FALSE DOCTRINE, HERESY, AND SCHISM
(1) O'Connor's Breach with Lovett (1841)
Whilst striving, with energy and success, to establish his supremacy over the National Charter Association, O'Connor was carrying on a vigorous campaign against all rival and parallel organisations within the Chartist world. In this warfare he had the enthusiastic and unquestioning support of the great mass of the members of the Association, who were anxious above all to avoid the schisms and disunion which had been so devastating in 1839. Even allies were not tolerated if they aspired to independence; there must be one army and one leader. Thus the personal desires of O'Connor and the intolerant notions of his followers worked together for the same ends.
The first rival scheme to come under O'Connor's ban was the National Association for Promoting the Improvement of the People, which, as we have seen, was being inaugurated by Lovett and Collins. The opposition between Lovett and O'Connor was the opposition of two completely different personalities. Lovett was a thin, delicate, nervous, retiring, serious, and ascetic man to whom life was a tragedy, made bearable only by self-abnegation and devotion to the welfare of others. O'Connor was a great, burly, bouncing, hail-fellow-well-met, to whom the essence of life was political agitation, involving crowds, excitement, applause, and authority, the end and purpose of the agitation being but secondary. The two were totally incompatible. Lovett lacked the saving grace of a sense of humour, and O'Connor jarred on