Thursday, 27 March 2014

“So tired of the war”: Book Review

Susan Mann, ed. and intro., The War Diary of Clare Gass, 1915-1918.  McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000, xlvii  + 306pp. [hbk. £24.95].  

Focusing on a Canadian nurse’s experiences, this scholarly edition of a war diary presents an authentic voice of the time. Clare Gass arrived in north-east France in May 1915 and spent most of the First World War about 40 miles from the front. She was soon plunged into what the Introduction calls ‘the behind-the-scenes reality of war: that the broken bodies of young men were under the care of strong, competent women.’ (p.xxxix) The diary brings this reality to life in brisk, vivid accounts of the daily routine interspersed with Gass’s own reactions and attempts to come to terms with it all. Any initial euphoria about the conflict gave way to a weary fatalism: ‘Those poor lads, tired in body and spirit, sick of the war, asking for their homes’ (p. 39). Sympathy led her to question the war itself as she repeatedly observed the ‘poor lads & so uncomplaining’, ‘good & patient’ with their ‘dreadful wounds… These are the horrors of war, but they are too horrible. Can it be God’s will or only man’s devilishness. It is too awful.’ (p.26) And again: ‘… some terrible cases, oh so much better dead… Oh why must such things be. All are so brave, & yet those who are not badly wounded are so tired of the war, at least those who have been long in the trenches – tired in such a hopeless way.’ (p.32)

Other days were ‘petty rounds of irritating concerns and duties’, and some of her critique was practical, over the shortcomings of hospital management – ‘an abomination. Everyone is disgusted with it’, and medical students – nice boys, as orderlies a great disappointment’ (although they improved later).

At the turn of successive years she sums up:

  • The last day of a sad year. In spite of worries we have tried to make the best of things at most times. Surely this terrible war will soon be over. – p.90, 31-12-1915
  • In our work in the Hospital we have been happy – the days full of interest… Yet when one looks at the toll of lives lost [the year] has been long indeed. Surely this coming year will bring peace to the world. - p.154, 31-12-1916

Contrivances for making life bearable recur in the diary entries, which are far from being all doom-laden and preoccupied with horrors, although there were gas cases, bombardments, evacuation at short notice and personal tragedy – a cousin turning up in an ‘insane hospital’ with shell shock, one brother wounded, and another killed in action after enlisting, under age, against her entreaties.

As well as the Introduction, Susan Mann provides notes, appendices and photographs, many taken by Clare Gass herself at the time. She has done an excellent service to historians in bringing this document to wider notice, as an important supplement to official sources. One problem anti-war readers may have with the book, however, is that it tends to fall into the trap of taking (the) war for granted: living it, normalising it, and losing sight of any need for a rationale. Thus its emphasis on getting the job done and simply dealing with human suffering as best one can [an occupational hazard for health professionals?] may be seen to preclude any (other than rhetorical) seeking of reasons why.

L. W., July 2001

Slightly adapted from Medicine, Conflict & Survival vol. 17, no.4, 2001 pp. 374-5.

Monday, 17 March 2014

BW Sea Trials continued, 1954

Protests at last: the Cuban Connection

After Operations Cauldron and Hesperus the British BW sea trials programme changed location from Hebridean waters [So long, and thanks for all the fish] to what was expected to be the less hostile climate of the Bahamas, for Operations Ozone and Negation, 1954-55. (The thinking, if any, behind the latter name is not clear). The weather may indeed have proved more favourable, but public opinion was not: the last series provoked sustained agitation in Cuba.

Publicity about the trials had of course been determinedly avoided, but this policy had become impossible to sustain by the spring of 1954. The Governor of the Bahamas, via the Colonial Office, had expressed worries about possible danger to tourist traffic, predicting a leak once animals started to arrive, and arguing that he should be authorised to publish his own announcement. Eventually a Press notice was issued at midnight on 11 March “because a journalist had got to know something”, and was widely reported. As foreshadowed, the statement, in the name of the Minister of Supply, Duncan Sandys, announced that in view of the need to be prepared for all kinds of attack, trials had been carried out off the coast of Scotland in recent years to obtain the technical data on which precautions should be based. Certain further trials were to be held in Bahamas waters, far out to sea, at least 20 miles form normal shipping routes, after full consultation and with the full cooperation of the local authorities.

