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However, he grew disillusioned with the party, believing it was being corrupted by the nature of government and concerned only with winning elections.He felt that the federal Labour MPs were unable and unwilling to change society, and their prominence within the movement was stifling and over-shadowing organised labour.Following the strike, Mann was elected President of the newly formed Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers' Union, with Tillett as General Secretary.Tillett and Mann wrote a pamphlet called New Unionism, which advanced the utopian ideal of a co-operative commonwealth.

He managed Keir Hardie's electoral campaign in Lanark before returning to London in 1888, where he worked in support of the Bryant and May match factory strike.In 1893 there were rumours that he intended to become a minister.He advocated the co-operative model of economic organisation, but resisted alliance between the ILP and other socialist organisations in Britain, like the Fabians.After reading the Communist Manifesto in 1886, Mann became a communist.He now believed the main purpose of the labour movement should be to overthrow capitalism, rather than just to ameliorate the condition of workers under it.

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