close

Home rule

Home rule

Scotland is not so courageous in the push for autonomy

Schemes for Scottish autonomy date back to just after Gladstone’s introduction of his Irish Home Rule Bill. Indeed, they were then part of what was called the “home rule all round”, leaving the Parliament of Westminster to deal with imperial affairs. On several occasions, Scottish Home Rule bills have almost been passed by parliament. One of them did so in 1978, but was rejected by referendum in March 1979, on condition that 40% of the electorate voted in favor.

This story suggests that while the demand has been constant, or at least recurring, it has not been very deep or sustained very strongly. If this had been the case, it is inconceivable that home rule has not been achieved to date.

This shows the significant difference between Scottish and Irish history. Scotland has never been conquered or colonized. He entered into a union with England by a vote of his own parliament. The Scots saw themselves as equal partners in the British Empire. In the 19th century, the Scots were not a submerged people like the Irish, Poles or Czechs. On the contrary, they felt dominant.

This feeling faded in the 20th century. Early industrialization made Victorian Scotland confident and vibrant. As confidence faded as the old heavy industries struggled between the two world wars, the nationalism that had manifested by then was entrenched, romantic and backward-looking.

The response to industrial decline was to hold on even more to the British state, which had the resources to alleviate its effects and facilitate the transformation into a new economy – or, indeed, as many hoped, to support declining industries.

In addition, the experience of World War II reinforced the sense of British patriotism. It was Great Britain, not England or Scotland, that stood contra mundum. Significantly, the major air battles of 1941, although primarily fought in southern England, were unanimously referred to as the “Battle of Britain”.

For 20 years after the war, Britishness reigned almost unchallenged, despite the apparent success of the Covenant movement of the

1940s, which called for a vague measure of autonomy. The Labor Party was committed to socialism in one country and forgot its historic, albeit nominal, attachment to self-government.

It was not until the Wilson years of the 1960s that the decline of British power, and the apparent failure of British governments to stem the economic decline of Scotland from the more advantaged areas of the United Kingdom, gave a new impetus to nationalism.

It was the rise of the Scottish National Party in the feverish atmosphere of the 1970s that persuaded Labor to introduce a decentralization plan.

From the start, this was hampered by its internal contradiction. Devolution appealed to nationalist sentiment, but its apparent aim was to strengthen the Union by creating a better government of Scotland within the framework of the United Kingdom.

Decentralization could therefore only work if it stifled the nationalist sentiment which it also nourished, and because of which Labor had been brought back to its roots as national government.

The condition for decentralization was that there should be a strong SNP seeking independence; the condition for the proper functioning of any deconcentration project was for the SNP to lose its support.

Undoubtedly, the unpopularity of the Thatcher-Major government in Scotland made devolution more attractive. Although general policy was made by the Scots and administered by the Scots, it was nonetheless referred to as a ‘democratic deficit’.

There were claims that the very real and considerable administrative devolution that had taken place should be matched by political devolution in the form of a Scottish parliament.

After 1987, the Labor Party became involved, in part because of the natural frustration resulting from its inability to translate electoral support in Scotland into political power, and in part out of fears that in the absence of decentralization its support does seep into the SNP.

We are therefore now on the verge of voting for a Scottish Parliament along the lines proposed in the British Government’s White Paper.

Its areas of competence will be the parts of government already administratively devolved to the Scottish Office. If we approve it, it will also have modest taxing power and, because of its control over local governments, the power to change local government taxation.

The modesty of the project could, one might think, recommend it. Yet although the result is likely to be a nice majority in favor, there are still some trade unionists who view the project with suspicion and dismay.

They do this for four reasons. The first is simple. As the government presents its proposals as, in the words of Secretary of State Mr Donald Dewar, ‘a fair and just settlement for Scotland within the framework of the UK’, Labor has hailed nationalist support who see what is proposed not as a “settlement” but as a step in the process towards independence.

Clearly the two cannot be right. Therefore, many who are happy to identify as both Scottish and British are inevitably devoskeptics.

Second, the powers of tax variation, while modest, worry many businessmen. They fear that if Scotland becomes the most heavily taxed part of the UK, as seems likely, they will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Their doubts are shared by those who think this is all an expensive extravaganza that will only benefit professional politicians and create more jobs for the boys.

Third, some of us fear that one of the consequences is the diminishing Scottish influence, which is now considerable, within the UK. A semi-detached country is unlikely to play a full role in governing the whole. Scotland may become more withdrawn and parochial, as was Northern Ireland during Stormont’s time.

The government’s refusal to attempt any response to the West Lothian question, formulated 20 years ago by now veteran Labor MP for Linlithgow, Mr Tam Dalyell (then MP for West Lothian), who asks why Scottish MPs for Westminster should be able to vote on a range of English affairs, but English MPs should not vote on comparable Scottish affairs, is worrying. Ultimately, the only answer to this problem would be some form of federalism.

Finally, the proposed regime will create a fundamentally irresponsible parliament because, despite the modest power of tax variation, its income will depend on Westminster. He will have the pleasure of spending money as long as he does not incur the odiousness of snatching it from the people.

Writing recently on the problems of local government in the west of Scotland, Iain McWhiter (who favors decentralization) suggested that it was important to “restore the local tax base”.

