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IMG Revolutionary Student rally

October 12, 2021
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A picture of a nice poster recently saved by Kirstin S.

We think it is from 1974…

The Republic Of Ireland- complete book with 2021 introduction

September 19, 2021
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At last we have a full PDF reproduction of Rayner Lysaght’s book The Republic Of Ireland.

John McAnulty has contributed an introduction which we have incorporated into the book.

Be warned this is a very large file- over 110mb- hence our earlier decision to first serialise it in bite-sized chunks.

THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND by RAYNER LYSAGHT full version 2021

Eventually we will try to produce a text only version of the book.

RAYNER LYSAGHT- The Republic of Ireland book and chapters

Chapter 8- Do The Irish Want Independence?

September 15, 2021
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The 8th and final chapter of Republic Of Ireland, Do The Irish Want Independence is very short- just four pages long plus a five page Epilogue: September 1968 to July 1969 and an Appendix on a socialist programme for the Irish Labour Party.

We also include here an extensive Bibliography and Index for the whole book.

Chapter 7- The New Deal of Sean Lemass 1957-1967

September 12, 2021
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Chapter 6 of Republic of Ireland: The New Deal of Dean Lemass, 1957-1967 (35 pages)

Steve Whitley- Victory Against Victimisation

September 8, 2021
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In the process of researching some of Mick Gosling’s history, Penny Duggan sent us a couple of links to interesting materials she had received on the IMG in the North East.

Liz L writes:

“I think Mick was sent up to Newcastle for a few months when the IMG had a contact at a college of education near Ponteland, just outside Newcastle. 

Steve Whitley, a lecturer in English, faced an attempt by the college principal to sack him.  He kept his job as a result of a successful student and trade union mobilisation. 

Anyway Steve, one other lecturer, I think called Brian, and a few students joined the IMG.  So this was the basis of a possible branch and a few of us were sent to Newcastle to organise it.”

Here is the Steve Whitley story from “Muther Grumble“* (a link to the full PDF of this magazine is here.

The article is on page 8, filed under “student politics”)

