Stanley Baldwin’s leadership is generally portrayed as being integral to the Conservative party’s success between the wars, unifying the disparate factions within the party, and creating a Conservative middle ground. Baldwin promoted an anti-socialist politics which identified the party with constitutionalism, moderate social reform and the national interest. The discourse of ‘Baldwinite Conservatism’ offered a brand of constructive anti-socialism which had a significantly wider appeal than the Edwardian tariff reform campaign or the press-led anti-waste agitation of the early 1920s. Nonetheless, the symbiotic relationship between the party’s national leadership and grassroots organisations has arguably been underestimated. Baldwin’s rhetoric was effectively mediated and disseminated through conversations with groups like the Women’s Unionist Organisation.
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