Part of the problem, he said, was that local councils no longer collected the money they spent. “Nothing could be better designed to undermine civic responsibility. The balance should be restored, with more taxes levied locally and less levied centrally. Councils would then be accountable to their local electorate.”

He is absolutely right and yet we are being offered a so-called national parliament that will collect an even lower proportion of its income than the meanest and poorest local authorities currently do. Nothing, in its own words, could be better designed to undermine civic responsibility.

And that, even if one did not see in the proposals an institutionalization of the friction between London and Edinburgh, to the probable benefit of the SNP, this would be a sufficient reason to vote “no” on September 11th.

Allan Massie is a journalist and novelist who lives on the Scottish borders. He writes regularly for several publications, including the Scotsman and the Daily Telegraph. Her most recent novel, published last month, is Shadows of Empire.

read more
Home rule

Autonomy could have led peacefully to independence

Home Rule, already law, could have led this part of Ireland peacefully to the same totally independent position that Canada enjoys today, if it had not been derailed by the rebellion of 1916, its consequences and the result. of the 1918 elections.

Peaceful methods had already proved their worth. The landlord system had been overthrown. A national university had been created. The Irish language was increasingly recognized.

More importantly, the principle of Irish legislative independence had already won the Imperial Parliament, in September 1914, with the passage and signature by the King of the Home Rule Bill.

The point of principle was therefore already won, without striking a blow.

It is therefore difficult to say that the outbreak of a rebellion in 1916 and a war of independence from 1919 to 1921 were – one or the other – a “last resort”, which is a essential condition for a just war.

The only question open in 1914 was whether, or for how long, Antrim, Down, Armagh and Derry (and possibly up to Fermanagh and Tyrone who had narrow nationalist majorities) could have been excluded from autonomy. . The violence of 1916 made this problem more difficult to solve.

I believe that the self-government would not have ended up having jurisdiction over most of these counties. But, after all the murders and deaths of the 1916-1923 period and the 1921 Treaty, the Free State did not get jurisdiction over them anyway.

Under the autonomy formula, the excluded counties would have been under direct administration (not Stormont), which would have been better for the nationalist minority.

The Irish parliamentary party tried unsuccessfully to solve the Ulster problem during the period 1910-1918. The men of 1916 simply ignored it.

Exclusion

John Redmond Brian Murphy

The autonomous House of Commons, which would have emerged at the end of the Great War in 1919, would have been elected with a much larger electoral list than that applied in the general election of 1910. All adult men, and all women over 30 for the first time, would have had the right to vote. It would probably have favored those who seek a greater degree of independence.

I don’t think the UK would have denied an autonomous Ireland the powers it freely bestowed on dominions such as Canada and Australia under the Statute of Westminster of 1931. If so, the sufferings of the War of Independence were unnecessary. The proof is there.

In the British elections of 1918, Ireland’s dominion status was not only the policy of the Irish Party, led by John Dillon, but also the policies of the Asquith Liberals and, above all, of the British Labor Party. The policy of the Liberal / Conservative coalition government of Lloyd George was autonomy.

During the 1920s the British Labor Party came to power in Westminster and this would have been a first opportunity for the Irish Self-Government Administration in Dublin to push for, or beyond, dominion status.

Separation policy

Autonomy is said to have left the British forces on Irish territory. But the 1921 treaty did the same. He left the ports of Cork and Donegal to the British Army. But these ports were returned in 1938, thanks to peaceful negotiations on the eve of the Second World War. This suggests that unwanted limitations on local self-government could also have been negotiated peacefully.

If a nation is to learn anything from history, it must consider what might have happened if different historical choices had been made.

As a rule, compromise is good, killing is bad. Bargaining is better than coercion. The uncompromising Proclamation of 1916, with its emphasis on “dead generations” and “irrevocable rights,” took us down an unproductive path.

read more
Home rule

Today, in 1913, the third autonomy bill was passed by the House of Commons

On January 16, 1913, the Third Reading of the Government of Ireland Bill, more commonly known as the Third Irish Home Rule Bill, was passed by the House of Commons in London.

Two weeks later, he was to be rejected again – for the third time – by the House of Lords which aligned with the Unionists – living mainly in Ulster – and feared that the introduction of Home Rule would mean a break for the union of Ireland. and England.

For once, this rejection in the House of Lords did not mark a return to square one for supporters of Home Rule in Ireland. Thanks to the Parliament Act of 1911, the House of Lords no longer had the power to reject a bill, but simply to delay it, which meant that Home Rule had yet to be implemented but with a little waiting.

The Home Rule Bill was a law that would remove the governance of Ireland from England and return it to Ireland. Following the failure of a rebellion involving French assistance in 1798, the Act of Union of 1800 was implemented, essentially meaning that the Irish no longer entered into a personal union with England with the ‘Protestant ancestry ruling over the country from Dublin, they were now ruled directly from London.

READ MORE: Irish Home Rule political cartoons acquired by Great Hunger Institute (PHOTOS).

Attempts to abrogate this union began immediately with “The Emancipator”, Daniel O’Connell struggling to end throughout the 1840s.

