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The cause of Ireland, the cause of Labour
Editor: Laurence Marley

This collection of essays explores a largely neglected aspect of the history of Anglo-Irish relations: British Labour Party policy on Ireland during the twentieth century. Much of the literature on the relationship between ‘these islands’ concentrates on the present or the recent past, but by viewing an important dimension of that relationship through a wider lens, this work makes a significant contribution to the field British-Irish studies, one that will inform future research and debate. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Labour Party was broadly supportive of Irish self-government, as reflected in its espousal of a home rule settlement. However, from the end of the First World War, Labour anticipated a place in government. As a modern, maturing party that was intent on proving its ability to govern, it developed a more calculated and measured set of responses to Irish nationalism and to the ‘Irish question’. With contributions from a range of distinguished Irish and British scholars, this collection provides the first full treatment of the historical relationship between the Labour Party and Ireland in the last century, from Keir Hardie to Tony Blair. By examining the party’s responses to crises and debates around home rule, partition, Irish neutrality during WWII, Ireland’s departure from the Commonwealth, and the Northern ‘Troubles’, it offers an original perspective on longer-term dispositions in Labour mentalities towards Ireland.

CH APTER 6 Into the twentieth century Collective security is the only security. (George Peabody Gooch, 19351) The twentieth century was profoundly shaped by the experience of world wars, and it was in coming to terms with arms races, economic crises, aggressive nationalism and totalitarianism that liberal intellectuals, particularly in the Anglo-American world, most vigorously and successfully promoted the ideas and ideals of internationalism. The League of Nations and the United Nations can be seen as the blossoming fruits as well as the sad failures of this

in British liberal internationalism, 1880–1930
Mussolini, Parvus, and co.

chapter 6 Flawed early twentieth-century radicals: Mussolini, Parvus, and co. There were glaring flaws, continuities, and ideological muddles in the case of the most infamous of renegades, Benito Mussolini. Here is a striking case of a deeply flawed radical for whom an experience of defeat – in the form of the failure of socialists and the working class to prevent the First World War – was arguably necessary, but not sufficient, for him to shift from international socialism to national fascism. Countless others, needless to say, did not respond to the

in The politics of betrayal
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The Irish ‘inheritance’ of British Labour

unionist majority, remaining an integral part of the United Kingdom, though with limited, devolved ‘home rule’. How British Labour responded to the emerging Irish settlement of 1918–22, and its later relations throughout the twentieth century with the independent Irish state (in its foreign policy and in particular in its conduct of British–Irish relations, not least in relation to partition) and with Northern Ireland, is, understandably, a story of considerable complexity, demanding close attention to particular episodes, issues and personalities. However, it is a story

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland
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Irish nationalism, the rise of Labour and the Catholic Herald, 1888–1918

2 Uneasy transitions: Irish nationalism, the rise of Labour and the Catholic Herald, 1888–1918 Joan Allen In the early years of the twentieth century a significant percentage of Irish workers in Britain came to privilege their proletarian solidarities at the local level and to regard the nascent Labour Party as best positioned to defend their day-to-day interests. This turn to Labour has been attributed as much to the solidarities of working-class associational life as to a growing reluctance to defer to the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), which had routinely

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland
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eliminate ‘all fear of Home Rule’.8 The outlook of the nascent Labour Party was shaped by a modern British radical tradition, one that at various points, to varying degrees and for a range of reasons had sought to find common ground with Irish nationalism on a ‘justice’ agenda since the late eighteenth century. By the early years of the twentieth century, then, the party was, naturally enough, engaged in a ‘conversation’ with nationalist Ireland. From the time of the Gladstonian land settlement, Davitt had been openly arguing for an alliance between the democratic masses

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland

5 Twentieth-century systems, 1919–2016 Small state survival and proliferation in twentieth-century systems of collective security and global governance, 1919–2016 … to fight … for the rights of nations great and small…1(Woodrow Wilson, 1915) In the twentieth century, a hybrid system of power politics, collective security, and growing global governance prevailed. How did the small state fare in this environment? Interestingly enough, small states did remarkably well and during the height of the Cold War small state proliferation actually doubled their total

in Small states in world politics
The British Labour Party and Derry, 1942–62

8 ‘That link must be preserved, but there are other problems’1: the British Labour Party and Derry, 1942–62 Máirtín Ó Catháin As a prism through which to examine the British Labour Party’s relationship with Ireland in the mid twentieth century, and as a way of highlighting factors that contributed to civil unrest in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, this chapter will focus on local politics, especially local Labour party politics, in Derry during the Second World War and in the immediate decades that followed. Although the British Labour Party had been

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland

-interventionist approach for most of the post-war era.  4 E. Rumpf and A. C. Hepburn, Nationalism and socialism in twentieth-century Ireland (Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1977), p. 208.  5 Geoffrey Bell, Troublesome business: the Labour Party and the Irish question (London, Pluto, 1982), p. 150.  6 See Edwards, A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party.  7 For more on this point, see P. Bew, H. Patterson and P. Gibbon, Northern Ireland, 1921–2001: political forces and social classes (revised and updated version, London, Sherif, 2002); and also see Russell Rees, Labour

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland

12 The Militant Tendency comes to Ireland, c.1969–89 John Cunningham The Militant Tendency and its Irish offshoot were by several measures – durability, membership, public profile  – the most successful Trotskyist organisations and among the more successful overtly Marxist movements in Britain and/or Ireland in the twentieth century. Yet they have been little studied, and what has been written about them has often been unsatisfactory. Material produced by Militant itself has been celebratory of achievement, and unforthcoming about modus operandi, while commentary

in The British Labour Party and twentieth-century Ireland