to have sided with the colliery manager against a lodge member when a dispute went to arbitration. The Llanhilleth lodge was now presided over by a man who was known for his dissident views on the war and for his support of the left wing within the SWMF. The depth of support for Gwilym in the lodge was illustrated by the two special votes of confidence in him as the lodge chairman which were passed by mass meetings after attempts by Pask to unseat Gwilym during 1921.64 Therefore, by early 1920 in the internal politics of these two miners' lodges a significant move to the left is evident. If Charles Stanton's project to mobilize 'patriotic' labour as an alternative to the leadership of the formal labour movement was to succeed it was in lodges like these, given their enthusiastic patriotism during the war, that his chances were greatest. His failure to capture lodges such as Fforchaman in his own district was fatal to his long-term political future. Central to this failure were two related factors. The first was Stanton's rejection of the miners' principal political demands and his lack of sympathy for the increasingly militant mood within the SWMF. Stanton portrayed both of these as the illegitimate outcome of intrigues by an unrepresentative and extremist minority of 'Bolshies' within the coalfield. The second factor illustrates the centrality of such labour leaders to the broader totality of working-class life within the coalfield and emphasizes in a contrary manner the isolation of Stanton and his colleagues from the structures and institutions that shaped the responses of the mining community. Throughout the coalfield, the miners' lodge was becoming the pre-eminent social and political institution in a manner that underscored the position of lodge officials and local labour leaders in a complex and encompassing matrix of social relations and responsibilities. This class-based politics meant that, while the political fortunes of individual Labour leaders were susceptible to local shifts in public opinion, the movement itself was secure because it was rooted in the social situation of the mining communities. Those who stood outside such relationships and responsibilities had increasing difficulty in locating themselves within these communities. Stanton's colleagues in the BWL simply could not match or replace them. This failure severely limited the prospects for the triumph of 'patriotic' labour in the south Wales coalfield. 64 Llanhilleth Steam Coal Lodge minutes, 1919-21, passim.