Earlier this week, we saw the anniversary of his first public speech against the Act of Union to a group of Catholics in Dublin, in which he said he would be better off going back to the days of criminal law than to spend more time in such a union with England.

“Let every man who feels with me proclaim that if the alternative of the Union were offered to him, or of the reconstitution of the Penal Code in all its primitive horrors, he would unhesitatingly prefer the latter, as less and more than sympathizers proclaimed to the Catholic assembly of January 13, 1800, “that he would rather confide in the justice of his brothers, the Protestants of Ireland, who had already freed him, than to put his country at the feet of foreigners”.

READ MORE: Today, in 1800, Daniel O’Connell gave his first speech opposing Union with England.

The concept of Home Rule, however, did not gain public attention in Ireland until the 1870s, following further failed uprisings in 1803, 1848, and 1867.

In 1870 Isaac Butt, a lawyer and former Conservative MP, founded the Irish Home Government Association. Using a cross section of progressive landowners, tenant rights activists, supporters and sympathizers of the failed Fenian uprising of 1867, Butt and the association evolved into the Home Rule League that won the alliance of many Irish MPs.

The movement would be revitalized once again with the introduction of master organizer Charles Stewart Parnell as a leader, turning the Home Rule effort into a powerful political force from the parish level to parliament.

By the time it was finally passed in 1913, it was the third time that a self-government bill had come before the English Parliament. The first came in 1886 under the Liberal government of Prime Minister William Gladstone with the support of Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party. The bill was not even passed by the House of Commons.

The second attempt took place in 1893 with the recently deceased Parnell and although it was passed by the House of Commons, it was rejected by the House of Lords.

It was not until 19 years later under the Liberal government of Herbert Asquith that the bill returned. During two general elections, Asquith and his party had held on to power by allying with the Irish Nationalist Party and its leader John Redmond. A condition of this alliance was to finally respect Home Rule for Ireland.

The bill was successfully passed by both houses in early 1913 due to the reduced powers of the House of Lords.

Unfortunately for the Home Rule party, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 sent the British government into emergency mode and the Home Rule Bill was once again put on the spot.

With the promise of its immediate implementation at the end of the war, John Redmond gave a rousing speech to the Irish volunteers in which he encouraged them to support the British cause against Germany.

As a largely Protestant country trying to assert its power over smaller Catholic countries, many were happy to force a fight against Germany and many even enlisted in the British Army to fight in the trenches.

There was a minority, however, who were unhappy that the British did not respond to a request once again and felt Redmond was weak in complying with another excuse instead of implementing Home Rule in time. Among that minority were the leaders of the 1916 Uprising who were not prepared to wait any longer to regain power from Britain.

Seeing World War I as a hardship for England and an opportunity for Ireland, they staged the Easter Rising of 1916, a failed uprising that nonetheless rekindled the flames of rebellion among the people. Irish and which is celebrated this year as one of the most important events on the road in Ireland. independence.

The autonomy bill was never to exist.

read more
Home rule

Self-reliance for Scotland is the only way forward for the UK | Alun evans

A A year ago today, Britain’s three main party leaders issued their famous vow, pledging to continue devolution to Scotland if a vote is not taken in the independence referendum, then just 48 time.

Some saw this as a panic reaction. The Scottish National Party and the Yes campaign seemed to be calling all the shots. Union supporters seemed to be constantly late, playing a constant game of catching up with the moving train of independence.

If, on September 18, 2014, some 200,000 Scottish voters had opted for a yes rather than a no, we would now be in the midst of the most complex and controversial negotiations to create the conditions for Scotland to become a state. independent nation – and to break the 300 year old Act of Union.

Since the referendum, and despite its defeat, the SNP has continued to pull the strings. Indeed, last weekend Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would set out in its manifesto for next year’s Holyrood election the circumstances under which it might be fair to call a second referendum on independence.

The first referendum was supposed to settle the issue for a generation. He hasn’t even done it for a year. How did we get to where we are now?

The rise of the SNP in 80 years has been remarkable: since its foundation in 1934, through fleeting successes in by-elections, a wave in the 1970s and the frustrations of the early attempts at transfer under the Callaghan government, to the wild years of the Thatcher and Major years, and to the settlement offered by Blair in his first term – that many hoped to kill the independence movement. Then he skillfully used his power base in Holyrood to reach a point to force a referendum, almost win it and become the story of a general election in the UK.

What, if anything, can the UK government do about this SNP-led march of history? Is a second referendum on independence, leading to a yes, inevitable?

The SNP has overwhelmed the UK on four fronts: politics, politics, personalities and passion.

Its political stance and strategy have always been in the context of its clear and unwavering ultimate goal of Scottish independence. Initially, his political strategy focused a lot on presenting himself as an alternative to the Tories, focusing on the wealthier parts of North East Scotland. It is not for nothing that opponents of the Nationalists have dubbed them the “Tory Tories”. But in 2015, their grassroots policies (such as free university education and higher public spending) targeted the Labor Party and the seats in the central belt.

In turn, SNP policies and politics have been led by a remarkable trio of politicians – Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, and John Swinney. In contrast, no major figure in Britain’s main parties has been wholeheartedly involved in Scottish politics, preferring to pursue a career in Westminster.

Finally, the SNP showed enormous passion in presenting its case.

