25 August 2005 Edition
CLLR. DAVID CULLINANE
The Missing Piece in the Peace Process
by Ken Keable —
Connolly Association (2nd edition) 2004
There's an old saying "you can't see the wood for the trees". It refers to that particular form of myopia that derives from being so close to an issue that the key items can elude you. Reading this concise, well-written pamphlet allows the reader to see the whole sad story of the relationship between Britain and Ireland from a new perspective.
Ken Keable writes from the perspective of a singularly atypical Englishman, one who has been active in the struggles for peace and socialism in Britain for many decades.
It is a remarkably concise and analytical coverage of the precise nature of the relationship between Britain and Ireland, which persuasively argues that the British people need to campaign for their government to make withdrawal its policy objective, to be achieved by persuading and inducing the unionists to accept a united Ireland. This was official British Labour Party policy while the party was in opposition.
The pamphlet is published by the Connolly Association, which since 1938 has campaigned for a united independent Irish Republic, as well as defending the interests of the Irish in Britain. The Connolly Association clearly intends that this pamphlet will be of use in raising the level of understanding about Ireland in the British Labour and Trade Union Movement. There is no doubt that digesting the contents of this pamphlet should achieve that aim with any fair-minded reader. The fact that it is on its second edition is encouraging. Purchase a copy for your friends or relations in Britain as advocated by Gerry Adams; however, many Irish based readers would benefit too from this remarkable Englishman's analysis of the sorry history of relations between such close neighbours. The veteran Labour politician and former British Cabinet Minister, Tony Benn, writing in the foreword, rightly asserts that when historical injustices are resolved between Britain and Ireland "the possibility of future friendship and co-operation are unlimited". A wider appreciation of the issues addressed by Ken Keable, on both sides of the Irish Sea, would greatly assist that process.
o The Missing Piece in the Peace Process by Ken Keable is available from many Sinn Féin bookshops, as well as directly from the Connolly Association, Four Provinces Bookshop, 244 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8JR and is priced at £3 sterling, plus 40p for p&p.