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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.
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.