Nassau’s reservations may have been set side, but trouble was brewing over the plans, not in Britain nor the Bahamas, but in Cuba. In May a Mr Castro (not Fidel) wrote from New York, anxious about what might happen to his native land. The Ministry drafted a reply assuring him that the trials could not possibly result in inconvenience or danger, and referred his letter to the Foreign Office. Widespread serious agitation on the issue was occurring in (pre-revolutionary) Cuba itself. The British embassy in Havana had been getting protests, pleas, and threats in the mail for weeks; there were daily press reports of discussions, and resolutions passed by various bodies. Britain‘s categorical assurances had had no effect. The ambassador blamed “effective and contagious Communist-inspired propaganda” using “subtle and plausible” arguments to raise and exploit the fears of the ignorant masses and hoodwink a number of quite respectable and intelligent groups, including members of the medical and scientific professions. The ‘Lucky Dragon’ incident, when a Japanese fishing-boat’s crew were exposed to radioactive fallout from an atomic test, had been used as a warning. Local apprehension was only intensified by UK government statements about ‘remoteness from civilisation’.

The National Medical Association of Cuba protested; grocers in Havana had held a one-hour strike, and a publication called Bohemia had been vociferous in opposition to the tests. A planned students’ demonstration had been ‘headed off’ by counter-propaganda The National Association of school teachers went as far as to (allegedly) call for Cuban troops to occupy the Bahamas and prevent the trials. A Time magazine feature ‘Bug-Bomb Bugaboo’ (10 May 1954) assiduously trivialised the risks and included the assertion that ‘no actual germ bombs’ were involved. The Cuban government, embarrassed by the agitation, had offered the embassy every protection, but the Under Secretary of State would have preferred the Bahamas not to have been used. Any untoward weather or public health event in the next few years was, they feared,  likely to be blamed on the BW trials, and the government held to account for not acting to stop them.

At the end of the Ozone series (the exercise was considered to have justified itself well, with no more PR problems at Nassau than at Stornoway), the Foreign Office asked to be consulted in advance of any resumption of Bahamas trials, but decided it would not raise objections, despite protests from the Cuban government. In July a Reuters report stating trials would be held again the following year gave rise to fears of further protests and agitation; equipment had been left behind, so it was not hard to guess at a planned return visit.

In September 1954 the PM agreed to resumption of trials in the Bahamas in October. Operation Negation, was to study loss of viability during airborne travel of bacterial agents and viruses. A Press release was issued in the Bahamas about the new season’s trials. The Bahama Daily Tribune reported that they involved animals, live germs, and a new secret device for recording their effects. Afterwards, the Bacteriological Research Advisory Board was informed Ben Lomond had been on site for just over 20 weeks from 11 November 1954 to 2 April 1955, during which 42 days had been used, to do 160 experiments. Once it had been necessary to delay until a local craft cleared the area, and one fishing boat had been persuaded to go elsewhere. The boats’ crews and Pontoon Party did not receive inoculations and this occasioned no anxiety.

In spite of the optimistic tone of the final scientific and naval reports’ assessment, ‘’Negation’’ was the last of the BW Operations at sea.

At the 11th Tripartite (UK, US, Canada) Conference on BW  in 1956 it was announced that there was to be no more 'offensive' CBW research at Porton Down, where the sea trials programme was elaborated and supplied, For a long time  this was 'highly classified' information since it revealed that there had been dedicated 'offensive' research; the lie that it was all defensive had been spouted repeatedly by official sources for pubic consumption.

National Archives Files (as consulted about 10 years ago):

  • AVIA 54/2257 Operation Ozone: Publicity 1953-54.
  • DEFE 55/256 Operation Ozone: Small scale experiments with biological weapons agents over water 1954.
  • WO 195/13261 Biological Research Advisory Board: Operation “Negation” preliminary statement 1955.
  • DEFE 55/261Operation Negation 1954-55: Biological weapons agents tested over the sea.
  • WO 195/13458 Biological Research Advisory Board: Operation Negation 1955. (As ref. above but excludes some ‘retained’ pages).

SmothPUBS online 
A letter in the Lancet of 30 January 1954 referred to a report in the issue dated 3 October 1953 of a resolution on microbial warfare unanimously passed at the Sixth International Congress for Microbiology in Rome, in September 1953. He (or she?) took the journal to task for failing to print the resolution in full. It was an appeal to all governments who had not done so to adhere to and ratify the Geneva Protocol of 1925. Another letter appeared around the time of the March press release (carried in the same issue), expressing the hope that medically qualified persons involved in BW would have the ‘tact to remove their names from the Medical Register as such activity is quite contrary to the ethics of the Hippocratic Oath’.   - Lathe GH. Microbial warfare [letter]. Lancet 1954 i: 265; Day TD. Bacterial warfare. Lancet 1954 i: 629, 632.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Book Review: Shell-Shock

Anthony Babington, Shell‑Shock: A History of the Changing Attitudes to War Neurosis. Leo Cooper, London, 1997, 218pp, £16.95, ISBN 0 85852 562 4.

