Britain’s Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland by P. Neumann


By P. Neumann

Britain's lengthy battle assesses the method of strategic switch in the British Government's place on Northern eire, beginning with Westminster's first intervention in 1969 and finishing with the Belfast contract in 1998. Drawing on an enormous diversity of fundamental resources together with lately published cupboard papers, Peter Neumann analyzes the goals, approach and restraints of British coverage in Northern eire.

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Extra info for Britain’s Long War: British Strategy in the Northern Ireland Conflict 1969–98

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In fact, the government’s political ideas were firmly based on the ‘British ideal’, and even though London 32 Britain’s Long War gradually recognised that the reality of the Northern Ireland situation was different from Great Britain, it thought of British political norms as something that people in Northern Ireland had to be educated towards. 57 The notion of a ‘moderate centre’ rested on the assumption that the vast majority of the province’s inhabitants were ‘peaceloving’ and ‘decent’ people who wanted to pursue their jobs and lead a happy life, no matter what religious denomination they belonged to.

In London’s view, Northern Ireland society consisted of the ‘bad’ – that is, those who committed, approved of, or stirred up violence – and the ‘good’, that is, the moderates who condemned violence, and who were prepared to work together in order to uphold the rule of law. In a passionate plea at the House of Commons, Callaghan declared: There may be 250 or 500 men in Northern Ireland today who are intent on dragging the country down so that it lives under the shadow of the gun. The question is not … what those few hundred will do, but what the rest of the people … will do.

73 Equally important was the provision of public or publicly funded housing. 74 The reason as to why the Welfare State and the ‘managed economy’ survived several changes in government can be found in its ideological outlook. It was social democratic rather than socialist, and in that sense it united the pragmatic wing of the Labour Party with the mainstream of ‘One Nation’ Conservatism. 75 In his analysis of the post-war reforms, S. 76 Understanding the Welfare State as a means of creating an ‘egalitarian society’ would be a serious misperception.

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