|Organisation:||The Workers' Association|
|Discuss:||Comments on this document|
|Subjects:||Ulster Workers' Council strike, 1974|
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A bit of an oddity this, but worth posting up for the month that is in it. Here is the Workers’ Association (or another branch, so to speak, of the British and Irish Communist Organisation) presenting its analysis of religion as an aspect of the conflict in Ireland in order to contextualise the UWC Strike, of which it states… “…the Strike has shown once and for all that there is no need for that kind of behaviour and that the community is sufficiently well organised, determined and united to resist any attempts to push it around; and that it can do that without indulging in a bloodbath, or mindlessly submitting to a Hitler-type ‘leader’..
In a most interesting analysis of religion on the island and in the process of ruminating about the Glorious Revolution it manages to take a side-swipe at both the Provisional IRA (“… [their] activity resembles the temper tantrum of a child that can’t get away with what it wants”) and the Official IRA (which it describes their ‘notion that the Shankill Rd Protestants are going to ‘rediscover’ their Gaelic heritage and join the struggle against ‘British Imperialism’… As ‘fantasy’).
What is very striking is the sense of aversion to a ‘Catholic Ireland’…which it states ‘because [it] had so little conscious political, economic, religious or intellectual history that the Church was able to get such a grip’.
A couple of interesting asides about the ‘new free state’… ‘which came into existence in 1922…[when Britain] drew up a democratic and secular constitution for it… The result was a democratic republic [!] with a powerful Church working to develop among the people a mentality appropriate to the middle ages (even Connolly, who is held up as the very embodiment of progressive socialism, idealised pre-medieval Gaelic Ireland)’. One suspects Eric Hobsbawm might have something to say about that analysis.