jump to navigation

Left Archive: “Are We Two Nations?” – Fortnight Magazine, March, 1972, British and Irish Communist Organisations December 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
3 comments

This from Fortnight Magazine, March 1972, written by L. Callender on behalf of BICO, represents an encapsulation of the Two Nations theory. Many thanks to the person who forwarded the photocopy.

FORNIGHT BICO 1

FORTNIGHT BICO 2

Left Archive: Church and State – a journal of secular opinion, Number Ten (British & Irish Communist Organisation), c. 1982? November 19, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
1 comment so far

To download the above document please click on the following link: CHURCHSTATE

Church and State is one of a number of documents issued by the indefatigable B&ICO albeit this was essentially a standalone publication with no overt reference to the B&ICO. Issued as a quarterly, and edited by Angela Clifford, it covered a broad range of issues. As the short section ‘What is Church & State?’ notes the magazine ‘has the aim of desisting the growth of a powerful secular and liberal opinion in Ireland’.

This was because it saw the situation in the following terms:

The Republic of Ireland is a uniquely Catholic state. The social force of Catholicism is far greater here in the late twentieth century than it has been in France or Italy since the Middle Ages, or in Spain since the 18th century. France and Spain all developed popular anti-clerical movements in the 19th century, and they all had periods of anti-clerical government.

It continues suggesting that clericalism on the continent was ‘bound up with monarchism and political reaction in general’ where as in Ireland it ‘was bound up with the rise of nationalism. It was popularly based. Republicanism was not a centre of resistance to it. From the 1920s to the 1970s the Catholic hierarchy was a sort of parallel state which supervised the functioning of the secular government.’

And it argues that:

This simple Catholic nationalist heritage is the greatest obstacle to the growth of secularism and pluralism We have no Voltaire and Rousseau in our national culture, no Locke and Mill, no Frederick the Great. The present generation is the first in which there has been serious discontent about the supervision exercised by the Church.

It suggests that:

Church and State aims to assist the growth of well-informed secularist public opinion by giving expression to the general secularist viewpoint that developed in Europe, by explaining the history of Catholic clericalism in Ireland; by drawing attention to the individuals who resisted the growth of that clericalism in Ireland – for example, Thomas Moore, author of “Moore’s Melodies”, and the Parnellite, M.J.F. McCarthy; and by commenting on the particular issues through which the demand for secular reform is developing at any particular moment (divorce, education, etc).

The contents is of considerable interest, with a wide range of articles. Most notably there is a piece on the then current anti-abortion amendment presented by Charles Haughey. There’s another on ‘Pregnant and Unmarried in Ireland – A True Story’ which offers some insight into the nature of the times. There are also pieces on Archibishop Ryan of Dublin and Rome Rule, ‘Jeremy Bentham’s Analysis of Religion’ and ‘Church & State in Western Europe – The Origins’.

Reading this document it is clear how in later years B&ICO, the Socialist Party of Ireland and others would make common cause on social issues. The magazine asks ‘Why not join the Divorce Action Group. and has contact numbers for DAG, Women’s Right to Choose Group and Irish Pregnancy Counselling.

It also has available from its offices:

M.JF. McCarthy: A Belligerent Liberal (an account of the lone bourgeois liberal (developing within Catholic Ireland) who consistently opposed the growth of clerical power from the fall of Parnell to the foundation of the Free State. His commentary on the ‘miracles’ of Knock is included. Published to mark the Pope’s visit to Knock.

Warmongering! The ‘Irish Press’ and the troubles in Northern Ireland, Workers Association, [British & Irish Communist Organisation] c.1972 July 2, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
2 comments

To download the above document please click on the following link: Warmongering WA

As an addition to the already well represented British & Irish Communist Organisation section of the Left Archive comes this document, dating from late 1972 or early 1973 and written expressly as a critique of the Irish Press newspaper.

On the inside page there is the following outline of the Workers Association:

The WORKERS ASSOCIATION is a group of workers and socialists who recognise the historic fact that there are TWO NATIONS in Ireland. We therefore stand opposed to the anti-Partitionist offensive, and to those politicians – including the ‘socialists’ ones – who support it. Our slogan is:
Full recognition of the Ulster Protestant nation’s right to remain in the U.K. State
Full recognition of the democratic rights of the Catholic minority in the North and of the Protestant minority in the South.