Beginning with the description of a court martial in March 1915, Anthony Babington relates the plight of those who suffered from "war neurosis" as a result of military service, showing how medical and army authorities dealt with them and what changes were eventually brought about by political action and public opinion. The main focus is inevitably on the First World War, but the story is traced back to the Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) and brought forward to Gulf War syndrome and post‑traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By the end of the nineteenth century things were clearly going seriously wrong with the minds as well as the bodies of some soldiers, affecting their efficiency as fighting troops and therefore of increasing concern to those in charge. Terminology was always problematic, varying with the predominant symptoms perceived and social assumptions of the time. Soldier's heart, battle fatigue, and "nostalgia" were among the descriptions; in the American Civil War, the theory of "compression of the brain caused by shell explosions" appeared. Ideas about insanity and awareness of the unconscious mind remained a long way from furnishing either a convincing analysis or an acceptable remedy.
Whatever it was called, the phenomenon was international, and flourished as a disorder of the twentieth century, with first the Boer and Russo‑Japanese Wars bringing their quota of these cases, then, within a few months of the outbreak of the First World War, something on an unprecedented scale. The (UK) Mental Health Bill, 1915, provided for six months without being certified if the causes of mental problems were connected with the war. Treatment included rest, quiet and induced re‑creation of events under hypnosis, always with the aim of "cure" and return to the front. In spite of its growing credibility in medical circles, shell‑shock was not accepted by the army as a valid defence against charges of cowardice or desertion. Executions (of which Babington has made a special study*) without medical examination or in spite of medical findings continued until a few days before the armistice, and the highest echelons were ready both to endorse the most callous decisions and to lie about the process to the British public. Other armies did not fare much better. Sigmund Freud in a memorandum to the post‑war Austrian War Ministry enquiry observed that the prime aim of restoring fitness to service was foreign to the essence of Medicine, referring to the "insoluble conflict between the claims of humanity, which normally carry decisive weight for a physician, and the demands of a national war”. (p.66) 

After a decade of campaigning and debate, the UK in 1930 enacted the Army and Air Force Bill, removing the death penalty for cowardice, and, upon amendment, for desertion on active service. Less is heard about psychiatric casualties in the Second World War, but they still constituted a significant percentage at every stage. Post‑World War II, war neuroses among ex‑servicemen were not so obvious but could lie dormant, with commemorations as long as fifty years later sometimes triggering symptoms. Wars still happened. In Korea and Vietnam the USA developed a rotation system to limit time spent in the combat area. Frustration, helplessness and unpopularity were thought to contribute to the large proportion of Vietnam veterans showing symptoms of what was recognised in 1980 as post‑traumatic stress disorder. The Falklands campaign of 1982 found Britain with no mental health professionals serving, contemplating an estimated 2% psychiatric casualties and assuming incorrectly that none would develop PTSD. The consequences of the Gulf War and its syndrome(s) are still under investigation.
The book's Postscript notes that the efficacy of counselling or psychological debriefing is a matter of debate, and, with PTSD rates higher than ever, speculates as to whether the combatants of today may be on the one hand less selfless and resolute, or on the other, more percipient and conscious of the futility of war, than in times past. It does not plump for either explanation nor delve into the cultural changes that may have brought either about. Some further questions suggest themselves: What made some able to adjust to all the horrors? Are women subject to war neurosis to the same extent? What of PTSD among civilians and refugees? etc. Nevertheless, we have a useful basis for developing other analyses, well worth adding to anyone's collection of materials on what war does to people.

In July 1998 the British government was prepared to express regret at those 1914‑1918 executions, but not to accord a pardon to their victims. 
  L. W.

October 1998

First published in Medicine,Conflict & Survival 

* Anthony Babington, For the Sake of Example. Pen & Sword, 1993. 256pp.
For many other books on the First World War:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Red or Green? Book Review about Ireland, mainly

Originally published in Solidarity: for workers’ power. (London, UK) Vol.7, No.11 July 1974, pp.9-14, under the title “Connollism”.

James Connolly, Selected Writings (P Berresford Ellis, ed.) Pelican Books, 1973.