What about the future? Now is the time for the UK to make a big, bold, generous and mature offer to the people of Scotland.

This offer has to be – whatever name people choose to call it, full fiscal autonomy or devo max plus – ‘UK home rule’, to use the language of Charles Parnell and William Gladstone.

What would it look like? This could be: the full devolution of taxes and expenditure to the Scottish Parliament and Government, with the exception of reserved areas; full responsibility for domestic politics and spending; full responsibility for energy policy and activity on and at sea; agreement on certain shared responsibilities in the United Kingdom; a framework for maintaining the UK as a constitutional monarchy; a shared economic space with a monetary policy defined by the British Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee in which the views of Scotland should be represented; defense and the overall conduct of foreign policy is handled by the UK, but in full consultation.

But it would take three general conditions. First: economical. This arrangement would, by definition, mark the end of Barnett’s formula for public spending as applied to Scotland – requiring a new, fairer formula to be applied to Wales and Northern Ireland.

Second: political. The granting of a much greater degree of UK independence to Scotland – self-government – should have a counterpart in terms of reduced political power for Scotland in the parliament at Westminster. The best and fairest answer to West Lothian’s question is that autonomy should coincide with a reduction in the number of Scottish MPs in exchange for autonomy. This would imply a reduction of perhaps 50% in the number of Scottish MPs.

Third: constitutional. This issue must be resolved for a generation, not for a year or for five years. There may be something to learn from Canada’s experience with Quebec. After its second referendum in 1995 – when the separatist movement managed to achieve only 1% independence – the government reached out to Quebec and sold the benefits of staying in Canada much more forcefully. and passion, as separatist pressure has subsided. .

Those who believe Scotland remains part of the UK must now do the same to ensure that the autonomy agreement is not immediately canceled. And so a long-term agreement has to state that it is for the long term – even if it has to be written into a new union treaty.

read more
Home rule

Consider DC’s Home Rule Before You Vote

Introducing the redesigned DC flag with slogan: “No Taxation Without Representation”. (Rich Lipski / The Washington Post)

Every election day counts. But for DC residents, this year’s Election Day may be more important than most. That’s because the actions of voters beyond the district are likely to be as important to the future of the city as those we ourselves launched on Tuesday.

Opinion polls suggest the nation’s voters will give Congress a Republican Senate and a more Republican House. If this is true, it could cause problems for DC’s hopes of expanding autonomy and voting rights. The city’s quest for democratic equality and the GOP’s current grim vision of DC independence don’t go hand in hand. If the predicted Republican victory comes true, the city can expect to spend the next few years choking on the toxic brew that a GOP congress is likely to serve.

This prospect makes this week’s commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Autonomy Act, a moment that may well represent the culmination of the city’s pressure for full self-determination.

Sadly, city leaders took the opportunity to celebrate. the adoption of autonomy, however, was not their triumph.

Credit for the limited measure of self-government the city now enjoys belongs to the former congressional and city leaders, most of whom are now deceased.

No member of the current generation of elected officials played an important role in the passage of the law on autonomy. The same observation applies to most of the local crowd who toasted at the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday night, the only possible exception being Sterling Tucker, the city’s first elected chairman and chairman of the celebration. . Tucker was a visible and vocal advocate in the years leading up to the law’s passage. But most of the local figures at the time were secondary supplicants, not power brokers. The most prominent and effective people interacting on Capitol Hill in 1973 were Del. Walter Fauntroy, mayor Walter Washington and municipal administrator Julian Dugas. I saw it all from my perch as the Director of Minority Personnel on the then-Senate District of Columbia Committee where I – though a non-Republican – worked for Republican Senator from Maryland and a member of the Classification Committee Charles McC. Mathias Jr.

But rather than pushing for the creation of the Home Rule Act or cringe in anticipation of a Republican congressional takeover, DC voters can focus on the men and women seeking municipal office on Tuesday. These winners will become stewards of the limited power granted to the city by Congress 40 years ago. Now is not the time to bring gleeful talkative, selfish and light-hearted people into the office.

As voters go to the polls, it is worth considering how well their elected officials have handled the powers of self-government.

The corruption of the electoral process and the appalling financial management are two of the most distinguishing features of the past 40 years. And what has been done to political campaigns is disgusting.

Realizing that the election for national autonomy in 1974 lacked rules governing the electoral process, Congress promulgated legislation regulate political campaigns, including financial contributions. The objective was to control “the corrosive influence of big money and the abuses rooted in the secrecy of political campaigns and the new government process” and “to provide for financial disclosure for candidates, elected officials . . . district government as a means of reducing public mistrust and improving the political process.

I wrote these words for Mathias, who presided over a June 13, 1974 hearing on the Political Campaign Bill which was enacted a few weeks later.

So how did it work for us? A two-year – and still ongoing – federal investigation into DC corruption. Jeffrey E. Thompson, Michael A. Brown, Vernon Hawkins. Need to say more?

And after a long struggle for autonomy, it was almost lost when Congress removed control of the city’s finances from the mayor and council, handing a virtually insolvent DC government to a federal financial control board in 1995. – 20 years after the first elected government took office. This era of self-reliance was a monument to mismanagement, neglect, wasted money, wasted opportunities.

