Century of Endeavour
Socialism and National Democracy
(c) Roy Johnston 1987(comments to email@example.com)
Priscilla Metscher, Republicanism and Socialism in Ireland, (Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1986), pp. 617
Metscher's book is a welcome indication of the quality of the revolutionary historical analysis possible when Irish labour history scholarship is able to get the necessary resources to do the job. That this has to be done outside Ireland, by an Irish woman with an academic post in Germany, is a measure of the failure of the Irish academic system to deliver the fuel necessary for the ideological tempering and maturing of Irish national democracy, to the extent necessary for accommodating in an Irish context the analysis of the roots of the ideology of the Irish left. Howell's book is an indication that the British labour movement is waking up to the existence of Britain as a multinational State, and is beginning to examine the problem of labour and nationality in the English, Scottish and Welsh context(1). Both books should enthuse the specialised Saothar readership with an appreciation of the need to study the Irish labour movement as a key component in the broad anti-imperialist, national-democratic movement, an integral part of the democratic republican tradition which has been active in attempting to build an Irish nation State, independent of British rule, for the past two centuries.
Metscher's Research CommentaryMetscher does not present a history of what happened but primarily a history of the ideas of those who made it happen, with their background and derivation. She distances herself from EP Thompson's methods, though she acknowledges a debt(2). She prefers the classical socialist historiography tradition, as exemplified by Morton, Tate, Cole and Postgate(3). She takes, as background reading, the classics of bourgeois historiography (Lecky, McDowell)(4), contemporary attempts to account for the development of national political consciousness, such as Beckett, Kee and Garvin she allocates to this tradition, in which the rise of radical nationalism is divorced from the development of the socialist movement in Ireland(5). Strauss has a valuable Marxist analysis of the influence of Irish nationalism on British politics(6). Clarkson she finds syndicalist and dismissive of the national democratic movement(7), Rumpf is dismissive of Connolly's Marxism(8). Boyee, who refers to Protestant and Catholic 'nations', and to Connolly's socialist republicanism as 'nationalist socialism' she excludes from her references. She also refers to Cronin, Goldring, Alter, Grossman and Hyams as background books, and gives an outline Connolly bibliography(9). She goes critically through the various Connolly selections (Mac Aonghusa, Berresford Ellis, Edwards and Ransom, Kelleher) finding none of them satisfactory; of the biographers and writers on Connolly (Fox, Greaves, Levinson, Edwards, Cronin, Faligot, Deasy, Gilmore, Thornley, Hoffmann) she is appreciative of Greaves and Cronin; she gives critical attention to Faligot. Overall she is highly critical of the standard of Connolly scholarship; the contribution of the Irish on their home ground in this field, which is of increasing international importance, is derisory. This is a serious challenge which can be taken up only by creative interaction between the ILHS and those younger academics on whom the dead hand of Irish establishment thinking has not yet fallen.
The United IrishmenThe central revolutionary manifesto of the United Irishmen anticipated by half a century the programme of the English Chartists, and was 'broad enough to embrace the interests of the people of no property'. Metscher gives in full the key points, which were representation by equal constituencies, manhood suffrage without property qualification, payment of deputies and annual parliaments. This united the objective interests of the bourgeoisie (both its Catholic trading and Protestant manufacturing wings) with the urban artisans and rural tenant farmers and cottiers. It frightened the wits out of the English Government, which responded with ferocious repression. Similar ideologies in England were less rooted in mass discontent and were contained with relatively mild repression.
Thus, while the Irish bourgeoisie were initially confident of their ability to manipulate the votes of the workers and peasantry in an independent republic implementing the programme as adopted in 1794, there were rumblings from below and emerging trade unions(10). The first (recorded) trade union, the Regular Carpenters of Dublin, was founded in the same year. Some of the United Irishmen were uneasy (Stokes, Drennan), and even Tone drew in on manhood suffrage without property qualification, though privately he supported it. Hope, who was sent to Dublin to organise the workers of the Liberties, identified the class issue as not one simply of aristocracy versus people, but one 'between commercial and aristocratic interests to determine which should have the people as its property or as it prey'(11).