“The great only appear great because we are on our knees: let us rise!” This statement, attributed Connolly (although [French revolutionary] Camille Desmoulins apparently said it first) used to appear among the banners on Civil rights marches in [Northern] Ireland. It is perhaps ironic that Connolly himself should be so much the “great man” among Irish political thinkers, something like Marx among leftists as a whole. At least this new selection of his writings provides, in the absence of a complete Collected Works, a useful guide to the sort of things he actually said.


The longest single item in the book is ‘Labour, Nationality and Religion’ pp.57-117, written in 1910 to refute a clerical attack on socialism. Here Connolly is strongly critical of priests’ attitudes and the record of the Catholic Church as an institution, and applies materialist analytical methods to religious history. His personal position on religion, however, remained at best ambivalent. (1) He maintained that “Socialism is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Freethinker, Buddhist, Mahometan or Jew; it is only HUMAN” (p. 117) and that personal religious beliefs were not relevant to politics.

This is to ignore the function of religious ideology, as a reactionary social force and a factor in the individual’s repression and authoritarian conditioning. Anyone who denies, either from a mechanistic materialist outlook or from [exclusive] concentration on “politics” as such, that such psychological influences are highly significant, runs the risk of perpetuating all sorts of ruling class assumptions. Connolly was not alone in falling into this trap. The results are apparent throughout his writings. (2)


A good illustration of how received ideas can operate simultaneously with revolutionary intentions is provided by Connolly’s attitude to the emancipation of women. In the section on ‘Women’s Rights’ the editor presents us with (pp.189-195) an excerpt from The Reconquest of Ireland, 1915. In it Connolly follows Engels’ explanation of the “Origin of the Family”, describes the specific economic oppression of women in society, and in Ireland in particular – not without perception and sympathy – and expresses support for the women’s movement. “But,” he concludes, “whosoever carries the outworks of the citadel of oppression, the working class alone can raze it to the ground”, which assumes a separation between women and the working class, and accords only marginal status to women’s struggles. A similar attitude was apparent in the controversy with De Leon over August Bebel’s book Woman: Connolly was not under the illusion that economic revolution would bring the solution to all women’s problems, but neither did he see sexual and psychological questions as having a direct bearing on the revolution itself.(3)

It would be a mistake to think that nothing better could be expected, even from conscious socialists, in the first decade of [the 20th] century. Already the long tradition of sexual repression was meeting fundamental challenges, not only in theoretical works Bebel’s but in the lifestyle of women and men. (4) Even in Ireland we have an example of a more genuinely radical approach in the life and writings of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington.(5)  Connolly, however, continued to make assumptions about “morality”, “duty” and the desirability of monogamy which have quite counter-liberatory implications.(6)

“… this is what Father Kane said: ‘Divorce in the socialist sense means that women would be willing to stoop to be the mistress of one man after another’. A more unscrupulous slander upon womanhood was never uttered or penned. Remember that this was said in Ireland, and do you not wonder that some Irish women – some persons of the same sex as the slanderer’s mother – did not get up and hurl the lie back in his teeth, and tell him that it was not law that kept them virtuous, that if all marriage laws were abolished tomorrow, it would not make women ‘willing to stoop to be the mistress of one man after another’. Aye, verily, the uncleanness lies not in this alleged socialist proposal, but in the minds of those who so interpret it…”
James Connolly, Labour, Nationality and Religion, 1910


 What Connolly did regard as vital to the struggle for socialism was industrial organisation. He ascribed the weakness of the existing trades unions, as weapons of defence and as means of raising class consciousness, to their organisation on a craft basis, and became a strong advocate of industrial unionism (pp.147-185). For this reason he is often described as a syndicalist, especially by syndicalists. But his ideas were in many respects different from those of anarcho-syndicalism.

For example, although he saw the conquest of economic power, through industrial unionism, as primary, even considering that “the Socialism which is not an outgrowth and expression of that economic struggle is not worth a moment’s serious consideration” (p.165), he also considered it “ABSOLUTELY INDISPENSIBLE FOR THE EFFICIENT TRAINING OF THE WORKING CLASS ALONG CORRECT LINES THAT ACTION AT THE BALLOT BOX SHOULD ACCOMPANY  ACTION IN THE WORKSHOP” (p.159; his emphasis). Later, of course, he chose to make the bid for political power by means of insurrection instead, on the grounds that revolutionary action was appropriate to extraordinary times.

