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Waiting for the RevolutionThe British Far Left from 1956$
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Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113658

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113658.001.0001

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The British radical left and Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’

The British radical left and Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’

Chapter:
(p.201) 11 The British radical left and Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’
Source:
Waiting for the Revolution
Author(s):

Daniel Finn

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526113658.003.0012

Britain’s radical left influenced the Northern Irish Troubles along two separate tracks: through its impact on British politics, and through its contacts with Irish republicanism and the Irish far left. The idea for a civil rights movement in Northern Ireland came from the far-left milieu, and was put into practice by activists who had cut their teeth on the British leftist scene. When conflict between the IRA and the British Army took centre-stage, sections of the British far left provided advice and encouragement for the Provos as they executed a left turn under the leadership of Gerry Adams, and Irish Trotskyists argued for a broad campaign of protest in support of republican prisoners. But despite their best efforts, left-wingers in Britain were unable to shift the Labour Party away from its position of support for the ‘bi-partisan’ consensus on Northern Ireland.

Keywords:   IRA, Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland, Marxism, People’s Democracy, Labour Party

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