Today, however, the city is no more independent from Congress than it was when President Richard Nixon signed the Home Rule Act on Christmas Eve 1973. Yes, Congress has attacked autonomy squarely. government over the past 40 years. But many of the city’s wounds were self-inflicted.

Remember the board member who bit the tow truck driver in a fight? This resulted in the board member being convicted of assault and six months in jail in 1981 for failing to pass a court-ordered psychiatric examination, as required by his probation. And do you remember the mayor with the crack pipe, a girlfriend, and peeping authorities in a downtown hotel room? And the council members were taken to jail?

Think about these things before you vote.

Let’s not give Home Rule opponents more stones to throw at us.

Learn more about the Colbert King archives.

read more
Home rule

Archive: Irish Home Rule and the Ulster Pact | North Ireland

On September 28, 1912, 237,368 men and 234,046 women in northern Ireland and beyond signed the Covenant and the Ulster Declaration, pledging to oppose Home Rule, then debated by the British government.

the third autonomy bill – which did not achieve full independence but transferred power from London – was fought by the Unionists, who wanted to maintain Ulster’s position within the United Kingdom.

A document based on the 17th century Scottish National Pact was written to serve as a solemn oath.

Manchester Guardian, September 20, 1912: click to read full article.

He bound those who had signed it to

supporting each other to defend, for ourselves and for our children, our cherished position of equal citizenship in the UK, and using whatever means may be deemed necessary to defeat the current plot to create an autonomous Parliament in Ireland.

A separate statement was drafted by the Ulster Women Unionist’s Council in which women are committed to “Let us join the men of Ulster in their uncompromising opposition to the autonomy bill. “

Ulster Declaration for Women, Manchester Guardian September 11, 1912
Manchester Guardian, September 11, 1912: click to read full.

September 28 was declared Ulster Day, and meetings were held across the region to mobilize support. On the same day, many Protestant churches organized special services and many factories in Belfast closed to allow workers to join the crowds at Town Hall; Sir Edward Carson was the first to sign. The women signed the Declaration near Ulster Hall.

Copies of the document were signed at over 500 locations across Ulster and further afield in England and Manchester over the following weeks.

Ulster Pact in Manchester, Guardian October 7, 1912
Manchester Guardian, October 7, 1912: click to read full article.

Some saw in the Home Rule bill the ignorance of English politicians and party politics. A letter to the Guardian claimed that “to the average Englishman Ireland means a troublesome island somewhere in the Atlantic, where the natives run half-naked over blossoming shillelagh bogs while behind them hides a mysterious known conspirator under the name of “the priest” … ”

The author suggested that a bill should be drafted by businessmen of all stripes, making it “satisfactory to everyone in Ireland except a few Orangemen and Molly Maguires. ‘

Letter on the Ulster Alliance, Manchester Guardian October 26, 1912
Manchester Guardian, October 26, 1912: click to read full.

The legality of the Covenant has also been called into question and criminal proceedings have been brought against several signatories.

Ulster Covenant criminal case, Manchester GUardian October 4, 1912
Manchester Guardian, October 4, 1912

The Autonomy Bill was adopted by the Commons, but was defeat in the Lords in January 1913. It would have been adopted, but when World War I broke out, the matter was put on hold.

In October 1912, while the bill was still hotly debated in parliament, the Guardian correspondent in Belfast suggested that, faced with lower than expected turnout, Unionist leaders were forcing “non-voters” to sign.

He also wrote that “those who put their names on the Covenant on ‘Ulster-day’ are the culmination of militant unionism.” In this he was prophetic; the unionists selected 100,000 men from among those who signed the pact to be trained in the use of firearms as the first force of ulster volunteers.

Ulster Pact, Manchester Guardian October 18, 1912
Manchester Guardian, October 18, 1912: click to read full articles.

Learn more about the Ulster Covenant, search for documents and view original signatures on the Northern Ireland Public Archives Office website, which digitized both the Covenant and the Declaration.

read more
Home rule

Irish Home Rule political cartoons acquired by the Great Hunger Institute (PHOTOS)

The Great Hunger Institute of Ireland at Quinnipiac University has acquired a collection of 29 Irish political cartoons from the 1885-1914 “Home Rule” period, when Irish nationalists fought for independence from Great Britain.

Gerard Morgan, from County Mayo, donated the cartoons. He has written several books on 19th century Irish history, including “Sending out Ireland’s Poor” and “Mayo: A County History”.

“For historians [the cartoons] are a great resource, but also for students of visual culture because they are beautiful and very powerful images ”, founding director Christine Kinealy said in a press release.

The Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac is a scientific resource for the study of Great Hunger, promoting research and fostering understanding of Ireland’s greatest tragedy through lectures, lectures, artifacts and courses.

“These paintings are a unique resource that can be used to better understand this period in Ireland,” said Kinealy.

“The cartoons seem particularly relevant this week in the run-up to the Scottish referendum, and some of the old arguments against Irish independence play out in the context of Scotland.”

The images originally appeared in St. Stephen’s Review, a weekly political magazine published in London that opposed Irish independence (depicted in the cartoons).

The cartoons opposed to Home Rule are the work of English cartoonist and satirist William Mencham, who used the pseudonym “Tom Merry”.