Contemplating the future society, Connolly envisaged “social democracy” proceeding from the bottom upwards, but “administered by a committee of experts elected from the industries and professions of the land” (p.151). This was intended to avoid bureaucracy, and extend the freedom of the individual, blending “the fullest democratic control with the most absolute expert supervision” (p152). In fact, as subsequent history has shown, reserving a special role for “experts” invites a new bureaucracy to create and perpetuate itself.

The same idea – that certain people, whether called leadership, vanguard or experts, have a special function – is present Connolly’s strategy for struggle. He endorsed (p.167) the statement of the Communist Manifesto that “the Socialists are not apart from the Labour movement, are not a sect, but simply that part of the working class which pushes all others, which most clearly understands the line of march.” In the industrial organisation he eventually suggested a form of Cabinet, with “the power to call out members of any union when such action is desirable, and explain the reasons for it afterwards.” (p.184)

Admittedly this is not the whole picture. Connolly also wrote in favour of the retention of officials “only as long as they can show results in the amelioration of the conditions of their members and the development of their union as a weapon of class warfare.” (p.180) He contended that “the fighting spirit of comradeship in the rank and file” was more important than the creation of the most theoretically perfect organisation – which could indeed be the greatest possible danger to the revolutionary movement if tending to curb this fighting spirit. (p. 176) He was aware that the “Greater Unionism” might serve to load the working class with greater fetters if infused with the spirit of the old type of officialism. (p.180)

All the same there are enough signs that his ideas on organisation left the way open for the domination of a minority group of leaders. (7) And the record of a “great Industrial Union” such as the American U.A.W. (8) shows that the creation of “One Big Union” only gives such a group more scope for exercising bureaucratic power.


Perhaps the aspect of Connolly’s thought most relevant to the present time is his concern with Irish nationalism. He was concerned with it despite socialist internationalism, despite the effort to continue emphasising the class struggle, despite the ability to see through the aims of straight Nationalists.

It has been observed that the sense of Connolly’s writings is the sense of the sense of revolutionary movements in the underdeveloped world today (9); certainly they have a lot in common with the ideology of “national liberation” as supported by so much of the left. We can find most of it here: emphasis on the “main” – imperialist – enemy and his foreignness, on the specific oppression of the natives and their assumed common interest in liberation, on the importance of this conflict along with the claim to be engaged in class politics.

Even the well-known statement “If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain” continues: “England would still rule you…” (p.124) The text in which this is contained, from Shan Van Vocht, January 1897, is all the same a more convincing attempt to get to grips with socialism and nationalism than many of Connolly’s later efforts. It is a long way from the emotive nationalist rhetoric with which he celebrated his own hoisting of the green flag over Liberty Hall in April 1916 (pp.143-145), but the progression is not accidental. The supposedly saving clause about the cause of labour being the cause of Ireland is still present.

The point is not whether Connolly continued to believe in class struggle and had some sort of vision of a socialist future, but whether the tendency of his thought and action was consistent with this. In fact the Irish dimension led him into tortuous paths which are now familiar. Although in an ideal society states were to be mere geographical expressions (p.152), the validity of the concept of a nation is assumed to be self-evident, and “peoples” are entities capable of autonomy. The notion that “the enemy of my enemy must be my friend” is made explicit in Connolly’s pro-German stance during the First World War – p.259, “the instinct of the slave to take sides with whoever is the enemy of his own particular slave-driver is a healthy instinct and makes for freedom”. The German empire is also represented as being more “progressive”. (10)

But socialist ideas about progressive development were not followed uncritically. “North East Ulster” (p.263) is described as being contrary to all Socialist theories, “the home of the least rebellious slaves in the industrial world” while “Dublin, on the other hand, has more strongly developed working class feeling than any city of its size in the globe.” In practice, the “least rebellious slaves” were to be denied the right to opt out of Connolly’s “United Ireland – an Ireland broad based upon the union of Labour and Nationality” (p.279); the project of having them vote on the question of partition was denounced (p.283).

“… The frontiers of Ireland, the ineffaceable marks of the separate existence of Ireland, are as old as Europe itself, the handiwork of the Almighty, not of politicians. And as the marks of Ireland’ separate nationality were not made by he politicians so they cannot be unmade by them.
“As the separate individual is to the family, so the separate nation is to humanity…”
James Connolly, Workers’ Republic, 12-2-1916

Connolly tended to get exasperated with British and other socialists who called critical attention to his nationalism (11), asserting the need for an indigenous Irish socialist party with its own literature. Perhaps he would be better pleased with some of their present-day counterparts on the left. At least he had the excuse of lacking the evidence we now have of what “national liberation” regimes mean in practice, and how far they are from leading to socialism.