And the preface argues that:

The following pamphlet shows the schizophrenia of the IRISH PRESS as far as the North is concerned – but this double-think is not just a feature of this particular Ruling-Class paper, but is a trait running throughout Southern Society. It is up to democrats to show up this Nationalist attitude to the North for what it is, and to support a campaign for the immediate abolition of Articles 2 & 3 of the Southern Constitution. For while the Souther State officially lays claim to the territory of another State, there will be no lack of unconstitutional forces to asset the claim with more than words.

It ends:

Northern and Southern workers need fear no division of their forces arising from the border. It is only the Nationalist campaigns to abolish it, which keep them apart. once the divisive issue is removed, the way is cleared for real working-class unity, North and South.

The rest of the document goes into considerable detail in respect of the ‘Irish Press’. As an example, the document notes ‘the support the IRISH PRESS gave to the Provisionals as opposed to the Official I.R.A.’ and it quotes the newspaper…

In the wake of 1969, the IRA split because it had become so enmeshed in silly, eyes elsewhere, Socialist policies, that it was unable to defend the Catholics of Belfast when the Orange mobs struck. Today the British army’s policy, which from the start conferred upon the Provisional IRA a bogeyman status, and a strength which it did not posses, has, coupled, let it be admitted with that organisations ruthless daring and efficiency, (given it) the role of protector of the Catholic population.’
(10/8/71)

And the pamphlet continues:

The ‘silly, eyes elsewhere, Socialist policies’ were, of course, the various half-hearted efforts of the Officials to oppose both the Dublin and Belfast governments. It is useful to have the Officials, the Provisionals and the various would be Socialist groupings formally opposed to Dublin as well as to Stormont. It means that the Dublin government can disassociate itself when need be from their activities: and it means that those who are engaged in the struggle for a United Ireland do not have to argue that the Northerners would be better off being governed by Dublin.

All told a fascinating insight into the attitude of BIC&O at this point in time.

Left Archive: Proletarian – Journal of the Communist Organisation in the British Isles – No.1 c. 1974 April 2, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Communist Organisation in the British Isles, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
13 comments

To download this file please click on the following link: COBI BINDER

This document dates from and is produced by the Communist Organisation in the British Isles. That group was formed on 1 January 1974 in the aftermath of a split from the British and Irish Communist Organisation. This split was due to those who formed COBI believing that BICO was now revisionist.

It argues under the heading ‘Origins” that…

…The COBI, in recognising and working to promote the primacy of theory, is taking up that perspective reneged upon by the BICO and the journal Theoretical Practice. Not only do we agree whole-heartedly with Lenin that ‘without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement’, but we say emphatically with Engels that we will ‘…constantly keep in mind that socialism, since it has become a science, demands that it be pursued as a science, i.e. that it be studied’.

It continues that:

We identify the failure of the BICO to be a degeneration into liberal constitutionalist politics. This has been clearly marked by the adoption of a series of Fabian positions, the latest of which is the policy on Workers’ Control – a policy which, instead of promoting the power of the proletariat over their place of work, promotes power over the proletariat at their place of work. This can only be in the interests of the bourgeoisie and reduces the working class to a plastic object of bourgeois history. The BICO policy on Workers Control is fundamentally anti-Marxist and must be rejected. It is symptomatic of the bourgeois degeneration of the BICO.

Further on it argues that…

…since the formative influence in the development of the BICO to date has been the Irish situation, it was easy for the membership as a whole to be led by a clique of petty-bourgeois ideologies, peddling bourgeois rationality and disguising themselves as MArxists, to permeate with, and commit the organisation to , the line that not merely in the specific Irish situation but in relation to all the classes which it exploits, was the British bourgeoisie the most progressive force.

But it also argues that:

…we shall build upon, and in doing so subsume, such positive advances as the BICO has hitherto made. These are: the analyses of the problems of Ireland and Wales, the economics of revisionism, the Stalin-Trotksy confrontation, and the EEC. We regards the theory of the Irish national question as more than adequately dealt with and therefore settled. The other positions, though substantially correct, have been inadequately dealt with; so these we will develop.

It’s worth briefly noting their statement that:

The COBI will be constituted as a Marxist-Leninist organisation for committed revolutionaries of, and only of, advanced cadres. Its principal task will be the comprehensive development of operational theory for the working class to become sufficiently conscious to seize and maintain power as the ruling class by crushing the bourgeoisie. It will use the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao as bases.

