Marches of Nations: Nationality, War,
Humanity, and What “Silent Millions” Really Feel

by and

“No man has a right to fix the boundary of the march of a nation; no man has the right to say to his country, 'thus far shalt thou go and no further' and we have never attempted to fix the ne plus ultra to the progress of Ireland's nationhood, and we never shall.”

—Charles Stewart Parnell

Powerful, influential, and privileged voices in the first-world media frequently try to suggest that the supposed fact that identifying primarily with a given nation state and the structure of unequal control within it is “natural” is reflected in its prevalence among ordinary people. Thus Simon Heffer, laudatory biographer of Enoch Powell, praises this elite-educated anti-immigration politician: “he spoke for voiceless millions.”[1] Irish media commentator Kevin Myers agreed that racism in Britain in the 1960s “happened in large part not in spite of, but actually because of, middle-class, liberal sneers that to be unhappy about the changes happening in your area made you a racist. Thus 'racism' for those so labeled became a badge of honour, a mark of realism and of national identity.” Myers thus admitted his heart sank a generation later when he observed “the number of black faces in Dublin.”[2] If ordinary people of different nationalities are expected to bear the costs of conflict in situations in which animosity based on ethnic difference both appears inevitable and is inflamed, it can truly be no surprise, as Myers intimates, that friction results. However, as Heffer and Myers are professionally obliged not to acknowledge, exposure to propaganda from powerful sources encouraging ordinary people to blame their fellows from overseas, with whom they find themselves in close proximity, for all of their woes, will hardly help to ease the friction, and may, indeed, have created it. Nonetheless, contrary demonstrations emanate from usually voiceless millions, and the strength of the common human bond that binds these silent millions to others across official national boundaries is a telling criticism of mainstream discourses and practices of national identity and sovereignty.

A truce

Next winter will witness the centenary of one famous such demonstration.  In a 1919 article, the headline of which ironically alluded to John McCrae's poem “In Flanders Fields” (1915),[3] a New York Times writer, reporting from a battlefield of the recently ended First World War, observed a barren landscape with infertile trees rising "hideously out of the rigid waves of shell holes.”[4] This framed a poignant symbol, resonating with descriptions of no man’s land in late 1914, when shelling and artillery fire had already rid the farmland of its few trees. With troops enervated by both their mission and their surroundings, propaganda notwithstanding, it is not difficult to imagine how, in the weeks leading up to Christmas 1914, the mood along the front was increasingly one of “live and let live.”[5] As Christmas approached, Tannenbaums decorated with candles emerged from the German trenches, adorning their parapets in long rows. To soldiers weary of the stark Flanders landscape, the sudden appearance of shimmering trees must have seemed a mirage. The Christmas tree was a familiar symbol for German, British, and French soldiers alike and its presence on the battlefield had a unifying effect. German private Carl Muhlegg wrote: “I handed the captain the little Christmas tree. […] He lit the candles and wished his soldiers, the German nation, and the whole world ‘Peace according to the messages from the angel.”[6] The added emphasis to the captain’s words (“and the whole world”) underscores what seemed the prevailing wish of soldiers in the trenches that Christmas: “Peace.”

In the week leading up to Christmas 1914, soldiers managed nonviolent negotiations rather simply (“You no shoot, we no shoot”),[7] the tacit silence of guns expressing the sentiments of usually silent millions, their wish for peace challenging the boundaries of language and national duty. With the appearance of the Christmas trees came the voices of Germans singing loud enough for Allied Troops to hear. As Weintraub points out, many of the songs were chosen in the spirit of inclusion. Not only Christmas carols were sung, but also marching tunes and work songs, many of which rely largely on call-and-response. Ostensible enemies were closely familiar with each other's language and customs, through connections of family and friendship, and time spent in each other's countries.[8] Popular folk tunes and ballads were also called out; German soldiers regaled British with “God Save the King” and “Home Sweet Home,” while French and British troops joined in for Stille Nacht.[9] Much like protesters of the civil rights era, the soldiers used song as a strategy for nonviolent protest; by singing along together, they demonstrated a social harmony inimical to the mindless momentum of continued combat.

Those marches of nations into no man's land, famously emblematic of the so-called Christmas truce of 1914, thus evolved spontaneously. These events have been subject to glamorized representation, notably in the official video of Paul McCartney's Pipes of Peace, the best-selling record in Britain around Christmas in 1983,[10] and the popular 1989 BBC comedy series Blackadder Goes Forth, which was set in the trenches.[11] But it is important to observe that events evincing behaviors so far beyond the frontiers of how people are usually encouraged to think and act had mundane sources, as closely linked to human frailty as to heroism. As Weintraub points out, for soldiers fighting in the often cold and muddy trenches, “creature comforts were cherished even more than comradeship and unit loyalties.”[12] No man’s land became a meeting ground, where soldiers from both sides met to fraternize, take photos, and share gifts sent from loved ones back home. “The serving soldier’s idea of high civilization was a warm dry place; the opportunity to satisfy the stomach and the bladder, and sleep.”[13]

