„Might and spirit will win and incalculable political and social consequences will follow upon victory. Victory must therefore be ours. England is not played out. Her mission is not accomplished. She can, if she would, take the place of esteemed honour among the democracies of the world, and if peace is to come with healing on her wings the democracies of Europe must be her guardians... History, will, in due time, apportion the praise and the blame, but the young men of the country must, for the moment, settle the immediate issue of victory. Let them do it in the spirit of the brave men who have crowned our country with honour in times that have gone. Whoever may be in the wrong, men so inspired will be in the right. The quarrel was not of the people, but the end of it will be the lives and liberties of the people. Should an opportunity arise to enable me to appeal to the pure love of country - which I know is a precious sentiment in all our hearts, keeping it clear of thought which I believe to be alien to real patriotism - I shall gladly take that opportunity. If need be I shall make it for myself. I wish the serious men of the Trade Union, the Brotherhood and similar movements to face their duty. To such it is enough to say 'England has need of you'; to say it in the right way. They will gather to her aid. They will protect her when the war is over, they will see to it that the policies and conditions that make it will go like the mists of a plague and shadows of a pestilence.“
— Ramsay MacDonald
Letter to the Mayor of Leicester, declining to speak at a recruitment meeting (September 1914), quoted in David Marquand, Ramsay MacDonald (Metro, 1997), p. 175.