Left Archive: Britain and the Irish Crisis – A Communist View of the White Paper, Gordon McLennan, Communist Party of Great Britain, 1973 July 1, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Great Britain, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the above please click on the following link: CPGB1973GO
This is an useful document outlining the view of the Communist Party of Great Britain in regard to the White Paper. After noting the ‘sacred duty’ of British Communists to assist in the Irish question it offers an outline history of the conflict and forces on the island that led to Independence, partition and after. It argues that Unionism was ‘an alliance of Landlords and Businessmen’.
The leaflet very clearly aligns with NICRA and notes that:
[trade unions were drawn closer to other groups in NI that were campaigning on similar policies] and came together in 1967 to form the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, making possible the development in recent years of the great mass movement of the people of Northern Ireland which has profoundly affected the political developments in the last six years and which has an even greater role to play in the days that lie ahead.
The document does not go into detail on the split in Republicanism, but it does note that:
In Northern Ireland the actions of elitist groups, especially the bombing of civilian targets, has come under sharp criticism both from the Communist Party of Ireland as well as from the Civil Rights Association. The official wing of the IRA has also condemned these bombings while asserting the right to use arms for defensive purposes.
It is deeply critical of British government policy throughout, and in particular in relation to Bloody Sunday in 1972 and it reasserts its support for the withdrawal of British troops and ‘the ending of all British political, administrative and economic control’ which would ‘enable the people of NI, together with those of the Republic, to take the necessary steps to end the imperialist-imposed partition and establish a united Ireland, free from discrimination and sectarian strife’. However the document argues that:
… the demand for the withdrawal of British troops must be related to the other political demands which, taken together, form the basis for overcoming the present crisis.