The especially uncomfortable weeks leading up to Christmas helped to prime soldiers for a cease-fire and the exchange of comfort in the form of provisions. Whereas the propaganda of the period depicted Germans as brutish and depraved and the British as soulless and therefore less than human, the shared circumstances of trench warfare helped to bring about a truce based on the recognition of a common humanity. That humanity was shared most poignantly when British and German soldiers came together in no man’s land to help one another bury their respective dead. As Weintraub notes, when Muhlegg met his enemies in no man’s land, he (and surely many another soldier) felt himself “keenly aware of the insanity of war,”[14] and perhaps the insanity also of, in Conan Doyle's words, “high-born conspirators against the peace of the world.” [15] At points along the trenches, such high-born conspirators, generals on both sides, terminated any prospects that the truce might evolve into a more permanent armistice by ordering the guns to reopen fire on no-man's land, apparently not caring that their own troops were now among those in the target zone.

The First World War: the official interpretation

Ostensibly the moral of the truce is that if the actual participants at the sharp end realized that the Great War was a pointlessly destructive conflict, it is a tragedy that the conflict could not have been brought to a complete halt in this way. Academic historiography however, particularly recently, has viewed the War in a completely different light. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles at the end of the conflict included a notorious clause in which the victorious powers forced the leaders of Germany's new post-war regime to accept Germany's responsibility for causing the war. Even Winston Churchill described this procedure as “silly and malignant.”[16] Yet since the work of German scholar Fritz Fischer in the 1960s, historians now largely accept that Wilhelmine Germany should bear the burden of a substantial share of the guilt for the conflict.[17] Fischer and other scholars have suggested that a combination of diplomatic blunders, domestic dysfunctions (including an inability to control sections of nationalist opinion which the authorities themselves had inflamed[18]), and aggressive foreign policy aims led Wilhelmine Germany's rulers to accept that the risk of precipitating war in July 1914 was preferable to the danger that a conflict might arise later under less favorable conditions. This led the German regime to recklessly support the Austro-Hungarian empire's precipitous July 1914 ultimatum to Serbia, and then to adopt a series of provocative steps which sucked Russia, France, Britain, and later the United States into the conflict. Gleefully received in some British commentary,[19] which has generally argued that British policy before the war cannot be interpreted in a similar way,[20] Fischer's arguments continue to be accepted in much historiography.[21] Perhaps the most prominent contrasting interpretation of the conflict is Niall Ferguson's. Ferguson attributes the longevity of the conflict to the unwise decision of the British Liberal government in 1914 to entangle Britain and its empire in European politics. Without this intervention, this argument continues, Germany would have won the war, but a resettlement of the continent of Europe would have ensued without posing a threat to the survival of the British empire. Ferguson believes the survival of this empire would have been both beneficent and in Britain's true national interests. Importantly, Ferguson largely accepts the continuity Fischer posited between the Wilhelmine and Nazi regimes in Germany, as well as overtly positing the revival of similar tendencies in the modern European Union.[22]

As has been observed, in its depiction of Wilhelmine Germany, the leading tenets of modern historiography of the Great War actually echo aspects of wartime British propaganda.[23] Publicizing a cognate British historiography which is increasingly positive about the outcome of World War One,[24] Conservative politician Michael Portillo's 2007 BBC documentary suggested that the core fact was that “We” (i.e., the British) “won the war, and we won it well.”[25] Accepting the continuities between the Wilhelmine and Nazi regimes posited by historians, Portillo argued that the true potential disaster of a German victory in the First World War was successfully averted. According to a linked interpretation of the development of public memory of the First World War, which finds some support in recent academic historiography, recollecting the First World War as “futile and wasteful is...less the product of the war's history than its literature,” a product drawing excessively on a narrow range of largely elite sources, including the poems of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.[26]

It might be observed that it is easier to be blasé about the human costs involved in the War with the memorialized fact that now no-one apparently is left alive who actually experienced trench warfare in the Great War at first hand,[27] and thus easier to view who "won" the war as the most fundamental fact. But in fact consideration of the Christmas truce exemplifies that the role of the Great War in popular culture in Britain has for at least a generation been more ambivalent than Portillo suggests. If the massive cultural influence of the poetry of McCrae, Rupert Brooke, Laurence Binyon, and Rudyard Kipling is reasonably assessed, the product of the war's literature is in fact far from amounting to the implication that the war was futile.[28] Even McCartney's Pipes of Peace advanced a somewhat ambiguous message, suggesting at least in passing that a British victory in the conflict was the right result.[29] Similarly, although Blackadder Goes Forth was co-written partly by an overtly left-wing writer, Ben Elton; although the BBC is often accused of liberal bias in its non-news output;[30] and although it mocks British generals and British imperialism and apparently contains an anti-war message, Blackadder Goes Forth is also ultimately reverential about the Great War in a conventional way, at least in part (as Elton tacitly admits) on account of the potent fear of seeming “unpatriotic.”[31] British soldiers are depicted, even though poorly led, as defending civilization against Germanic barbarism.[32] The series also distorts reality by presenting British propaganda in justification of a war, which can hardly from a British perspective be called a defensive war, as easily derided.[33] In fact British propaganda was extremely powerful, its core propositions continuing to influence even its shell-shocked victims.[34] After the conflict, indeed, the repetitive simplicity and dogmatism of British propaganda during the war was greatly admired by leading Nazis, [35] although it did not play as powerful a role in the outcome of the conflict as the Nazis suggested.[36] A century on, there is also evidence that British propaganda continues to retain a cultural currency. Platinum-selling British rock group Iron Maiden's song, Paschendale[37] may appear, like Blackadder Goes Forth, to casual observers as a meditation on the human waste of the conflict, but it in fact accepts German war guilt: "Crucified as if on a cross/ Allied troops they mourn their loss/ German war propaganda machine/ Such before has never been seen."[38] In contrast, the powerful British “propaganda machine” during (and after) the conflict is not mentioned.

