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Chapter 5 shifts to the island colony of Singapore, where Australia’s Eighth AMF Division defended the island alongside British and local forces and volunteers in the weeks before its capitulation, suffering greatly as Japanese captives. The chapter describes the dispersal of camps at the fall of Singapore, following the fate of Australian and other Allied soldiers across an emergent camp geography. Its main aim is envisioning the entirety of the island as converted to an encampment through the distribution of Allied camps, including the dispersal of work camps in requisitioned domestic and institutional facilities, exploring how wartime defense and capitulation provided structures for contemporary citizenship.
Drawing upon the case studies of Ilford, Epping, Birmingham Moseley and Liverpool East Toxteth, this chapter explores the relationship between the National Government and popular Conservatism in suburban, predominantly middle-class constituencies. In the 1920s, as chapter 2 argued, suburban Conservatives rejected Baldwin’s attempts to appeal to voters along apolitical lines and instead urged a robust party stance; however, their own struggle to rehabilitate the conspicuous partisanship that had characterised the civic culture of Edwardian Conservatism – and which they interpreted as apathy among ‘known’ local Conservatives - led many activists to doubt the future prospects of Conservatism in the face of Labour competition. Chapter 5 argues that 1931 proved a turning point. The experience of the general election of that year initiated Conservative activists to the advantages of articulating a non-party variety of anti-socialism that matched the cross-party makeup of the National Government. It also encouraged them to cultivate an ostensibly non-party presence in the associational life of the suburbs, including in the new housing estates. Yet, as the chapter demonstrates, the National Government continued to challenge the suburban Conservative activist in some ways: National anti-socialism could be as much a source of competition as cooperation between local Conservatives and Liberals, and the government’s policy of Indian constitutional reform antagonised elements within the party. Even so, by 1935, the Conservatives’ suburban grassroots, so often the voice of diehard Conservatism, remained wedded to the National Government and looked enthusiastically to Baldwin as both the embodiment and facilitator of its ‘national’ appeal.
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