They also regards themselves as ‘a core organisation of communists, not a mass organisation. Neither is it a political movement in the orthodox sense of one that, containing a spread of members of varying levels of consciousness and activism, therefore addresses itself to a fairly diffuse and changing number of tasks. We shall strive for maximum homogeneity in level of consciousness and activism so that negatively, we shall to a large degree avoid the political-philosophical-personal eclecticism which is the dominant feature of advanced bourgeois socket; and positively allow our collective attention to be focussed on a specified range of key tasks.

It also states…

We therefore now put it on record that the COBI recognises the overwhelming necessity for workers, as soon as possessed of the elements of political organisation, to begin to prepare their physical means of defence. BUt further, they must also prepare the means of attack, for if these are not forthcoming at the moment of upsurge, the initiate and all momentum will be lost and the bourgeoisie will be able to retain their hold.

The rest of the document considers in various short chapters aspects of the issue of Workers Control and issues of Working Class organisation and incorporates documents drafted up by those within BICO which COBI ultimately disagreed with.

Left Archive: Additional information on the Campaign for Equal Citizenship March 21, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
5 comments

Many thanks to the person who forwarded a photocopy of this, from Fortnight magazine, 1988 and of relevance to the post here and Archive documents on the British and Irish Communist Organisation (by the way, an interesting document in that vein will be posted in the next month or so).

Left Archive: “Political Freedom and the Siege of Derry”, Reprint from Irish Political Review by NorthWest Labour Publications, 1997. March 19, 2012

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive, NorthWest Labour Publications.
18 comments


To download this document please click on the following link: PFatSOD

This is an interesting document, in that while it isn’t overtly badged by a left party or formation is clearly linked in some way to the Aubane Historical Society (formerly BICO). NorthWest Labour Publications were based in Derry.

According to the Introduction, penned by Pat Muldowney, it seeks to determine what ‘kind of historic event do the Apprentice Boys commemorate each August? It is time that some attempt was made to give a straight answer’.

And it asks ‘if what the Apprentice Boys commemorate annually is the birth of Constitutional freedom, why is the commemoration resented by most of the people of Derry?’

Following on from that it notes that ‘If the Closing of the Gates marked the birth of freedom, why did Derry itself have to wait until the 1970s for a local government based on the majority? And does not the political history of the city from 1689 to the 1970s suggest the Gates were Closed in the interest of establishing the dominance of an intolerant sect over the mass of the people?’

These are important questions. If the Apprentice Boys commemorate the birth of freedom, socialists should use their influence to discourage opposition to their parade. But if what they commemorate is sectarian supremacy, then it is their activity that should be discouraged.

We begin a discussion of this serious matter by reprinting an article from the Irish Political Review (October 1996).

The document contains the transcript of a Radio Ulster interview with Jonathan Bardon from 1996 which as it notes acerbically ‘[he was brought on] to explain[s] why the siege was a great event in the progress of humanity towards whatever it was progressing towards. Bardon’s exposition was followed by a discussion involving Gregory Campbell of the Democratic Unionist Party and others. Bardon a College lecturer in Belfast, is of Ascendancy background, which is not the same thing as Ulster Unionist background.’

It continues:

There was a time when the Ascendancy looked down with contempt or embarrassment on Protestant Ulster. But Bardon appears to be entirely in sympathy with it. And Gregory Campbell responded to his sympathy with a due, but nevertheless surprising, nod of deference.

This is followed by ‘a comment on it from the historian Brendan Clifford’. This comment runs for four pages and is structured under headings such as THE TRUTH, WHY THE GATES WERE CLOSED, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY.’

The conclusion is of some interest. Clifford asserts that ‘The reason there must be an accommodation between the Protestant and Catholic communities is because the Protestant community exists, and not because it stood for any kind of popular freedom in Ireland three hundred years ago. What it stood for three hundred years ago was conquest, plunder, genocide and Protestant theocracy.’

Left Archive: The Economics of Irish Partition, Irish Communist Organisation, 2nd edition, November 1969 June 13, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Communist Organisation, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
6 comments

To download the above document please click on the following link: ICO ECON PART GO

Perhaps best known as the precursor of the British and Irish Communist Organisation who assumed that name around November 1971, The Irish Communist Organisation already has the following documents in the Archive,
and here. There’s also a critique in the Archive from the Cork Communist Organisation on the development of the ICO.

