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A History of the Northern Ireland Labour PartyDemocratic Socialism and Sectarianism$
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Aaron Edwards

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078743

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078743.001.0001

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(p.227) Conclusion
A History of the Northern Ireland Labour Party

Aaron Edwards

Manchester University Press

The Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP) maintained a pragmatic stance in the face of violent provocation. The NILP, although ‘always very deeply committed to the link with the British Labour Party’, suffered in the early 1970s because of ‘the incautious speeches of Harold Wilson and other people from time-to-time—the famous spongers speech and that sort of thing’. Despite its decline, the NILP remained at the forefront of attempts to broker a truce between warring paramilitary factions at the height of the ‘troubles’ in 1972. The NILP's political fortunes took a further downswing at the Constitutional Convention election in 1975. The NILP's fraternal relationship with the British Labour Party (BLP) had been the ideological linchpin for many labourists in Northern Ireland throughout the twentieth century. The Campaign for Labour Representation continued to seek full rights for Northern Ireland's citizens to become full members of the BLP.

Keywords:   Northern Ireland Labour Party, British Labour Party, Harold Wilson, Constitutional Convention, Campaign for Labour Representation

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