Guilty and Proud of it! Poplar's Rebel Councillors and Guardians 1919-25, by Janine Booth
Published by Merlin in 2009, 198 pages. Paperback (N3731)
Brand New Book
In the aftermath of the First World War, thirty Labour councillors from Poplar in East London went to prison rather than accepting unfair taxes.
With unemployment rising in 1921 in Bow, Limehouse, Millwall and Old Ford, Poplar Borough Council was faced with immense financial hardship, as the London borough was one of the poorest in the country and could not afford to meet the ever increasing demands of it's povery stricken residents .
Poplar councillors, including future labour leader George Lansbury, demanded that rates from richer areas should help. Rich Kensington had a hugely greater rateable value and fewer jobless people; it could afford to pay more. So Poplar refused to pay over rates to the London County Council, and thus began the Poplar Revolt.......
Drawing on archive research and on newspaper reports, this book tells the fascinating story of the support mobilised by Poplar Council, and begins when newly-enfranchised working-class voters elected Labour to run the Council in 1919. For the next two years, it improved life for Poplar residents, coming into ever-increasing conflict with the central authorities and the local government funding system.
The crisis came in 1921, when Poplar Council refused to levy a portion of its rates, and 30 councillors were sent to prison......