When hope of a landing evaporated, commercial recruits passed information to the Castle 'in order to ensure the continued protection of the British fleet'(12). Thus the vacillation of the Irish bourgeoisie, and its tendency to look abroad rather than take a decision to depend on Irish resources, is deeply rooted in history. McCracken can claim to be its first analyst and critic. Metscher's analysis would serve as an outline for an extended monograph on the ideology of the classical period and its English, French and American connections. Such work would be enriched if it were to be interfaced with Thompson's insights into the Irish connections of the English radicals of the 1790s, with which he held the members of the ILHS spellbound at their 1986 AGM(13).
The Nation and 1848The roots of contemporary 'catholic nationalism' and democratic republicanism are to be found in the contrast between O'Connell and the Young Irelanders. Davis' concept of national democracy was cultural rather than political or economic. When taken up by Lalor and Mitchel, such ideas developed a cutting edge centred around the land question. The idea of land as a national resource, with farmers leasing land from an independent State, is found in Lalor. Thus the republicans of 1848 were primarily agrarian. The strong manufacturing class, that had fuelled the republican ideology of the 1790s, had vanished. During the 1830s and 40s there remained in existence, among those landlords who stayed to develop their estates, elements who would have constituted a technically competent industrial bourgeoisie on the European model. Some of these had a brief flirtation with the Nation group(14).
Davis attended the Cork meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1843, which was presided over by the Earl of Rosse, who had just completed his great telescope at Birr. Technological spin-off of this early example of 'big science', which matured during the next few decades, included Grubb's optical works in Rathmines and Parsons' steam turbine. The Cork meeting would have been exciting for an ideologue of a radical national bourgeoisie seeking to master the technology of national independence. Yet Davis in his subsequent write-up in the Nation treated it as a social correspondent might have done, reporting the names of notables present. He seems to have failed to appreciate the importance of industry and scientific technology as the basis of national independence, unlike his continental contemporaries, especially the Germans, who actively cultivated them. Yet the basis was there in Ireland in the 1830s and 40s; it was institutionalised in the Royal Dublin Society which was regarded in the British Isles as a model University of Technology and compared favourably with Napoleon's Ecole Polytechnique in Paris(15). The industrial potential of the Irish bourgeoisie, which surfaced briefly in the 1790s, and struggled to re-assert itself in the aftermath of the Union, was in effect hijacked by the growing markets of the British Empire and the imperial war machine needed to support it. The main market for the Grubb optical works was the British Navy, as indeed it was for Parsons' steam turbine(16).
Another factor was the denial of university access to Catholics. The Young Irelanders welcomed the Queens Colleges, while O'Connell opposed the 'godless colleges' and held out for a Catholic University. Thus for most of the nineteenth century few Catholics were able to train as scientists or engineers, so that the technological basis of national independence was largely under Protestant control. The analysis of this aspect of the history of the Irish revolution remains to be done; it is not in Metscher. She cannot be blamed for not doing it; if one analyses the thinking of the revolutionaries one is at the mercy of their blind spots. It does, however, need to get done, if the history is to be understood in Marxist terms of basis and superstructure.
The FeniansWith the Fenians begins the interaction with European Socialism; the Blanquist variety, more influential than the Marxist, to which may be attributed the conspiratorial IRB tradition which has bedevilled the Irish anti-imperialist movement to this day. The initial seeding with Blanquism came via Stephens, O'Mahony and Doheny, who were active as exiles in Paris in 1848-51(17). Stephens went on to tour Ireland on foot in 1856, convincing himself of the necessity of founding a liberation movement on the working people. In this he departed radically from Smith O'Brien, who had hoped to involve the 'educated and influential classes'. Stephens' attitude, however, was somewhat dictatorial. The IRB was founded, as an oath-bound secret society, on 17 March, 1858. Stephens' aim was 'a democratic republic ... for the weal of the toiler'. The oath was subsequently revised, removing the word 'democratic'(18). It was, nevertheless, an organisation primarily of working people; urban artisans and tenant-farmers, the latter having been members of rural secret societies. Working class radicalism expressed itself on the national issue rather than on social issues. The trade unions as such did not support Fenianism, though many trade unionists were Fenians.
