Joan Maynard
in English radicalism in the twentieth century
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Maynard was a working-class, left-wing socialist and trade unionist from rural North Yorkshire. Although late In her career she became a Labour MP, on the extreme left of the PLP, her first involvement in the labour movement was through the Agricultural Workers’ Union. And it was her championing of the agricultural workers’ cause that remained her priority. She was utterly uncorrupted by the ‘mystique’ of Parliament and its culture; and she retained completely her adherence to socialism and its commitment to fairness, justice and equality. She was one of a small number of MPs who campaigned for peace in Northern Ireland and who supported the cause, though not the violent methods, of the IRA for a united Ireland. Maynard represented the rural, working-class and socialist strand of English radicalism, and was uncompromising in her adherence to morally based socialist values.

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