This is a seminal document in terms of the Irish left. First printed in January 1969, and then reprinted in November of the same year, and produced by the Irish Communist Organisation it outlined in six chapters an analysis of the Irish Partition and the economic effects of it. However, it also went on in chapters dealing with The Northern Ruling Class and The Civil Rights Movement to engage with a range of political aspects of the period it was written in.

It starts with a quote from Stalin on Theory and the Working Class Movement…

…theory, and theory alone, can give the movement confidence, the power of orientation, and an understanding of the inner relation of surrounding events; for it, and it alone, can help practice to realise not only how and in what direction classes are moving at the present time, but also how and in which direction they will move in the near future. None other than Lenin uttered and repeated scores of times the well-known thesis that: ‘Without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement’.

This is a long document but a few quotes will give some some sense of the arguments made in it.

It notes that:

Since THE ECONOMICS OF PARTITION was published ten months ago the correctness of its analysis of the Partition situation, and of the current crisis in Ulster, has been put beyond all doubt by the political developments in Ulster. In its main outlines the ICO analysis can no longer be denied by anybody who thinks at all. In the course of the the summer the ‘uneven development of capitalism’ explanation began to turn up even in the staunchest anti-Communist circles – notably in the Trotskyist groups – though of course no mention was made of its Stalinist origins.

It also notes that the structure of the pamphlet is in part drawn from it being a collection of three articles published in ‘The Irish Communist’ and a ‘further three added at the last moment’.

In a piece that asks “What is the Six Counties” [from 1967] it states that: Nationally, it is a part of the Irish nation. Politically, it is part of the British State. Economically – for the past century and more – the dominant industry has been a section of British capitalism (from the end of the 19th century, monopoly capitalism) which jutted into the 6 Counties.

Interestingly, in view of the Preface, in The Economics of Irish Partition Part 1 it ascribes the ‘uneven development’ concept to Peadar O’Donnell.

Peadar O’Donnell’s explanation stands out a mile from this kind of balderdash, and brings us into the world of reality (though O’Donnell, unlike our Desmond [Greaves], has never claimed to be a Marxist). “Partition arises out of the uneven development of capitalism in Ireland: sentiment won’t remove it.”

The “uneven development of capitalism in Ireland” refers to the fact that a modern industrial capitalism developed in the North in the course of the 19th century, while in the South capitalist industry declined. The real history of Ireland has been greatly obscured by religious and racial propaganda and the respective myths developed by the southern middle class and the northern industrialists.

That particular essay concludes with the idea that:

There are two bases on which a strong political movement for “unification” could arise. It could come from a strong political development of the working class in Ireland. Such a development has not occurred for various reasons. The other base would base would be a change in the relations between the dominant forms of capitalism in the North and the South. Either there could be a run-down of capital in the North or a build-up of capital in the South, (or both), bringing the two closer together. What is certain is that a unification movement based on sentiment and not grounded in some class interest would have little influence on the course of events.

In terms of future developments in ICO and BICO there are fewer hints than might be expected. However, in the Appendix on Paisleyism there is the following comment:

In this situation what is needed to serve the anti-imperialist interest is not an inflating of Paisley into a Hitler (which imperialism is doing in its own interest), but a clear exposure of what imperialism is doing. It is trying to take on an appearance which it hopes will be less easily identifiable as imperialism than Carsonism was. We must learn to identify it under its new appearance. Paisleyism is not the main enemy. The main enemy is the forces represented by O’Neill and Wilson. The forces that are now trying to represent themselves as the forces of democracy struggling against Paisley’s “Hitlerism”.

There’s an analysis of this document available here and next week we will examine a critique from the Cork Workers’ Club.

Apologies for the faint text on some pages. This is due to the quality of the original. It’s also worth noting that pages 25-28, the centre spread, are stapled in upside down on the copy this was scanned from. I’ve amended that for ease of reading.

Left Archive: The Ulster General Strike, 1974, including Strike Bulletins of the Workers Association, 2nd Edition, Workers Association (British and Irish Communist Organisation), 1977 April 4, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
5 comments

To download this document please click on the following link…ULSTERSTRIKE WA

This document is a compendium of bulletins issued by the Workers Association, essentially the British and Irish Communist Organisation, during the Ulster Workers Council Strike in 1974.

As it notes:

The Strike Bulletins were issued during the General Strike organised by the Ulster Workers’ Council in May 1974. Published as a pamphlet, June 1974. Republished with Introduction, July 1977.

