Lansbury's Labour Weekly

Lansbury's Labour Weekly (U.K.) / 1925

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Design: The graphic treatment is brutally direct: a simple stripe across the centre, almost suggestive of a blood-smear. The 'red flag' seen at the top, universally recognized as a symbol of warning and danger, was first adopted in 1871 as a symbol of socialism by the Paris Commune of the French Revolution, and has since been used by communist countries such as Russia and China.

History: George Lansbury (1859-1940), British politician, socialist, Christian pacifist and newspaper editor, was an MP from 1910-1912 and 1922-1940, and leader of the Labour Party 1932 - 1935. A 'novelty' series (in that they were supposedly "the first Labour records in the world") of six records bearing his name were issued in 1925. Label scan courtesy of Mike Weaver of the Working Class Movement Library in the U.K., who writes: "There were six records in the original offering, which carried 11 songs and one talk by Lansbury. After Lansbury's Labour Weekly was absorbed by the Independent Labour Party's 'New Leader' in 1929, three more titles were added, for a total of nine. The later additions consisted of a talk on one side, with a song on the other (the talks were by two MPs and the miners' trade union leader). Rufus John's real name was John Goss." ('Rufus,' of course, means 'Red.') William Morris, whose name appears here, was a highly influential 19th century artist/designer and social activist and founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which sought to elevate pride in craftsmanship as an answer to social ills.

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