Social Democrats and Northern Ireland, 1964-1970
AbstractThe current stage of the Irish struggle for independence began in 1967 with a civil-rights campaign; less than two years later, in August 1969, British troops were sent into action, and a year later they were meeting armed resistance from the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). Conflict between the British government and the Catholic people of the North has been sustained ever since. The government responsible for sending in the troops was in the hands of the Labour party. The Ulster crisis confronted the Labour party with a classic dilemma: how to relate their reformist tradition to their commitment to the economic framework of capitalism and the imperial interests it generates. The fundamental contradiction of these aims and the consequent bankruptcy of the social democrats' reformism was clearly demonstrated as the crisis developed.
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