The individual bulletins are of considerable interest, but some excerpts from the Introduction will serve to give an overview of the WA analysis of the UWC Strike. As might be expected from a document issued by the WA it takes a strongly polemical line.

It argues that the Strike which occurred in May 1974 and which saw the fall of the devolved Stormont power-sharing administration and the effective end of the structures introduced under the Sunningdale Agreement …

…the effective demand of the strike was that either the Council of Ireland aspect of the Agreement should not be ratified by the Stormont Assembly, or an assembly election should be called. Since it had been made abundantly clear by the Westminster election in February 1974 that a substantial majority of the electorate was opposed to the establishment of a Council of Ireland under existing circumstances, this demand was entirely reasonable. But the Government (which is to say the Stormont government under the hegemony of the Westminster government) resisted this demand with blind stubbornness for two weeks – and then capitulated in an extravagantly excessive manner. Not the slightest concession was made to the will of the majority for two weeks, and then a massive concession was made which exceeded the hopes of the most extreme opponents of Sunningdale amongst the strikers.

The document further argues that ‘Ulster is a region of the UK that is inherently unsuitable for devolved government, but devolved government was imposed on it against its will in 1920 by Westminster as part of a grand imperial strategy for reaching an accommodation with the IRA on an all-Ireland framework loosely associated with the UK’.

It continues ‘neither of these communities [“Catholic nationalist” and “British” are the terms used in the document] wished to have to cope with the other in a provincial statelet. Yet that is what Westminster insisted should be the case’.

And it posits that ‘What they [the communities] required in order to supersede their local antagonism was the greatest possible involvement in the politics of the larger multi-national state of the UK. What they got was a provincial statelet which sealed them off from political involvement in the mainstream politics of the United Kingdom’.

In this analysis it can suggest that:

Much has been written about ‘fifty years of Unionist misrule’ in Ulster. But that ‘misrule’ resulted from the very fact of devolved government rather from [sic] the behaviour of the party which had to operate it. Because the structure of devolution was itself inherently divisive, and because its establishment was opposed by the Unionist Party, it is unreasonable to hold the Unionist Party responsible for the consequences of devolution.

In relation to Sunningdale the document concentrates on the Council of Ireland.

A word needs to be said about the structure of the Council of Ireland. It was to have two tiers: A Council of Ministers and a Consultative Assembly. The Council of Ministers would be made up of members of the Dublin and Stormont governments (seven from each), and would “act by unanimity”. The Consultative Assembly would consist of 60 members, half of whom would be elected by the Dáil and half from the Stormont Assembly on the basis of proportional representation.

There would therefore be a clear anti-Partitionist majority (the Dáil 50% plus the SDLP) in both the Council of Ministers and the Consultative Assembly. In the Council of Ministers this would be negated in executive mattersby the unanimity rule. But it would make the Consultative Assembly into an agitational centre for an all-Ireland government.

The actual Strike itself is therefore regarded by the Workers Association as an entirely legitimate political strike [see Strike Bulletin No. 1] since it regarded the Assembly as ‘grossly unrepresentative’ and the demands of the UWC and previous to that the UUUC as reasonable.

It notes that:

The Workers’ Association began to issue its Strike Bulletins on the first weekend of the strike. It had no connection with the UWC and no inside information. It began to issue these Bulletins on the evidence of its senses in order to counteract the gross misrepresentation of events in the media. By the end of the strike the Bulletins were in mass circulation.

Irish Left Archive: Northern Ireland – For Workers’ Unity: A reply to the Workers’ Association Pamphlet [BICO] “What’s wrong with Ulster Trade Unionism”, Militant, c. 1974 December 13, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive, Militant.
86 comments

To download the document please click on the following link: MIL BINDER

This document, written by Peter Hadden of Militant, is a fascinating reply to a Workers’ Association Pamphlet. As it notes, in the original WA leaflet there was a proposal to establish an Ulster Trade Union Congress ‘seperate from the ICTU and the British TUC.

It states:

This pamphlet is a reply to one such group [proposing a UTUC]…

It also notes…

The WA have an identical position to that of another group, the British and Irish Communist Organisation. No differences appear betwen the material of these groups. Therefore this pamphlet treats them as identical. One section deals with the broader ideas of these tendencies and the implications of these idea.

