Lachlan is the author of 'An Eagle in the Hen-House', selected political speeches and writings of R.B. Cunninghame Graham.
Keir Hardie Trail - Ayrshire
Why not visit the sites associated with Keir Hardie in Ayrshire this summer. A Keir Hardie staycation or just a day out if you live locally.
On new trail page sets out the sites to visit with an interactive map.
Keir Hardie and Home Rule
Keir Hardie's support for Home Rule is often misunderstood and sometimes misrepresented. In this article we explain the context of Keir Hardie's support for Home Rule and what it meant. Keir Hardie was a socialist, not a nationalist. His and the early Labour Party’s support for Home Rule was part of the Liberal tradition that was closer to what we would recognise as devolution today.
You can also download a PDF version of this article here.
West Ham South election 120th anniversary booklet
The excellent Newham Council booklet is now available as a download.
Happy Birthday Hardie!
The Radical Rising of 1820
The 200th anniversary of a less well known part of the radical 19th century tradtion, which Keir Hardie liked to reference. In the blog we outline the context, events and lessons learned from 1820 by later agitators, including Keir Hardie.
What would Keir Hardie say: Where next for the Labour Party?
Blackwell's is hosting Pauline Bryan heading up a panel of experts to consider the legacy of Labour founder Keir Hardie.
27 February 2020 at Blackwells Edinburgh South Bridge starting at 18:30.
Tickets from eventbrite.
Insurrection: Scotland's Famine Winter
We review James Hunter's new book on the less well known Scottish potato famine, which led to insurrection in parts of the north of Scotland. This arguably had later political consequences.
Our September Bulletin has just gone out. It includes a link to our new book - Keir Hardie and the 21th Century Socialist Revival. Available from Luath Press.
Keir Hardie in South Africa
Our Secretary's blog post covers Hardie's controversial visit to South Africa in 1907. Right wing groups attacked many of his meetings and his views created a few challenges for the labour movement in the country.
Respecting our history
The Society has made a submission to the Scottish Labour Party's First Stage policy consultation paper. It sets out our concerns over the current state of historical resources in Scotland and recommends a number of positive actions.
Keir Hardie's brush with sedition
A file in the National Archives includes a complaint that Keir Hardie and others were inciting sedition in relation to the use of troops during strikes in 1912. The full story is in our blog.
Keir Hardie and the 21st Century Socialist Revival
2019 Scottish Labour Party Conference
The Keir Hardie Society hosted a reception at the 2019 Scottish Labour conference in Dundee, to promote the work of the society and to encourage delegates to join.
The reception was held in the Apex Hotel, Dundee on Friday 8 March. Jeremy Corbyn MP, Lesley Laird MP and Richard Leonard MSP spoke about their links to the society and its work.
The Keir Hardie Society is grateful to UNISON Labour Link for sponsoring the event.
Great Railway Journeys to Keir Hardie
In the Lowland town of Cumnock, canvassers are out in force – it is the cradle of the Labour Party and home of its founder, Keir Hardie. Michael Portillo braves enemy territory to discover Hardie’s influence today. Interview with Cathy Jamieson. You can view the programme on BBC iPlayer.
Keir Hardie Society Badges
On sale in the shop.
Keir Hardie MP
The Case for Socialism April 1901
Download our membership leaflet and application form. khs_membership_flyer.pdf