The Fenian movement took the form it did under the influence of the betrayal of the Tenant Right Movement and Gavan Duffy by Sadleir and Keogh and the Catholic Defence Association. This is confirmed by Metscher in contrasting quotes from the Marx-Engels correspondence and from Stephens. Marx in a letter to Engels on 30 November, 1867 wrote. '..what the Irish need is ... self-government and independence from England ... an agrarian revolution and ... protective tariffs..'. Why then was opposition to landlordism not taken up by the Fenians? According to Stephens, Gavan Duffy and others '..had previously damned any little chance it might have by running it into a parliamentary rut... the labourers and mechanics would never join the tenantry shoulder to shoulder..'. Davitt retrospectively came to the same conclusion as Marx, attributing the failure of the Fenians to their leaving the agrarian struggle to the compromise of the parliamentary reformers(19).
The 1867 rising had little chance of success. Despite the military fiasco, the politics of Fenianism, as exemplified by the 1867 proclamation, was basically radical-democratic, with a strong labour-movement content, including an appeal to the English working class for support. Marx wrote to Engels on 10 December, 1867 '..the English working class will never accomplish anything before it has got rid of Ireland..'.
Technological insights into the Fenian period remain on the agenda, being absent form Metscher. A new wave of technically competent artisans and professionals was beginning to emerge, via the Mechanics Institutes. The Holland submarine, eventually taken up by the US Navy, originated as a Fenian 'secret weapon' aimed at undermining British naval superiority. Robert Johnston, a Northern Presbyterian Fenian, subsequently became a successful entrepreneur and backed Dunlop's early work on the pneumatic tyre(20). Thus there was again an indication of the understanding of the need for mastery of technology as the basis of independence, as there had been in the 1790s, but not in the 1840s.
The Land WarThe Land League forms a bridge between earlier national movements and the emerging Labour movement. Connolly, who served with the British Army in Cork in 1882, overlapped with Davitt who died in 1906(21). Connolly entered socialist politics in Edinburgh when Parnell was at the height of his career. The 1880s witnessed, with the development of the Land League of Great Britain and the Scottish Highland Land League, the initiation of what must eventually prove to be the winning combination: British socialism and Irish nationalism(22).
Connolly assessed the Land League as '...the mouthpiece of a class who were already organised and holding the means of production with revolutionary intent. They were not asking the Government to give them possession; they were already in defiant possession and demanding that such possession be legalised..'.
Davitt initiated the Land League in Mayo on 20 April, 1879, in response to the current famine, with a demand for a reduction in rents(23). Parnell, hitherto confined to parliamentary obstructionism at Westminster, joined him on the platform at the Westport meeting on 7 June, '..the most courageously wise act of his whole political career..' according to Davitt. Parnell's subsequent role in the leadership has been subject to differing assessments, Skeffington insisting that the objective was to assert middle class leadership and keep Davitt out, though Metscher thinks otherwise, on Davitt's own evidence(24). Nevertheless, there was a strong middle class leadership at local level, including a shopkeeper-grazier element, uncovered in recent work by Higgins and others, which Metscher acknowledges in an addendum to the chapter(25).
The activity of the Land League extended to the North; for example Davitt addressed a meeting in Armagh in 1880, solidly Protestant and chaired by the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge(26). The operation of the boycott procedure with 'tainted goods' foreshadowed Larkinism, the Bence Jones cattle from Cork being blacked by Liverpool dockers(27). The Kilmainham 'Treaty' and the subsequent run-down of the Land League and the split with Davitt is interpreted by Metscher in class terms; Parnell's anti-trade-unionism was a forerunner of de Valera's 'Labour must wait'.
Davitt's land tax concept lifted from Henry George(28), with the annual rental of the land paid to the national exchequer for the benefit of the whole community, has surfaced again in the writings of Crotty(29). Perhaps the Irish Labour movement should begin to take this seriously, as an idea with respectable national and social antecedents, whose time has come. Metscher remarks, incidentally, on Connolly's failure in Labour in Irish History to deal adequately with Parnell and the Land League. She regards the work as a document of its times, a stage in Connolly's development rather than as a definitive Marxist history.
Davitt did not identify with socialism, being content to be a nationalist and a land reformer, but '..there were many articles in the political creed of socialism to which [he] willingly subscribed..'. He was a supporter of co-operativism; had advanced ideas on education, based on those of Froebel, with the importance of learning through play; and supported free access to higher education, both full- time and evening, enabling education and work to be combined.