The cartoons sympathetic to Home Rule, which appeared in the Freeman Weekly, are by Walter Charles Mills, born in County Tipperary in 1853. He often built his images around the characters of Erin, the beautiful woman symbol of Ireland , and Pat, the decent and reliable Irish farmer.

“The Ugly Boy and His New Clothes” – November 26, 1887.

The painting depicts William O’Brien, a nationalist journalist who represented Ireland in the British Parliament, as a naughty child. When he was arrested and jailed in 1887 for organizing a “rent strike” in County Cork, which was part of a larger agitation for land reforms, he refused to wear a prisoner’s uniform. His supporters smuggled a Blarney tweed suit into prison – a suit O’Brien later liked to wear in the British House of Commons.

‘The Modern Perseus’ – March 16, 1889.

The painting borrows from Greek mythology, Perseus being a dashing hero who saves Andromeda from a sea monster. In the context of the Home Rule debate, the beautiful woman personifies Ireland, while the “unacceptable” side of Ireland is portrayed as a monster that can only be controlled through the use of “coercion”. These unattractive stereotypes of Irish nationalists were rife.

‘Through the Green Glass’ – July 13, 1889.

The painting depicts William Gladstone reading a newspaper article titled “The Irish Question”. Gladstone literally reads the newspaper through green glasses – symbolizing his sympathy for Ireland. At this point, Gladstone was almost 80 years old, but still politically active. In 1892 he became British Prime Minister for the fourth time, and one of his electoral promises was that he would give Home Rule to Ireland. When Gladstone died in 1898, Irish Home Rule was more elusive than ever.

“The duty of the hour” – March 4, 1911.

This painting was donated with the “Weekly Freeman”, who supported Irish Self-Government (Home Rule). The beautiful female figure ‘Erin’ is used to personify Ireland and its struggles for independence. The National Fund referred to was founded to support the parliamentary campaign to win Home Rule and to counter “the powerful and unnatural combination of factionalism and unionism that is opposed to us”. The building in the background symbolizes the old Houses of Parliament in Dublin, which had been sold to the Bank of Ireland in 1800 when the Irish Parliament was abolished. The caption says, ERIN – “Everything is going well in Westminster, and your job, Pat, is to make the party there even better. That is why the War Chest is the duty of the moment.

“Wait a little Ulster” – March 2, 1912.

This cartoon was distributed with the “Weekly Freeman”, a Dublin-based newspaper which supported Irish independence. The cartoon provides an unsympathetic take on the people of Ulster’s opposition to Irish independence. The man in the middle, Augustine Birrell, was an English-born politician based in Dublin Castle. He is portrayed as a man of reason, who tries to reassure the people of Ulster that Home Rule will not threaten their civil and religious freedoms. Pat – the voice of nationalist Ireland – remains skeptical of the motivations of those who opposed Home Rule.

Quinnipiac University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian institution located 90 minutes northeast of New York City and two hours from Boston. The political cartoons are on display in the Lender Family Special Collections Room at the Arnold Bernhard Library.

read more
Home rule

Irish Home Rule and the Scottish Referendum 1914-2014

This is the centenary year of the enactment of the Third Self-Government Bill, as well (of course) as the year of the Scottish Independence Referendum. Yet the centenary conversation in Ireland and the somewhat more vigorous debate over Scottish independence have been conducted – for the most part – quite separately.

While it would be wrong to push the analogies too far, there are some striking similarities – and some differences – between the Home Rule debate of 1912-14 and the current Scottish independence debate. These similarities (and even distinctions) might well give the protagonists of Scotland’s ‘Yes’ and ‘Better Together’ camps food for thought – and indeed, there is evidence that Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond ruminated as a result.

A critical difference between Ireland in 1914 and Scotland in 2014 is that of militancy – Ireland on the eve of World War I being an armed camp comprising the Ulster movements and Irish volunteers, opponents and supporters of Home Rule, as well as the British Army. . The Scottish political debate has not been militarized and there is no indication that it will become so (the Scottish National Liberation Army, for example, has never posed a significant threat). Modern Scottish nationalism has developed as an entirely constitutional and peaceful phenomenon.

Of course, mainstream Scottish nationalism only recently emerged, through the successive Holyrood elections, as a majority phenomenon. But he never had to rise to the challenge (taken up by Irish nationalism a century ago) of dismissing a majority of elected officials, while encountering long resistance in London.

One aspect of the Irish experience in 1914 was that a heavy constitutional debate, heightened political expectations, and the delay or disappointment of those expectations (with Unionist resistance and the onset of the war), combined to create a chemistry very volatile policy. The hardening of expectations for change across Scotland in 2014 means that national aspirations (as well as social and economic) may need to be addressed swiftly and sensitively, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

Sir Edward Carson, leader of the Irish Unionist Party, inspecting members of the Ulster Volunteer Force. The UVF was founded in 1913 by the Ulster Unionist Council to resist the implementation of Home Rule. Q 81759 Imperial War Museums. IWM Non-Commercial License via Wikimedia Commons.

