A quick post to announce that a new article by Brodie Nugent and myself has been published in Contemporary British History journal. It is titled, ‘Intersectional Solidarity? The Armagh Women, the British Left and Women’s Liberation’. Here is the abstract:
In 1980, three Republican women prisoners held in Armagh prison in Northern Ireland joined the hunger strike being conducted by male Republican prisoners in Maze Prison. Overshadowed by the fatal 1981 strike, the 1980 strike involved these women in Armagh, who challenged the traditional nationalist notion of the strong male warrior, while generating sympathy and solidarity across the globe, including with the far left and the women’s liberation movement in Britain. This article will look at how the left and the women’s liberation movement in both Britain and Ireland looked to portray these women within their competing narratives.
You can access the article here. Contact me if you would like a copy.
This is just a quick plug for my two new articles on the international right, anti-communism and settler colonialism. The first is ‘Policing Communism Across the ‘White Man’s World’: Anti-Communist Co-operation between Australia, South Africa and Britain in the Early Cold War’, published in Britain and the World journal. Find a version on academia here.
The second is ‘The Pivot of Empire: Australia and the Imperial Fascism of the British Union of Fascists’, published in History Australia journal. Find it here.
Do let me know if you have a problem accessing either article.
This is just a quick post to let everyone know that Daryl Leeworthy and I have just had an article published in Twentieth Century British History journal on the Communist Party of Great Britain and gay rights. The title of the article is ‘Before Pride: The Struggle for the Recognition of Gay Rights in the British Communist Movement, 1973-85′ and is available here.
Here’s the abstract:
This article examines the role of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and its youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL), in the advancement of gay rights in the 1970s and 1980s. Although the CPGB was the first major organization of the British labour movement—and the British left—to advance a policy of gay rights, its participation in the gay liberation movement has tended to be neglected by scholars. In contrast to the general perception of the CPGB in the last decade (or so) of its existence as a party of declining influence and cohesion, easily ignored by the mainstream of the labour movement, we argue that the embrace of gay rights provided communists with a means of pushing for a diversification of labour politics. This coalesced in the mid-1980s with the co-founding of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) by the communist activist Mark Ashton. With the recent scholarly and public interest in the LGSM and its impact upon the Labour Party’s attitude to gay rights, this article aims to reveal that the ‘pre-history’ of the group is firmly rooted in the CPGB/YCL and the Eurocommunist section of the British communist movement.
If people cannot access the article, let me know and I can send a pdf.
This is a quick post to let people know about two new publications of mine. Firstly, the International Review of Social History has published an article titled ‘National Liberation for Whom? The Postcolonial Question, the Communist Party of Great Britain, and the Party’s African and Caribbean Membership’. Here’s the abstract:
The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) had a long tradition of anti-colonial activism since its foundation in 1920 and had been a champion of national liberation within the British Empire. However, the Party also adhered to the idea that Britain’s former colonies, once independent, would want to join a trade relationship with their former coloniser, believing that Britain required these forms of relationship to maintain supplies of food and raw materials. This position was maintained into the 1950s until challenged in 1956–1957 by the Party’s African and Caribbean membership, seizing the opportunity presented by the fallout of the political crises facing the CPGB in 1956. I argue in this article that this challenge was an important turning point for the Communist Party’s view on issues of imperialism and race, and also led to a burst of anti-colonial and anti-racist activism. But this victory by its African and Caribbean members was short-lived, as the political landscape and agenda of the CPGB shifted in the late 1960s.
Secondly, the Australian Labour History journal has published a review of mine, looking at two books concentrating on the Cold War and the New Left in Australia. The two books are Meredith Burgmann’s edited volume, Dirty Secrets: Our ASIO Files, and Ann Curthoys and Joy Damousi’s edited volume, What Did You Do in the Cold War, Daddy? Personal Stories from a Troubled Time. You can access the review here.
This is a quick post to let readers of this blog know that the latest issue of International Socialism Journal, the theoretical journal of the Socialist Workers Party, has published a review of our book, Against the Grain: The British Far Left from 1956. You can read the full review (for free) here.
The review isn’t too bad, but concentrates on the contributions by current and former IS/SWP members. It concludes with:
Against the Grainuncovers a history of activists, actions and arguments of the post-1956 period that might otherwise not have been shared. However, it is important that the book is read with a grain of salt. For revolutionaries, the struggle of the working class and the oppressed is always the starting point. The history of the left is only useful when seen in the context of the broader class struggle; as a way of understanding how revolutionaries and other left groups have intervened in an attempt to shape and (hopefully) push the struggle forward. Unfortunately, Against the Graindoes not always manage to do this successfully, as it has a tendency to look inward. Still, the anecdotes and analysis it provides give insights which, if read carefully, can help to inform revolutionaries today.
Just a quick post to let you all know that the latest issue of Journal of Australian Studies features my long awaited article on policing protest in the ACT in the early 1970s. The full title of the paper is ‘Policing Protest in the Australian Capital Territory: The Introduction and Use of the Public Order Act 1971’. The abstract is below:
This article examines the reaction by the Australian Federal Government to the protest movements of the 1960s–1970s and their attempts to use public order legislation to thwart radical discontent in Australia. It argues that the Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971 was aimed at the threat of “violent” protests, particularly the tactic of the “sit-in”, and that to this end, the legislation was an overreaction to the actual threat posed by the protest movements at the time. It also shows that after a long gestation period, the Act was ill-equipped to deal with the changing nature of demonstrations in the 1970s, such as the problems caused by the erection of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Thus, after an initial flurry of use in mid-1971, the law has been seldom used since.
You can find the article here. If you use academia.edu, you can access the article here.