ConnollyThe second half of Metscher's book is devoted to Connolly. The ISRP 1896 programme is compared with the 1848 Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels; there was a similar failure to distinguish between measures for implementation when in power, and measures realisable within the present system, to be agitated for immediately(30). While Connolly insisted on the realisation of national independence as an essential step prior to the completion of the social revolution, he remained somewhat vague as to the nature of the transitional stage with its '..completed bourgeois-national revolution..'(31). The concept to this day remains elusive. He envisaged the peaceful conquest of Government by Socialists in the independent Republic, by the electoral process. The ISRP, however, had scarcely a dozen members in Ireland. Despite its small numbers, the ISRP attracted the attention and admiration of leading advanced nationalists.
For Connolly, his US period was an introduction to large scale industrial unionism, and an initiation into the problems created by left-sectarianism, which he rejected, particularly in its anti-religious embodiment. On his return, Connolly went on to organise the ITGWU in Belfast. Metscher gives interesting background with references to Lindsay Crawford and the Independent Orange Order, whose 1905 Magheramorne Manifesto was a national document, echoing the United Irishmen. Connolly was adamant that Protestant workers were '..an integral part of the Irish Nation..' and that the struggle for Irish independence was in the objective interests of the whole of Irish working class democracy'. He underestimated the '..difficulties involved in convincing the Protestant workers of their objective interests..'. Metscher analyses Connolly and religion. Although an unbeliever, he usually '..assumed the Catholic pose in order to quiz the raw free-thinkers, whose ridiculous dogmatism did and does dismay me..'(32). Connolly goes on '..if the children go to Protestant schools, they get taught to wave the Union Jack... if they go to the Catholic (schools), they become rebels. Which would you sooner have?..'.
In the 1913 period the empathy with the 1916 forces developed. McDonagh and Plunkett opened the columns of the Irish Review to Connolly's defence of the workers. Ceannt publicly criticised Griffith's attacks on Larkinism. Pearse sided '..with the landless men against the lords of the land and with the bread-less men against the master of millions..'. Connolly was critical of the simplistic acclamation of the arming of the Orangemen by MacNeill, O'Rahilly and others, totally rejecting the advanced nationalist misrepresentation of the Carsonite position as a form of Irish patriotism. He understood the essentially fascist nature of Carsonite politics. Greaves defines Connolly's theoretical problem in the 1914 war environment as: '...was the correct course now to identify the Irish and British labour movements and endeavour to concert the overthrow of capitalism in both countries simultaneously? Or was the Irish movement for national independence in its own right a factor making for the overthrow of European capitalism?'.
Metscher calls for labour history scholarship to concentrate its attention on analysing Connolly's contribution to international Marxist thinking on socialism and nationalism. She evaluates the Easter Rising, its practical chances of success, the lessons of Moscow 1905, the failure to subvert the British Army in Ireland (the majority of whom were Irish). She draws on Lenin's assessment (premature as a revolution, but definitely not a 'putsch', as some European socialists had labelled it). She ends with an outline of Connolly's '..mature concept of an Irish Socialist Republic..', which she prefaces with her central thesis '..that within the Irish context the national revolution in the epoch of modern imperialism is part of the socialist revolution..'.
To conclude on Metscher: she definitely succeeds in placing the analysis of the Irish national democratic revolution firmly within the canon of world Marxist scholarship, and establishes the Irish labour movement as having its roots in the centuries-old struggle for national independence. If this book is read and understood by those who do the strategic thinking within the Irish labour movement, it will no longer be possible for people to dismiss the national question as irrelevant. The message is that the national question is at the top of the agenda, and that the labour movement must lead the struggle for its resolution rather than stand aside and abandon leadership to the compromising bourgeoisie.
He develops this theme in the main body of the book, through a study of three contrasting working class leaders in their national contexts: Connolly in the Irish, McLean in the Scottish, and then, contrastingly, Wheatley in the overall British context. Howell begins the Connolly section with the attention grabbing remark that '..passengers from London to Manchester do not depart from the Engels Station..'. It requires to be explained to a British readership why Connolly is honoured in this manner in Dublin, while in Britain Engels remains unsung. He does this creditably, reminding British socialists of the failure of the Social Democratic Federation in 1900 to block the Irish from direct affiliation to the Socialist International; Connolly's nationalism was deeply rooted in Irish history and not just an aberration surfacing in 1916.
In contrast to the anti-national 'socialists' of contemporary Ireland, who tend to lean on the syndicalist element of Connolly's US period, Howell draws attention to his Harp initiative, and the influence of Alice Stopford Green on his thinking in Labour in Irish History. Connolly saw the working class Irish-American links with capitalist interests in Ireland as an ideological anomaly, needing education. Howell assesses Labour in Irish History in this context. He analyses the problem of northern Protestant working class identification with imperialism in the context of the British empire as a whole, where it constitutes a sort of model process for imperial subversion of working class radicalism. Connolly's polemic against Walker applied equally to Henderson (and would have to Wheatley, had he encountered him).
Connolly's appreciation of the importance of technology and technical education is reflected in this 1914 quote (which no doubt contributed to Nathan's assessment of him as 'pro-German'):
'..basing its industrial efforts upon an educated working class, Germany accomplished in the workshop results that this half educated working class of England could only wonder at. That English working class trained to a slavish subservience to rule-of-thumb methods, and under-managers wedded to traditional processes saw themselves gradually outclassed by a new rival in whose services were enrolled the most learned scientists co-operating with the most educated workers in mastering each new problem as it arose, and unhampered by old traditions, old processes or old equipment...'.
Howell explains Connolly's part in 1916 logically, with due reference to his controversy with Pearse ('..red wine of the battlefield..', etc), and his own references to Calvary, Redemption, etc, explaining the necessary symbolism of the nation building process to the English who have put all this past them.
The McLean section breaks new ground for most Irish readers. How many Irish are familiar with Ruairi Erskine's Scottish National Committee and the case it made to the Versailles Conference in 1919? McLean supported this while holding out for '..the Socialist Republic in which alone we will have real Home Rule..'. He also supported the Highland Land League and the Gaelic language. In 1919 he supported the First Dáil and gave retrospective support to 1916, once he was released from jail (he was imprisoned for opposition to the war). McLean was a socialist and internationalist first and foremost; had the opportunity arisen he would undoubtedly have tried to withdraw Scotland from the war, as Connolly tried with Ireland in 1916. In the post-war 'Red Clyde' situation the Irish backed him; he identified Scottish independence as a stepping stone on the road to Socialism, rejecting the leadership of the British Socialist Party and later the Communist Party. McLean's failure to tap the rising tide of labour support in Britain for a specifically Scottish objective before he died in 1923 remains to be explained satisfactorily. Howell has done a service by reminding the British labour movement of the existence of McLean and the Scottish national question, in a contemporary context where the lessons are again becoming relevant.
Wheatley, a Scottish Catholic socialist who became influential in the British Labour Party to the extent of participating in Ramsay MacDonald's cabinet, was described by Sir Oswald Mosley as '..the only man of Lenin quality the English [sic] labour movement has ever produced..'. This is a tell-tale statement, as the English aristocracy (even when it attempts to identify with the Left, as Mosley then did) identifies 'English' with 'British' and ignores the national questions at the periphery. Wheatley emerges as a sort of Walker writ large in the imperial context. He is less interesting than the others but is useful in the context of this book as an illustration of the role of the imperial labour movement as an ideological blind alley. When will an English national minded labour leader emerge who sees the wisdom of shedding the fringe nationalities from the imperial system?.
Howell therefore implicitly poses the question whether the labour movements in Scotland and Wales should not organise themselves on a national basis, and take the leadership of the struggle for national independence away from the SNP and Plaid Cymru. The fact that this policy, although espoused by Connolly, was never effectively implemented by the Irish labour movement, does not prove it wrong. In a situation where the labour movement is relatively stronger than the national proto-bourgeoisie (which undoubtedly is the case in Scotland and Wales), perhaps Connolly's model could be got to work, and Connolly's goal of dismembering the core of the British Empire finally achieved. This question becomes increasingly urgent in the context of European integrationism. A Europe dominated by a triad of centralist imperial States would be a 'prison-house of nations', as was Czarist Russia. A European confederation of independent nation-states, with Ireland, Scotland and Wales participating with Bretons, Basques and others, would be politically interesting. What sort of components for the confederation could be constructed out of a suitably partitioned England? There are already emerging vibrant regional politics all over Europe. The labour movement must evolve a policy towards taking a lead in getting key political decisions into accessible units, of manageable size. Imperial gigantism is no friend of socialist democracy.
Notes1. See my 'The Connolly Phenomenon', Books Ireland, December, 1986, p231.
2. EP Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, (Harmondsworth) 1970) has traced the making of the English working class back to the Diggers of Cromwell's time and earlier. Metscher similarly begins her treatment with the period leading up to 1798. That the bourgeois-democratic revolution carries in its womb the infant working class, which alone can complete the revolutionary process by extending democracy to the control of the means of production, is a truism to anyone reared in the Marxist tradition. Yet the problem has always been that the Irish working class has tended to be unaware of its roots in, and links with, the national democratic revolutionary process. The Metscher book can contribute to the solution of this problem.
3. AL Morton, A Peoples' History of England, (London, 1971); GDH Cole and R Postgate, The Common People, 1740-1946, (London, 1971); AL Morton and G Tate, The British Labour Movement, (London, 1973).
4. WEH Lecky, A History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, (London, 1916); RB McDowell, Ireland in the Age of Imperialism and Revolution, 1760-1801, (Oxford, 1979).
5. T Garvin, The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics, (Dublin, 1981).
6. E Strauss, Irish Nationalism and British Democracy, (London, 1951).
7. J Dunsmore Clarkson, Labour and Nationalism in Ireland, (New York, 1970).
8. Erhard Rumpf, Nationalismus and Sozialismus in Irland, (Heidelberg, 1959).
9. Sean Cronin, Irish Nationalism: a History of its Roots and Ideology, (Dublin, 1980); M. Goldring, L'Irlande: Ideologie d'une Revolution Nationale, (Paris, 1975).
10. A Boyd, The Rise of Irish Trade Unions, (Tralee, 1972), p7-26.
11. Madden's 'Memoir of J Hope', in 'Antrim and Down in '98', (London, nd), p109.
12. E Fitzhenry, Henry Joy MeCracken and his Time, (Belfast 1967).
13. EP Thompson, 'English Radicals of the Eighteenth Century and Ireland', paper delivered to ILHS AGM, December, 1986.
14. There are some tantalising insights to be gleaned from TL Hankins, Sir William Rowan Hamilton, (Johns Hopkins UP, 1980); the relationship between the Irish scientific and industrial elite and the development of national politics remains to be unravelled.
15. Cf Dr Norman McMillan in the Regional Technical College, Carlow. Sir Robert Kane's 'Industrial Potential of Ireland' dates form this period.
16. Hankins, op cit, p227. See also my article on this theme in 'Forum Edition', Crane Bag, 1984.
17. D Ryan, The Fenian Chief, (Dublin and Sydney, 1967), pp50-51, 92.
19. Davitt's Fall of Feudalism in Ireland, (London, 1904), p238.
20. The interaction of science and technology with Irish political and economic life remains a virgin field. Academic attention within Ireland has been superficial, depending on the marginal attention of a handful of scientists, and typified by productions like C Mollan et al, Some People and Places in Irish Science and Technology, (RIA, Dublin, 1985). The Royal Irish Academy bicentenary conference in 1985 produced little.
21. CD Greaves, The Life and Times of James Connolly, (London, 1972), p227.
22. Davitt op cit, p227.
23. TW Moody, Davitt and the Irish Revolution, 1846-82, (Oxford, 1981).
24. F. Sheehy-Skeffington, Michael Davitt, (London, 1908), p77.
25. MD Higgins & JP Gibbons, Irish Studies No2, ed PJ Drudy, (misprinted Dardy in Metscher), (Cambridge, 1982).
26. Skeffington, op cit, p119.
27. J Marlow, Captain Boycott, (London, 1973), p223; also Davitt op cit, p282.
28. H George, Progress and Poverty, (London, 1879).
29. R Crony, Ireland in Crisis, (Brandon, 1986).
30. Cf. Greaves, op cit, p76.
31. Metscher here quotes extensively from the Socialism and Nationalism volume of the ITGW four-volume edition of Connolly's work.
32. This was in a letter to the Scottish socialist John Matheson, 30 January, 1908, cf Metscher, p388.
33. Howell told me subsequently in correspondence that he was unable to find a figure in the Welsh labour movement who had a national vision comparable to that of Connolly and McLean. If this is the case, there is scope for analysis in determining the reason why; this should be fodder for llafur, our Welsh contemporary. Arthur Horner might constitute a candidate for this role, being a veteran of 1916 (in the ICA).
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Copyright Dr Roy Johnston 1999