A critical dimension of this activism in 1914 was the uncompromising support given to the Unionist paramilitary Ulster by the British Conservative leaders – this in part a symptom of the deep divisions in British and Irish politics and society precipitated by the Home Rule debate. . Strikingly, both the Home Rule issue in 1914 and the referendum in 2014 each attracted an unusually wide range of declarations of allegiance from a complex array of interest groups and individuals. In 1914 there was a high level of ‘celebrity’ endorsement and intervention against Home Rule: by taking only literary figures, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became a Home Ruler, while Rudyard Kipling was a strong unionist. In 2014, Irvine Welsh declared himself in favor of independence, while JK Rowling is against. Ian Rankin provides a case study of the complexity (and depth) of the division: He’s agnostic on the matter, but it’s clear his characters would have strong opinions. Thus, Inspector Rebus joins the trade unionists of 2014 (although actor Ken Stott, the most recent of TV Rebuses, would be in the “yes” camp).

The analogies between Home Rule and the Scottish independence debate, however, go far beyond the “A” list. The substantial strength and defiance of Home Rule sentiment produced a striking intellectual movement both before and in 1914, just as the strength of the Scottish independence movement produced a similar movement a century later.

In 1912-1914, the constitutional deadlock on Home Rule actually helped spur support for (then called) “federalism” among part of the Unionist elite, including even Edward Carson. In terms of the (almost) equal forces fighting for Scottish independence, Gordon Brown has now embraced the idea of ​​a federal UK; and he was joined or preceded by others, including (for example) the Scottish Conservative journalist, David Torrance. The discussion of a possible English parliament was featured prominently in 1911-1914 and again in 2014. Both in 1914 and 2014, it appears that the still-malleable UK constitutional form is once again in transition – but because trade unionists now don’t change less than nationalists.

And indeed, some Scottish nationalists have adopted at least some of the symbols of the British connection. John Redmond, the leader of Home Rule, emphasized the monarchy and empire in his view of Irish autonomy during the Home Rule era, partly out of personal conviction and partly in terms of subversion of the unionist arguments. In the same vein, Alex Salmond (despite a strong tradition of Republican sentiment within the SNP), adopted “the union of crowns” as the SNP’s strategy and has referred in recent years with deference to the queen (“d ‘Scotland’), and its central place in an independent nation.

Here, as elsewhere, Ireland’s century-old Home Rule debate evokes the current situation in Scotland. Indeed, here as elsewhere, Ireland’s broader experience of the Union coincides with that of the Scots.

read more
Home rule

what Home Rule could not have achieved

It is true that the Easter Rising should have been unnecessary, but that the Easter Rising was the only way for the Irish people to gain independence is sadly also true. The reason is that the British had no intention at the time or for the foreseeable future to grant Ireland full independence.

John Bruton is touting the passage of the Home Rule Bill this week as if it would have granted Ireland some form of Dominion status. The real facts are that the Autonomy Bill would have given Ireland the kind of status Wales now enjoys and far less than Scotland already achieved 100 years later.

Home Rule would have left all the central powers of any state under the control of Westminster, including foreign affairs and the right to have our own army.

The British establishment’s entrenched resistance to democracy, self-determination and the rights of small nations to determine their own destiny became evident after the end of World War I, which we are told was fought for this same right.

His reaction to the 1918 general election in Ireland, when the majority of the people elected by the people democratically established their own parliament, the Dáil Éireann, was to immediately ban the Dáil.

That 1916 was fought to establish the right of this country to choose its own democratic form of government, without external control, is clear from the proclamation of 1916, which speaks of “the establishment of a permanent, representative national government. of the whole people. of Ireland and elected by the votes of all its men and women ”.

One-off event

It is also important to place the Uprising in the context of its time, when war was rampant across Europe and beyond and where many Irish people were said to face fighting for Ireland at home. or on the slaughter fields of mainland Europe.

Bruton refers to the “successful path of nonviolent parliamentary Home Rule” as opposed to the “path of physical violence, initiated by the IRB and the Citizen Army during Easter week 1916”.

The price to pay for following the limited option of Home Rule was that the Irish would have been forced to wage all subsequent Imperial wars on behalf of Britain. The fact that John Redmond believed this is clear from his call to Woodenbridge for Volunteers to enlist and the involvement of his family members and supporters in WWI.

That many more Irish died in this Imperial War than in 1916 and the War of Independence combined is a fact. That recruiting for the British Army in Ireland dried up after the uprising is also a fact, saving many lives. Without the Uprising’s success in awakening the Irish people, it is likely that Britain would have succeeded in enforcing conscription in 1918, causing many more needless Irish deaths.

Full independence has enabled Ireland, in the meantime, to engage in international affairs and to lend its efforts at the international level to the maintenance of peace under the banner of the United Nations. It has kept us away from the wars of power in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, to name a few. In addition, the countless lives saved in WWII by Irish independence should not be overlooked.

Politicians often use historical events for current purposes. For this reason, I think it is important that all Irish people understand the ideals and motivations of the 1916 uprising and its leaders so that we continue to preserve the sovereign independence of this state in its relations with other nations. More importantly, we must jealously guard ourselves against anything that would engage us in the geopolitical conflicts of the great powers in circumstances where such engagement is beyond our control. Ireland’s role should be that of a beacon of peace and reconciliation in the world.