It continues:

… this work is not intended merely as an answer to the B&ICO and WA. Sectarianism in NI Has had a shattering effect on the Labour Movement. The Ulster TUC proposal can only serve to worsen this effect. However, just to discard this idea is not enough. It is necessary to work out the ways and means by which flash can be once again put on the Northern Irish TU movement. In rejecting the totally false theories and proposals of the WA, this pamphlet seeks also to provide a positive alternative – a set of class ideas and demands around which the might of Organsed Labour could be brought to the fore.

One aspect that is very interesting is how hostile Militant is to B&ICO/WA.

It argues that:

The aim of the [WA] pamphlet is not to improve the structure of the trade unions in NI, as has been suggested by some, but is to smear the leadership of the TU Movement as ‘republican’ and thereby help discredit them.

It continues:

Many of the pamphlet’s arguments are hair raising indeed! The leaders of the NIC are tried and convicted of the above ‘offence’ on ‘grounds’ which only serve to expose the lack of any class understanding on the part of the Workers Association. The NIC committed such ‘republican’ crimes as refusing to participate in the jubilee celebrations to mark the fifty years of the Northern Ireland state. After fifty years of unemployment and low wages for many of their members what were the trade unions supposed to celebrate? But this action was a symptom of a much more heinous crime! The NIC actually back the demand for civil rights in NI!

And it goes on to say…

Civil Rights, according to the WA was ‘promoted by the republican movement with the objective of weakening internal and international support for the NI Admistration prior to its overthrow’ (P.4). Why socialists should support and defend the rotten tory state and administration in NI we are not told.

Consider the following:

From the erudite thinkers who penned this pamphlet we learn little new about N.I. history. More accurately we find re-invoked the lies and myths about the nature of the N.I. state which for too long the Unionist hierarchy were able to spread. The Civil Rights movement slashed through the web of unionist mythology with facts. Now we find the spider of B&IC and the WA busily at work with its theoretical needle attempting to repair the damage.

There’s far too much material of considerable interest to do justice in a brief introduction such as this. Fortunately the document is highly readable and well worth the effort.

Here are some Workers Association leaflets already in the Archive. The analysis in the Militant document provides a fascinating overview of its own position in regard to Northern Ireland at this point in time. It also perhaps explains later perceptions of B&ICO.

By the way, I can’t recall who, if anyone, sent this to the Archive. Drop me a line and I’ll credit you.

There’s also a text version of this available here, but perhaps the printed version of a document gives a better sense of both itself and the time.

Left Archive: The Communist, Number 88, July 1975 from The British and Irish Communist Organisation in Britain April 19, 2010

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
21 comments

BICO COMMUNIST

Many thanks to an anonymous contributor for forwarding this and penning the following:

About the Communist Magazine:

The Linen Hall Library Catalogue states “the Communist” magazine ran from 1967-1986. Some of the magazine’s contributors included Brendan Clifford, (several characteristically inimical pieces on Louis Althusser and Roy Medvedev) Angela Clifford, Jack Lane, Owen Evans (Sep.74, article very hostile to Welsh Nationalism), Nina Stead (pseudonym of Nina Fishman?),Rick Stead, Rosamund Mitchell, Dick Spicer, Davey Young, Niall Cusack,Martin Tyrrell, Mark Cowling, Edmond Riordan, C.K. Maisels (who is listed as a member of the Communist Organisation in the British Isles in G.A. Williams’ book “Proletarian Order”, so he must have left in the B&ICO/COBI split),
M.J. Montgomery (Oct. 1985, one of several “Communist” articles supporting the anti-apartheid movement inSouth Africa) Philip O’Connor,(who later worked on the Aubane Historical Society book “Coolacrease” ) Gwydion Madawc Williams (the son of Raymond Williams) and Peter Brooke (the Irish historian, not the UK Politician).

Brooke was the author of several controversial publications under the Athol Books aegis, including “How Right Are the Racists?” (1978) and the second edition of his “Ulster Presbyterianism : the Historical Perspective, 1610-1970” (1987, Gill and MacMillan, 2nd ed. 1994, Athol Books). He also wrote a chapbook of poetry “Those Two Boys” for Reprisal Press in 1980.

“The Communist” rarely shied away from controversy, and the infamous July 1979 “Special Stalin Centenary Issue” and 1982 editorials defending the Falklands War, seem to have entered UK Left folklore. The Athol Books publication Labour and Trade Union Review, begun in 1987, seems to be “the Communist’s” successor. ]

%d bloggers like this: