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Irish Left Archive: Northern Ireland: Statement by the National Executive Committee to the 1981 Conference (British Labour Party). March 22, 2010

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in British Labour Party (Left Archive document), Irish Left Online Document Archive.


This document from the British Labour Party was issued in 1981 and came on foot of an eighteen month long examination by the NEC of the issue of Northern Ireland. As the introduction notes:

A study group set up early last year has examined in great detail every aspect of this vitally important issue. It has taken evidence from constituency groups and individuals in Northern Ireland. It has also held discussions with a wide variety of organisations, including trade unions, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In all its deliberations the study group was very conscious of its responsibility to formulate a clear, credible, socialist policy on Northern Ireland.

It’s worth noting also the ‘possible constitutional structures’ for the North which were considered. These included:

(i) continuing with direct rule;
(ii) establishing a devolved power-sharing government;
(iii) negotiating the establishment of a united Ireland;
(iv) restoring majority rule government;
(v) an independent Northern Ireland;
(vi) a confederation of the British Isles.

Each of these is considered in some detail, but the outcome of these deliberations will hardly be a surprise, unity by consent. But, there are aspects to this which are intriguing in terms of the details presented. Of particular note are the thoughts on Policing and Security and the Prevention of Terrorism Act

And it’s also interesting to find on page 26 a rationale for Labour not organising in Northern Ireland.


1. Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung - March 23, 2010

[…] * Labour Party: Northern Ireland: Statement by the National Executive Committee to the 1981 Conference (1981) […]


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