What Has Ireland Got to Do with British Trades Unionists? What is Britain Doing to Ireland?
Date:1985 c.
Organisation: Labour Party [Britain]
Collection:The British Left on Ireland
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

16th June 2014

This short document from c. 1985 outlines the views of the Labour Committee on Ireland, whose honorary presidents were Ken Livingstone and Joan Maynard MP. it asks ‘Why Trade Union members should concern themselves about Ireland’. And in answer it points to those killed and injured by plastic and rubber bullets and those ‘shot on sight by the Army and RUC’.

It notes ‘unemployment has been at ‘Thatcherite’ levels in Ireland for generations. But Catholics bear the brunt, although Protestants are losing their jobs too’.

It links repressive policies in Northern Ireland with similar approaches in Britain and argues the cost of the ‘British Presence in Ireland isn’t keeping the peace’.

‘So why are the Irish fighting?’ it asks and suggests that ‘the worst housing in Western Europe’ and a divided working class was part of the reason. But it continues by contending that ‘The Main Division in Ireland is not Protestant/Catholic’ but partition itself.

It also quotes Irish Trade Union members on the issue of partition, and reprints almost in full the Irish Trades Unionists for Irish Unity and Independence founding statement also available in the Archive here.

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