Different view

We have seen this happen gradually over the past few years. I wonder if those like John Bruton really think this is the best fate for this nation.

Éamon Ó Cuív is a Fianna Fáil TD

read more
Home rule

Independence: An Argument for Home Rule by Alasdair Gray; My Scotland, Our Britain: A Future Worth Sharing by Gordon Brown – review | Political books

Owhen a polemic claiming the independence of Scotland receives the title Independence, but the subtitle An argument for Home Rule, be prepared for some confusion. Momentarily, the cover of Alasdair Gray’s book gives the impression that he could defend both sides in the upcoming referendum.

Self-government for Scotland – within the UK – is what the Scottish Labor and Liberal parties have intermittently advocated since the late 19th century; it has already been partly achieved by devolution, and it is a constitutional process that Gordon Brown says should continue if Scotland returns a ‘no’ vote in September.

Autonomy in this sense, however, is not what Gray means; it signifies separation from the United Kingdom. He has a utopian vision of how (in the words of his more cohesive 1992 book on the subject) “the Scots should rule Scotland”, entirely disentangled from England. He imagines an independent nation in the sepia image of his own childhood, in a retro-futuristic landscape reminiscent of the beginnings of the British welfare state. It’s state-owned Scotland, minus the anti-Scottish BBC; a Scotland free of NATO and nuclear weapons and aggression; a neutral, fabienne-socialist Scotland, like an incredibly benevolent Switzerland, but without the banks.

Gray recounts it all in a pamphlet full of cod history, doggerel poetry, whimsical tangents, the bitter settlement of personal squabbles and the repeat of the Scottish Socialist Party’s defunct “Calton Hill” manifesto for a “Scottish Commonwealth”. .

A book that should have been a major cultural asset for the “yes” campaign does it no favors. It is, frankly, mortifying to compare such an incoherent mess with Gordon Brown’s powerful collection of arguments. My Scotland, our Britain.

Nonetheless, there remain illuminating parallels between these two Scottish originals. Although on opposite sides, Brown and Gray agree on the central pillars of Scottish culture: the egalitarian ethic of the Presbyterian kirk, the distinctive institutions of Scottish law, and the ambitious traditions of Scottish education. They also agree that the Scottish National Party government’s recent policies at Holyrood have in fact undermined these institutions and values ​​- through over-centralisation, attacks on the legal system and the dumbing down of education.

Despite his overt support for the “yes” campaign, Gray rages against recent attempts by Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to remove the principle of corroboration from Scottish law (thus bringing it closer to English), and he can’t help but express fears about bureaucracy. authoritarianism within the SNP. Gray may dream of independence, but he dreads reality, perhaps aware that his polymathic Scottish traditionalism finds little echo among contemporary nationalists.

But there the parallels end. Gordon Brown does not seem to suffer from such internal contradictions or uncertainties. In My Scotland, our Britain, he summons against separatism an almost overwhelming legion of economic data, historical evidence, political rhetoric, philosophical argument and personal experience. In the interconnected world of globalization, he derides nationalism as a 19th century answer to a 21st century problem.

Brown gets rid of the heavy economic artillery: why would the SNP want a monetary union in sterling while renouncing any Scottish influence on economic decision-making in the UK? How can you rely on North Sea oil, when it produced 4.5 million barrels a day in 1999, but only 1.4 million in 2013? According to him, the loss of trade within a UK-wide integrated economy would mean that independent Scotland’s exports to the enduring UK would be 83% lower after 30 years (and exports from rest of the UK to Scotland 77%) lower than if Scotland were to remain part of the UK.

Brown’s statistical arguments are relentless, inflexible and exhaustive: a taste, one presumes, of what it might have been like to try to disagree with him at the Treasury. Yet it is not finance that drives his book. Although few paid much attention to his speech on “British values” when he was in government, it was the central theme of his political life. Although he refuses to toe directly with the Better Together campaign or any party line, his absence and presence have been enduring features of the referendum debate.

At the heart of his understanding of British values ​​is a startlingly beautiful notion of fusion: the Scottish principles of solidarity, civil society and “democratic intellect” have, through union, intertwined with the English values ​​of freedom, of tolerance and pragmatism. He calls Britain an alliance rather than a contract.

Before the union, he argues, there was a greater division between highlands and lowlands in Scotland – or between Jacobites and Covenanters – than there was between Scotland and England. England. The stories and myths of a unified Scottish nation were created and promoted by people like Walter Scott precisely to ensure that Scotland remained in the union as an independent, unsubordinated partner. A cohesive Scottish identity was forged not against the union, but through it.

Brown provides an interesting modern parallel to this process: how the legendary strength of Scottish unions came from their merger with British unions. Although a book about nationalism and the constitution, Brown sees the British state as the means by which Labor politics can survive: in the desire to tackle poverty and inequality, and in the hope that a civil society can continue to thrive in a global context. economy.

Such policies are ultimately not so far removed from Gray’s nostalgic welfare statism – but Brown’s vision is broader and his argument is deeper. It is by far the most serious and important work on Scottish and British identity to emerge from the referendum debate. It should be required reading for anyone genuinely considering the arguments before September 18, or what to do with the UK constitution afterwards.

read more
1 2 3 4 5
Page 4 of 5