Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Social Credit Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was a political party in the United Kingdom. It grew out of the Kibbo Kift, which was established in 1920 as a more craft-based alternative for youth to the Boy Scouts.

The organisation was led by John Hargrave, who gradually turned the movement into a paramilitary movement for social credit. With its supporters wearing a political uniform of green shirts, in 1932 it became known as the Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit and in 1935 it took its final name, the "Social Credit Party". The party published the newspaper "Attack" and was linked to a small number of incidents where green-painted bricks were thrown through windows, including that of 11 Downing Street (where the Chancellor of the Exchequer lives).

The party stood a single candidate in the 1935 general election, a Mr. W. Townend, who polled 11% of the vote in Leeds South. Despite this lack of success, Hargrave was invited by William Aberhart to take an advisory post in the Government of the Province of Alberta, Canada, that had been formed by the Social Credit Party of Alberta.

The party began to decline when political uniforms were banned in 1937. Its activities were curtailed during World War II, and attempts to rebuild afterwards around a campaign against bread rationing had little success. Hargrave stood again in the 1950 general election, but after he gained only 551 votes, the party disbanded itself in 1951.

A second Social Credit Party was founded in 1965 by C. J. Hunt, a member of the former party, but it had little success and disbanded in 1978.

Monetary reform supporters

Notable supporters of Social Credit or "monetary reform" in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s included A. V. Roe the aircraft manufacturer, Frederick Soddy the scientist, and Oswald Mosley, in 1928-30 a member of the Labour Government but later the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Major Douglas, the British pioneer of Social Credit did not believe that Social Credit should be a political party.


* ['yma') Catalogue of the Youth Movement Archive (including the papers of the Social Credit Party] at the [ Archives Division] of the London School of Economics.
* [ Kibbo Kift Foundation]

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