In 1897 Connolly regarded “the unfortunate insurrectionism of the early Socialists” (p.125) as having been abandoned by modern Socialism in favour of the “slower, but surer method of the ballot-box”. He continued to advocate the parliamentary road, although ideally the socialist vote was to be directed by a revolutionary industrial organisation. But he believed that in Ireland independence was a pre-requisite, so that the Irish Nationalist was seen as “an active agent in social regeneration” (p.126) “even when he is from the economic point of view intensely conservative”.

The method of physical force, while not to be favoured for its own sake, was not excluded from the “party of progress”. There were, however, certain conditions which should precede its adoption: first, perfect agreement on the end to be attained, then presentation of the demand for freedom through elected representatives. Discussing street fighting, Connolly assumes a large-scale rising with the support of the populace (pp.228-230). The implication is that success will justify the method.

In the event, the Easter Rising of 1916 was put into effect by a group of leaders with differing political aims, united by nationalism and the intention to turn the opportunity afforded by the First World War to what they saw as Ireland’s advantage. Connolly was a prime mover (12), committing the Irish Citizen Army despite his reported conviction in the end that there was no chance of success and they were “going out to be slaughtered” (Introduction, p.30).

“The Council of the Irish Citizen Army has resolved, after grave and earnest deliberation, to hoist the green flag of Ireland over Liberty Hall, as over a fortress held for Ireland by the arms of Irishmen.
“This is a momentous decision in the most serious crisis Ireland has witnessed in our day and generation. It will, we are sure, send a thrill through the hearts of every true Irish man and woman, and send the red blood coursing fiercely along the veins of every lover of the race…”
James Connolly, Workers’ Republic, 8-4-1916

It was no monstrous aberration that he ended his career as a martyr for old Ireland and is often remembered as such, however unjust it would be to claim that he was no more than that. He has a place in labour history as well as in the history of socialist thought. The Selected Writings are divorced from the context of action and controversy in which they were produced, but it is useful and legitimate to judge them on their own merits and see where the ideas tend.

Perhaps, after all, it is to Connolly’s credit that his writings are not fully and exclusively compatible with any one of the theoretical traditions claiming affinities with him – less so, that they endorse sentiments and ideas present in so many of them.

L. W.  
[with a few slight typographical amendments]  


1. See Connolly in America, by M. O’Riordan, Irish Communist Organisation, 1971, and Mind of an Activist, by O.D. Edwards, Gill & Macmillan, 1971.

2. “As a rule the socialist men and women are… immensely cleaner in speech and thought… devoted husbands and loyal wives… industrious workers..” from Workshop Talks, quoted in Voice of the People, vol.2, no.6.

3. Connolly in America pp.16-17. For Solidarity’s views on “The Irrational in Politics” see our pamphlet of that title, price 15p [in 1974].

4. See Hidden from History by Sheila Rowbotham, Pluto Press, 1973.

5. 1916: The Easter Rising,  O.D. Edwards and F.Pyle, eds., McGibbon & Kee, 1968, includes ‘Francis Sheehy-Skeffington’ by O. Sheehy-Skeffington and ’An open letter to  Thomas McDonagh’ by Francis Sheehy-Skeffington who expresses the opinion that the exclusion of women from the Volunteers was deeply significant.

6. Connolly in America pp.16-17.

7. e.g. Labour and Easter Week, ed. Desmond Ryan, 1949, p.114: leaders have a right to confidence: “[L]et them know that you will obey them… let them know what the rank and file are thinking and saying.” They are to be challenged but not rashly.

8. See Solidarity Motor Bulletin No.2, “U.A.W. Scab Union” (price 5p.)

9. By Conor Cruise O’Brien in 1916: Easter Rising.

10. Solidarity has discussed this type of theory in ‘Whose right to self-determination?’ and ‘Theses on Ireland’ in vol.7, no.1.

11. Many British socialists may of course have been chauvinists. But Labour and Easter Week provides an example of Connolly describing British draft-dodgers in Ireland as “cowardly runaways” and “shirkers”, and defending this against criticism from a Glasgow reader.

12. The editor’s introduction to 1916: Easter Rising p.19 states that the I.R.B. [Irish Republican Brotherhood] Military Council was forced to establish an alliance with Connolly lest he should start his own insurrection.

hedgehog reprints @ smothpubs