Booking Up My Ideas

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Booking Up My Ideas

Liverpool Postgraduate Journal of Irish Studies

By Michael Robinson

On Thursday 30 July 2015, I delivered a public lecture at the National Library of Ireland. Having been set up by Dr Niall Carson, outreach officer for the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies, and Katherine McSharry, his outreach counterpart at the National Library of Ireland, the public lecture accompanied the National Library’s ‘World War One Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience’ exhibit. The lecture was entitled ‘Nobody’s Children: The Treatment of Shell-Shocked Great War veterans in the Irish Free State’, and it broached the subject of the post-war experiences of mentally damaged Irish Great War veterans after the cessation of the Irish Civil War. Michael NLI

The lecture’s central thesis argued that these unfortunate Irish Great War veterans faced a more ill-fated homecoming than their former comrades in Northern Ireland and Britain. Whilst the post-war experience of all shell-shocked veterans was far from ideal, the lack of medical…

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Confessions Of a Poverty-Class Academic-In-Training

Conditionally Accepted

Grace Cale photoGrace Cale is a PhD student in sociology.  Having gained her undergraduate degree from a college that specifically accepts marginalized and impoverished students, she is a passionate ally to many causes of social justice. Her research interests focus on political participation, social movements, neoliberalism, markets, and financialization. In the first part of this two-part essay, Grace reflects on the invisibility of scholars from working-class and  poor families, and the struggles these scholars face in academia; to rectify this, she calls for community-building among working-class scholars in academia.

Confessions Of A Poverty-Class Academic-In-Training

When I set out to write this essay, I had little concrete idea of what I sought to achieve. I knew that there was something unique about becoming an academic from a situation of clear poverty, and that I needed to make a case for this experience as existing along a real line of marginalization. Or at least…

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Free speech in the age of identity politics

Source: Free speech in the age of identity politics

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The Shankill versus Franco: Working-class Protestants’ fight against Spanish fascism

This gallery contains 6 photos.

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A Four Nations approach to the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland

Four Nations History Network

A Four Nations approach to the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland

Jacob Murphy argues how his research into the Troops Out Movement, a grass-roots, extra-parliamentary organisation, could pave the way for a genuine ‘British’ history of the conflict in Northern Ireland, through the four nations approach.

The historiography of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland (1968-1998) has been dominated by a nation-centred and high politics approach. Most historians have given extensive attention to government legislation during the peace process (1994-1998) and, as a result, have given the impression that, after the collapse of the civil rights movement in 1972, the attempt to be involved in or to solve the conflict was the exclusive domain of governments and political parties. Consequently, this high politics approach has undermined any historiographical and methodological shift towards a transnational or four nations approach to the ‘Troubles’.

The movement away from a high politics approach to a social…

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PHM Top 20 Tweets of 2014

Nice to be mentioned in top 20 tweets!

People's History Museum (PHM)

A guest post from PHM Marketing & Development Officer, Daisy Nicholson

As you may know we have a thriving PHM twitter account with over 13,000 followers!  We really enjoy tweeting about all the exciting goings on at the museum, and we love to hear what our followers and other tweeters have to say about PHM.  Hope you enjoy the top 20 tweets of 2014!

Why not join the conversation and follow us @PHMMcr.  You can also hear about all the latest updates from the museum shop by following @PHMShop.

Glad to hear our exhibition The People’s Business – 150 Years of The Co-operative was well received

1.  28/01/2014:@GailDavidge: Brilliant day at @PHMMcr really impressed with 150 yrs co-op exhib. Superb resources for all schools loved the living history performance!

Very well said

2.  08/02/2014:@commentator01: Hugely impressed by @PHMMcr. A must-visit for anyone interested in…

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Northern Ireland may need a Freedom *from* Conscience Bill

Ian James Parsley

The idea of a Freedom of Conscience Clause is brilliant politics from the DUP. It’s also utter nonsense.

It is brilliant politics because it suggests to their own voters (and likely potential voters) that they are being discriminated against; that there is some secular bogey man out there who is stopping them leading their religious lives; and that somehow there is a distinction between living a religious life on one hand and treating people equally in public on the other. It’s great stuff, appealing right to the heart strings.

It’s all rubbish, of course, and they know it. In fact, Christians in Northern Ireland (and I am one, by the way) retain a specifically advantaged place in society – both as opposed to non-Christians, and as opposed to Christians anywhere else in the UK. Religious Education remains a compulsory GCSE, 94% of which covers Christianity. Christian Churches are represented on…

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A New Constitution – what’s in it for us?

