The Labour Party and constitutional policy in Northern Ireland

4 The memoir writing of the Wilson and Callaghan governments: the Labour Party and constitutional policy in Northern Ireland Stephen Hopkins It is impossible to imagine a successful British policy in Northern Ireland, or at least one whose success could begin to be judged for at least a generation.1 The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the memoir writing of senior Labour Party (LP) politicians who were closely engaged in developing and implementing government policy towards Northern Ireland during the administrations of Harold Wilson (1964–70 and 1974

in The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain
Some British political and military memoirs of the Troubles

continued attention to Northern Ireland affairs is obvious. One particularly fruitful area of academic study is the memoir literature that the years of conflict generated. There have been many memoirs written by British politicians from both the Conservative and Labour parties that discuss their involvement in DAWSON 9780719096310 PRINT (v2).indd 21 14/10/2016 12:19 22 Perspectives from the British State Northern Ireland affairs. Inevitably, these are self-serving to say the least, but nevertheless they are useful for the insight they provide into the way that these

in The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain
British military personnel’s memories and accounts of service in Northern Ireland

, can be very transitory events, and valuable as they were for informing us about ideas of identity and military participation, it is the memory work conducted through the writing and publication of the memoir which provides, for some, a more satisfactory way of dealing with the experience of trauma. It is a feature of the Northern Ireland memoirs that they can be read as attempts to negotiate – and even overcome – the effects of deployment-induced trauma. A good example is Jack Williams’ preface to his memoir, The Rigger (about a signals operative attached to Special

in The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain

-thirds of the UWC Committee was drawn from the trade unions, the Loyalist paramilitaries providing the other third. 6 Law is a trade unionist from the largely demolished Agnes Street area of the Lower Shankill. For the perspective of one from within the community who defied the strike see the memoir of Baroness May Blood (2007: 80). 7 Speaking at the conference ‘40 Years On: The Strike Which Brought Down Sunningdale’, held at Queen’s University Belfast on 19 May 2014. 8 Later Harmon fumes, rather more realistically: ‘All your moderates, all your stuck-up fur

in Sunningdale, the Ulster Workers’ Council strike and the struggle for democracy in Northern Ireland
Impacts, engagements, legacies and memories

For the three decades of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ (1968–98), the United Kingdom experienced within its borders a profound and polarizing conflict. Yet relatively little research has addressed the complex effects, legacies and memories of this conflict in Britain. It occupies a marginal position in British social, cultural and political history, and the experiences and understandings of those in or from Britain who fought in it, were injured or harmed by it, or campaigned against it, have been neglected both in wider scholarship and in public policy. In the peace process since 1994, British initiatives towards ‘post-conflict’ remembering have been limited and fragmented.

This ground-breaking book provides the first comprehensive investigation of the history and memory of the Troubles in Britain. It examines the impacts of the conflict upon individual lives, political and social relationships, communities and culture in Britain; and explores how the people of Britain (including its Irish communities) have responded to, and engaged with the conflict, in the context of contested political narratives produced by the State and its opponents. Setting an agenda for further research and public debate, the book demonstrates that ‘unfinished business’ from the conflicted past persists unaddressed in Britain; and advocates the importance of acknowledging legacies, understanding histories, and engaging with memories in the context of peace-building and reconciliation. Contributors include scholars from a wide range of disciplines (social, political and cultural history; politics; media, film and cultural studies; law; literature; performing arts; sociology; peace studies); activists, artists, writers and peace-builders; and people with direct personal experience of the conflict.

-evaluation of the Church’s absolutist doctrines concerning permissible and impermissible sexual acts, but has done so from the perspective of a generally friendly internal critic.1 To quote from his aptly titled memoir, Loyal Dissent, Curran believes himself to have ‘generally agreed strongly with the broad fundamental aspects of the Catholic theological tradition’ and to have worked ‘primarily out of that tradition’.2 He would ‘not feel comfortable in any other tradition’; his ‘problems are with particular church teachings, not with its core dogma or broad theological

in Religion and rights

book was burnished with hundreds of footnotes and a large online collection of supporting documentation – helpful, as hopefully the reader of this book will agree, in reconstructing the reasoning behind Rumsfeld’s actions. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points , was written in an informal style and was direct about the choices the president faced in office. Whereas Rumsfeld’s book reconstructed the

in Leaders in conflict
Abstract only

evidence. Official documents, like other historical sources, often display an inherent authorial bias. Information gleaned from these sources is supplemented by material from private political party archives, the political party literature produced during the period, memoir accounts of the major officials and politicians who were involved in these events, and information from a range of contemporary newspapers and periodicals.7 It also engages with a vast corpus of extant secondary literature, confirming or challenging its findings where necessary. To date a number of

in Template for peace

. Then I began to re-read African prison poetry, diaries and memoirs, starting with those by Dennis Brutus, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Breyten Breytenbach, Hugh Lewin, Albie Sachs and others. I wanted to rediscover how other imprisoned writers had survived their incarceration and liberation, wondering all the while whether I could make this an exciting subject of study for students and hoping I might learn one or two tricks from the predecessors I revered in the hope that I would write my own prison memoir one day. After adding the writings on the Holocaust, the

in Incarceration and human rights

to the tribunal he maintained that O’Malley’s evidence was ‘reckless, irresponsible, and dishonest’. The ubiquitous government spokesman indicated to the media after the tribunal session ended that the Taoiseach was wholly unrepentant about describing O’Malley’s evidence to the tribunal in such terms and had all along pledged that ‘he would tell it as it was without any varnish or veneer’ (Irish Times, 28 October 1992). The government press secretary, Seán Duignan, in his memoir of the period used a clever football analogy to sum up Reynolds’s action: ‘Like a

in Electoral competition in Ireland since 1987