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Democratic socialism and sectarianism

This is a definitive history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP), a unique political force that drew its support from Protestants and Catholics and became electorally viable despite deep-seated ethnic, religious and national divisions. Formed in 1924 and disbanded in 1987, it succeeded in returning several of its members to the locally based Northern Ireland parliament in 1925–29 and 1958–72, and polled some 100,000 votes in the 1964 and 1970 British general elections. Despite its political successes, the NILP's significance has been downplayed by historians, partly because of the lack of empirical evidence and partly to reinforce the simplistic view of Northern Ireland as the site of the most protracted sectarian conflict in modern Europe. The book brings together archival sources and the oral testimonies of the NILP's former members to explain the enigma of an extraordinary political party operating in extraordinary circumstances. It situates the NILP's successes and failures in a broad historical framework, providing the reader with a balanced account of twentieth-century Northern Irish political history.

The attacks of 9/11 constitute one of those moments in history that divides before and after. They led to a declaration of a ‘War on Terror’ from George W. Bush, President of the United States, on 20 September 2001, a call to arms that would be answered by many European states, the UK included. The threat was understood as an ‘Islamist’ terrorism, a perverse reading of the Muslim faith whose proponents spanned the world. 1 Soon after the attacks, the United States, with the aid of key allies, invaded

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity

3 James Connolly’s Labour in Irish History Fintan Lane Where O where is our James Connolly Where O where is that gallant man? Patrick Galvin, Irish Songs of Resistance (1955) Introduction James Connolly (1868–1916) – Marxist, trade unionist, historian, separatist rebel against British rule and national martyr – is embedded in Irish popular consciousness, and there are few on the island of Ireland who have not heard of him, even if their understanding of the historical figure is often somewhat hazy or coloured by misconceptions. In Dublin, the important Amiens

in Mobilising classics
Perspectives on civilisation in Latin America

151 7 Engagement in the cross-​currents of history: perspectives on civilisation in Latin America In this chapter, I  explore Latin American experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations. Most of the theoretical engagements canvassed in Part I either sequester Latin American experiences or do not do them justice. In the past, Latin America has been judged poorly when questions of its civilisational character have been asked. Scholars in modernisation studies and area studies influenced by Louis Hartz’s The Founding of New Societies saw the sub

in Debating civilisations

9 ‘They want to tell lies about our history’1 A few days after Bloody Sunday, a left-wing group distributed leaflets to students at University College Dublin. In contrast to most commentary that week, their message asserted that it was the ‘consistant refusal of the nationalist leadership (to) recognise the national rights of the Protestants to a distinct political life (that) has led in turn to the repression of the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland’.2 The leafleters were members of the British & Irish Communist Organisation (B & ICO) a small, Marxist sect

in The impact of the Troubles on the Republic of Ireland, 1968–79

2 Insurrection as history from Guy Fawkes to black blocs This is how the new anarchist urban guerrilla was born, this is how the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire continues to exist. Our attacks deliver blows to the system’s officials and symbols, destroy temples of money, torch political party offices, attack private security guards and security companies, place bombs at jails, courts, detention centers, fascists, at the Parliament, police stations, churches, houses of ministers, we send explosives to embassies and heads of states, blow up military vehicles and

in The politics of attack
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It has often been said that the scholarly literature on Northern Irish history, politics and culture is exhaustive. Arguably, within the parameters of this huge and ever-expanding bibliography, most research tends to focus on the nature of political violence in the region and, consequently, on the ethnic antagonism existing between Protestants, who wish to maintain the Union with Great Britain, and Catholics, who hold assiduously to the aspiration of a United Ireland free from British interference. In contrast, the labour political

in A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party

March 1941. The Unionist Party, which had called on all parties to suspend electioneering during the war, now found itself facing the prospect of having to fight a general election, something especially troubling given the NILP and Independent Unionists’ decision to contest the constituency. According to Walker, ‘the NILP victory by 7,209 votes to 2,435 constituted the biggest electoral upset in Northern Ireland’s political history’. 111 For many contemporaries, including the Unionist press, it was a serious threat that served to portray Andrews as a weak Prime

in A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party
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The older you get the more you regret the opportunities you failed to take. You do your best: some you win, some you lose. But I would say that the NILP is one of the most significant developments in the history of Northern Ireland, not only because of what it did, but also because … it made unionism much more conscious of its social obligations and it also made people realise that parliament could work. 1 Just over half a century after its formation the NILP had become rudderless. Graham’s deterministic

in A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party

accept things as they are, but the party opposite all through its history, being bankrupt in policy and barren in statesmanship, and having nothing to offer the masses of the common people, have made the border a sort of smoke screen. 32 ‘Smoke screen’ or not, it was the chief bulwark Unionism deployed to good effect in maintaining its hegemony over the local state. The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) found itself handicapped by Unionism’s stress on the ethnic connotations of the link with Great Britain. Nevertheless, the party remained undeterred: The

in A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party