Malachi O'Doherty

Scotland is now more sharply divided on the union than Northern Ireland is.

Polling last year showed that only 3 per cent of people here would vote for a united Ireland in an immediate referendum. Larger numbers have long term aspirations for Irish unity but the decision has already been made, in the hearts of most notional Nationalists, that things are best left as they are.

There are a number of motivations at work. One is simply to avoid a calamitous fissure and civil war. Many people who regard themselves as more Irish than British would rather have peace even at the the cost of deferring an aspiration for unity.

Which perhaps indicates also that that aspiration is not very strong.

Life inside the UK has not been a grave burden on people here. They have had a welfare state with a National Health Service to cushion them.

And they…

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Baron Bannside

I only ever came into direct contact with Ian Paisley once. It was in a second-hand book shop in Bangor. He was affable, witty and smartly dressed to the point of dapper. He quite happily passed the time of day with the customers in the shop. There was no politics or religion from him that day just an old man who was personable and charmed the shop as they all stopped to talk and chat with him. This was all in sharp contrast to the Dr No of British and Irish politics.

There will be many obituary essays written about Dr Paisley over the next few days. I do not intend this to be one of them, I will leave that to others, but there some things I think are worth considering.

In 1949 The Labour Party under Clement Attlee declared that for the purpose of British law that Ireland was not be treated as a foreign country and that any Irish citizen was also to be regarded as not foreign. They Irish in Britain would have all the rights and privileges of wider British society. Historians have argued over this decision and the reasons behind it, the loyalty of Northern Ireland during World War Two, the strategic value of Northern Ireland in the Cold War and worries over the Commonwealth and India. These were all part of a wider quest for post-war stability. Ireland and partition were muted as a political issue because of the British quest for stability. Despite groups such as the Anti-Partition League and the Connolly Association there was no significant resistance from the Irish in Britain to this.

In 1964 Wilson and the Irish Government under Sean Lemass, whilst making no real progress on the issue of partition, began to undertake talks about trade and improving the relationship between the two states. There was a change taking place in British politics and within the British media. Ireland was now viewed as modernising and although the removal of partition was never on the table, the feeling in Britain was that Ireland was now a modern state and that political business could be done without the cloud of partition hanging over it. The view on both sides was modernity would lead to the solution of the partition issue.

This view of Ireland as truly modern country was also prevalent in the press. Adverts and feature articles about driving holidays, good hotels and a welcoming population were commonplace. However with this modernity the press also turned its attention once again to Northern Ireland. In 1966 The Sunday Times famously focused on the activity of Dr Paisley in an article entitled John Bulls Political Slum. In contrast to the modern world promoted by Wilson and Lemass, Paisley and Northern Ireland was presented as a place out of time, out of step with the reforms of Lemass and the White Heat of Wilson.

The modern troubles would once again, see politicians in Britain call for the Irish in Britain to have their status as ‘not foreign’ revoked. They were subject to caricature and racism. However the status of ‘not foreign’ remained. Later the Celtic Tiger and the birth of ‘Celtic Cool’ would present a re-imagined Ireland. For many in Britain Ireland remains a series of stereotypes, very green, very Catholic and full of pubs. However false at times this image is, it is an image that people can understand. If the Irish are not the familiar stranger in Britain, they remain the foreigner that is not foreign.

This is the true legacy of Dr Paisley. The Irish citizen in Britain may still be subject to racism and exclusion, but by-and-large they are understood. The problem for the Ulster Unionist and the Ulster Loyalist is that they are not. Since 1966 they have been framed as a group that looks back to 18th and 19th Century, they are a group that is far from modern, refusing to accept modern ideas of equality and modernity, trapped in the purity of their Protestantism.

Dr Kevin McNamara MP once called for a better understanding of Northern Ireland Protestantism and the Orange Man and yet they regarded him as someone so Green that they could not do business with him. However McNamara was right and this is the problem that Unionists and Loyalists still face today. They are not understood. The majority of the British public simply do not understand the hard-line Unionist or Loyalist. It is no small irony that whilst the Irish in Britain remain not foreign, thanks to the actions of Dr Paisley and his supporters those that march every 12th are regarded as foreign and are not understood by wider British society. They are foreigners in their own land.

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