The British far left from 1956
Editors: Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

Waiting for the revolution is a volume of essays examining the diverse currents of British left-wing politics from 1956 to the present day. The book is designed to complement the previous volume, Against the grain: The far left in Britain from 1956, bringing together young and established academics and writers to discuss the realignments and fissures that maintain leftist politics into the twenty-first century. The two books endeavor to historicise the British left, detailing but also seeking to understand the diverse currents that comprise ‘the far left’. Their objective is less to intervene in on-going issues relevant to the left and politics more generally, and more to uncover and explore the traditions and issues that have preoccupied leftist groups, activists and struggles. To this end, the book will appeal to scholars and anyone interested in British politics. It serves as an introduction to the far-left, providing concise overviews of organisations, social movements and campaigns. So, where the first volume examined the questions of anti-racism, gender politics and gay rights, volume two explores anti-nuclear and anti-apartheid struggles alongside introductions to Militant and the Revolutionary Communist Party.

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County Galway and the Irish Free State 1922–32

This book focuses on the historical debate beyond the Irish revolution and introduces a new study of post-revolutionary experience in Ireland at a county level. It begins to build an image of regional political and social life in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The book discusses the turbulent years of 1922 and 1923, the local electorate's endorsement of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the beginning of domestic Irish politics in what was a vastly altered post-treaty world. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London and confirmed dominion status on a twenty-six-county Irish Free State. The book further examines four major themes in rural agrarian society: land, poverty, Irish language, and law and order. It establishes the level of deprivation in local society that the Cumann na nGaedheal government had to confront. Finally, the book attempts to relate the political record of the county to the existing socio-economic realities of local life. Particular emphasis is placed on the election campaigns, the issues involved, and the voting patterns and trends that emerged in Galway. In east Galway agrarian agitation shaped the nature of civil war violence. The civil war fanned a recrudescence in acute agrarian agitation in the west. In the aftermath of the civil war, the August 1923 general election was fought on the Free State government's terms.

The Communist Party of Great Britain in the National Union of Mineworkers, 1956–85

? This chapter considers the CPGB’s industrial strategy, its genesis and the particular challenges presented in a British context. It then moves on to consider how this strategy was contextualised by the CPGB’s relationship with the Labour Party and how the National Union of 108 Waiting for the revolution Mineworkers (NUM) was perceived to be significant in the party’s broader industrial and, ultimately, political ambitions. The miners’ union is a good example of this due to the presence of communists in the industry, which grew over our period, the post

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na nGaedheal. Economic policy would inevitably be curbed. The government could only afford what it decided it could afford. High levels of socio-economic development were not assured. Constrained by a stringent fiscal policy, the west would have to wait. Nonetheless, the political elite failed to develop an effective long-term response to the instance of distress in the west. The cure for Connemara was work, not charity. In addition, the Irish language was still woven into a life of poverty and hardship, not the possibility of obtaining preferential treatment in

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. The membership stayed around this figure until the 1980s. By 1985–86, the membership had grown to approximately 7,500; but peaked at 19,410 members in March 1989.7 The membership was organised into local branches, but these varied significantly in number and levels of activity. In the late 1980s, the membership of groups in Sheffield and Bristol briefly peaked at around 1,000 members; but few ‘large’ local groups ever had more 68 Waiting for the revolution than 200 members on paper, and most relied on a fraction of these numbers to deliver their local

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The International Socialists and life in a Coventry car factory, 1968–75

adhered to marginal political ideals. Rootes-Chrysler Stoke Aldermoor Situated in South East Coventry, Stoke Aldermoor was built by Humber in 1908 and purchased by Rootes in 1925, who converted the factory to engine production in the 1960s. The firm was taken over by Chrysler in 1967, but continually weak profits necessitated a £180 million government bailout in 1975. Despite Chrysler’s travails the total workforce at Stoke Aldermoor expanded throughout the period, from around 4,000 in 1968 to 6,293 in 1975.10 90 Waiting for the revolution A strong trade union

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The emergence of ‘left-wing’ Scottish nationalism, 1956–81

historical work on the SNP, and particularly on its left wing, which emerged at the end of the 1970s, makes it even harder to understand the fusion of left-wing and nationalist ideas that dominate modern Scottish politics. But Scottish nationalism needs an intellectual history that looks beyond the SNP and into the labour movement and the radical left; the ideas adopted and espoused by the left-nationalists of the 1970s 164 Waiting for the revolution and 1980s have shaped not only the development of the SNP but also the trajectory of devolution by encouraging Scottish

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The persistence of left-nationalism in post-war Wales

disestablishment, language rights and self-determination. This ideology was asserted through the Liberal Party, which claimed to speak for Wales by virtue of its electoral dominance, rather than, as was the case in Ireland, through a nationalist ‘Welsh Parliamentary Party’.7 In a recent reworking of this analysis, drawing on a broad range of nineteenth-century European nationalist literature, Simon Brooks has contended that Liberalism (that is, the official political creed of the Liberal Party, rather than the broad philosophy of liberalism) did indeed articulate 184 Waiting

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elections, but asked people to metaphorically hold their nose while doing so. But the initial period after Corbyn’s victory seemed to suggest that there was political life left in Labour, awoken from its slumber by the thousands of veteran activists from the social movements of the 2000s that Corbyn had been involved in, primarily Stop the War, the Campaign for 2 Waiting for the revolution Nuclear Disarmament, Unite Against Fascism and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. However, as 2016 proved, trying to reform the outlook and membership base of Labour (which has been

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Students and the far left on English university campuses, c.1970–90

importance of the NUS there are, as yet, no published accounts of the NUS, student politics or students themselves in this period. Rectifying this gap is, in itself, one goal of this chapter. However, this chapter aims to do significantly more. In focusing on the interactions of national and local political formations this chapter adds to a nascent discussion of the impact 12 Waiting for the revolution of local networks on national debates and discussions.2 For those interested in political manoeuvrings, the ways in which political cultures are created and maintained

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