Our duty to Ireland

From The Call, paper of the British Socialist Party, April 15 1920

LET US face the fact fully and squarely that the forcible repression of Irish aspirations is being done in our name. Let us be quite clear also that no capitalist government is likely to grant the freedom that the Irish people demand. They are too tenacious of their boasted Empire to agree for a moment to any part of it slipping away. It follows then that the workers of Great Britain shoulder the task of ending this centuries-old wrong. It does not permit of a moment’s doubt that the great labour movement here would not wish to coerce Ireland. When we accept the principle of self-determination it is to be hoped we mean it. Only the rankest hypocrisy would grant to other small nationalities the freedom of self-government and deny it to our brothers next door.

For our part we are quite willing to grant this to the people of Ireland. More: we are convinced that only the Irish people themselves will be able to settle the vexed question of Ulster. With the workers of all countries travelling fast towards communism, the folk on the other side of the Irish Channel may be trusted to settle their religious and racial differences, and fall into line in the federation of free peoples.