Victory Against Victimisation
Steve Whitley joined the staff of Northumberland College of Education on 1st September 1972, as lecturer in English and Resident Tutor; he took up the post of Senior Resident Tutor on 1st January 1973.
On the 21st February, the first day of action in the National Union of Students Grants Campaign, Whitley joined the demonstration in Newcastle and spoke from the platform at the rally.
On Monday 12th March, two days before the next NUS day of action, the Principal, Eileen Churchill, issued a memo “to advise all members of the College staff that they were expected to be present at college on Wednesday to meet their normal work commitments”. Whitley had no teaching commitments on Wednesday morning. So he approached Mick Marston, the Students Union President, to ask how he could support the student action. Marston asked him to join the picket line which was being mounted at the entrance to the college, and Whitley was there for most of the day.
At 2.00pm on Friday 16th March Churchill told Whitley that she wanted to see him later that afternoon; he asked why but a reason was refused. About an hour later, he was summoned to her office, where Churchill read him a statement saying: “I am concerned that you did not accept my advice of Tuesday evening that you should undertake your work as a member of the teaching staff of the college on Wednesday morning of this week. I have advised the Chairman of the governors of this situation and that in view of the fact that you have shown yourself to be a person on whom I may not rely I can no longer consider you to be a suitable person to hold a post of special trust in the college. I am relieving you of all your duties as Senior Resident Tutor as from today.
“The NUT took up the case immediately, telling the Clerk to the Governors that the dismissal was “entirely improper”. The college Students Union passed a motion which read: “The union is totally opposed to the Principal’s actions in the attempted sacking of Mr Whitley and that the union continues to recognise Mr Whitley as Senior Resident Tutor”.
Militant students at once began to argue for action to reinstate Whitley. Opposition to this came from three groups: right-wing students, apolitical students and part of the Liberal wing. Many of the right-wing students welcomed his dismissal, pointing out his membership of the International Marxist Group. They and the apoliticals were also horrified at the prospect of strikes and occupations, claiming that it would get “the college a bad name” and “affect their future careers”. Some of the liberals claimed that the college Principal had acted in an unconstitutional way and thus the attempt to reinstate him should be conducted in a purely legal way.
The militants rejected these views, pointing out that Whitley’s dismissal would strengthen the hand of the Principal and encourage the most reactionary lecturers in their attempts to strengthen college discipline. They explained that by occupying the administration they would not only disrupt the college but encourage students and lecturers in other colleges to take supporting action. Furthermore, only such action could inspire any campaign amongst the unionists who were hardly likely to act in defence of Whitley if students of the college were accepting his victimisation.
The position was fully justified in practice. Even though only a minority of students occupied the administration block it evoked messages of support from over 30 colleges – the universities had already closed for the vacation – and received the support of the NUS executive, backed by a resolution at the NUS conference at Exeter. Academics throughout the country signed petitions demanding his reinstatement, many of which called on the NUT and ATTI to ‘black’ the college if his dismissal was confirmed.
Meanwhile, a Steve Whitley Defence Committee had been formed from local friends and supporters. Recognising that some members of the board of governors had connections with the trade unions and local Labour parties, the Defence Committee campaigned inside the local unions and Labour parties for support. Branches of NALGO, NUPE etc went on record for his reinstatement. The Newcastle Trades Council carried a motion of support and circulated its affiliated organisations on the case. The South Shields Trades Council not only came out in clear support but sent their banner and pickets to the Board of Governors meeting.Some people had argued that this activity might alienate some of the more ‘progressive’ members of the Board. But the Defence correctly saw that what would move these people was an open demonstration that the trade union and Labour movement would not tolerate any complicity on their part in Whitley’s projected victimisation.
By refusing to let the case be tied to legal manoeuvres alone, and thus isolated in the rooms of secret committee meetings, the Defence Committee ensured that the maximum pressure was brought to bear against the authorities and thus laid the base for Whitley’s reinstatement.The meeting of the college Board of Governors of 9th April decided to lift the suspension and to reinstate him to his former post as senior resident tutor. A fine of one day’s pay was imposed on him, presumably as ‘punishment’ for his presence on the picket line on the 14th March.
Although the dispute was resolved within the official channels, that is at the board meeting, the overwhelming support from students and workers emphasised that to take on Steve Whitley was to take on the entire student and labour movements.
This reinstatement clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of joint action between all sections of the working-class alongside students. For the staff and the students of Northumberland College – the victory is very tangible – there will be no return to Miss Churchill’s despotism; for trade unionists, who’re being attacked on all fronts, to defend an isolated teacher is to defend the rights of the labour movement at large.
Solidarity has won the day!
Brian Burke
The Steve Whitley Defence Committee

Steve Whitley is also mentioned in this oral history interview with Steve Grinter: https://nelh.net/resources-library/oral-history/oral-history-political-organisations/oral-history-political-organisations-steve-grinter/

*Muther Grumble, The North Easts Alternative Newspaper. Based in Durham City in the north-east of England, Muther Grumble survived for two years putting out seventeen issues between December 1971 and December 1973.

Chapter 6- The Ruptured Revolt 1943-1957

September 7, 2021
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Chapter 6 of the republic of Ireland- The Ruptured Revolt 1943-1957 is accompanied by an ‘intermission’ – The Frustration of the Literati.

Both can be read here.

Chapter 5- War and Emergency 1932-143

September 5, 2021
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The fifth chapter of Republic of Ireland- War and Emergency 1932-1943 is now available to read…

Chapter 4- Come In A Gale: Go In A Storm…

September 3, 2021
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Chapter 4 of the Republic of Ireland is titled Come In A Gale: Go In A Storm 1923-1932 which you can read here.

Labour Focus on Eastern Europe- a complete run!

August 31, 2021
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We are really pleased to be able to bring you good quality copies of a complete run of Labour Focus on Eastern Europe from 1977 to 2004.

These have been scanned by our friend Gus Fagan and will replace the ones we had previously done.

The collection includes all 76 issues of the magazine / journal plus the 1978 Women’s issue and the two special supplements- Interview with Nicolas Krasso and Interview with Petr Uhl.

Also in Gus’s files are two indexes:

LFEE general (chronological) index

LFEE country index

LABOUR FOCUS ON EASTERN EUROPE Archive

Chapter 3- The Revolution Subverted 1910-1923

August 30, 2021
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Chapter 3, The Revolution Subverted is only 18 pages long but covers the pivotal years 1910 – 1923…

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