Such formations in popular culture have undoubtedly not only raised awareness of World War One in Britain, but have also proved compatible with politically constructed and manipulated versions of remembrance. The practice of maintaining a reverential silence in public places at 11:00 am on 11th November (marking the signing of the armistice in 1918) is for instance a recent innovation, and the poppy symbol has become more ubiquitous, and arguably more manipulated politically.[39] It is clear that a branch of British historiography finds positive views of British militarism congenial, adopting the implication that the British are definitively a martial people.[40] Perhaps this tone has been influenced by the type of wars Britain and its American ally have fought in recent times, which have been dissimilar from the Great War, being shorter and more victorious.[41] Influential British opinion-formers certainly appear decreasingly interested in negative consequences of British imperialism.[42] Perhaps this in turn has helped to strengthen assumptions in modern British and American foreign policy that nations face a Hobbesian state of nature, and a renewed willingness to wage war far outside their own frontiers on the part of national leaders.[43] These same national leaders would doubtless agree with nineteenth-century British imperialist James Fitzjames Stephen, in a striking statement of the so-called “realist” theory of international relations, that

Nations are for the present at least and are likely to be for as long a time as we can look forward to with any distinctness, infinitely the most important of human institutions or organizations. [...] a nation [...] is on the whole the greatest, the wisest, the best thing authentically known to us to exist, and the service of a nation is the noblest of human employments, the one which affords the fullest scope for all a man’s powers of mind and body, and the most durable and widest object for his affections [...] These nations do not form a society, they are not parts of a whole, they are and must always be rivals and competitors for all the advantages which nations can enjoy, that is to say for wealth, power, command over inferior races [...] as regards power and empire it is obvious that nations must compete and on various occasions fight for them, and it seems to me the best thing that each of us can do (pace Mallet) is to do his best for his own side.

Hence also the insistent and powerful representation in the mainstream media, and in casual day-to-day discourse in the first world, that "the nation" is still, in Stephen's words, “the unit in and for which we all of us live and move and have our being.”[44]

The unreality of "realism"

Yet as critics note most proponents of realism are inconsistent.[45] Perhaps this is logically inevitable, since the merits of service to the state cannot be demonstrated without reference to some higher ethical criteria. References to such criteria are made by realists with a common and contradictory frequency[46] which strongly recalls contemporary justifications of the British empire and the allied cause in World War One.[47]  Indeed, policies advocated by realists are often driven by the interests and dictates of non-national or multinational entities, which at least for certain purposes are actually tacitly acknowledged to be more powerful than nation-states themselves.  Resistance to restrictions on U.S. environmental policy or the international armaments trade does not protect U.S. sovereignty so much as serve the interests of powerful motor, oil, armaments, and other multinational companies. That the interests of such entities overlap with particular groups within any given nation-state is only coincidental. Such interests, and multinational non-governmental organizations which represent them, such as the International Monetary Fund, may be as well served by directing their capital away from a nation-state as towards it, in ways which are far from serving the real interests of an actual majority of people in such a state.[48] Similarly, business interests may be served by peace or war, by obsequiously appeasing a foreign dictator, or by prolonging conflict in ways that do not fall short of shelling what ostensibly appear to be their own side.

The effects of the mobility of peoples created by international capitalism represent a more recent example, which albeit more peaceful, is strikingly similar to the First World War. The profits of such a phenomenon are largely monopolized by an elite pursuing not a national interest at all, but a selfish agenda.[49] Movement across borders is more within governments' control than is commonly realized; but crucially, this control is frequently exercised to serve the interests of multinational profit-making corporations, not the majority of people within a given state.[50] Enoch Powell's presiding over a promotion of the recruitment of workers from overseas (in the interests of minimizing the costs of state-provided health care and thus taxes) when he was Minister of Health in the early 1960s is thus both significant and typical.[51] That ordinary people are pitted against, and powerfully encouraged to blame, their fellows from other countries as a result of the ensuing mobility of peoples should not disguise the fact that the same interests encouraging this scapegoating will profit at any given point from a new supply of cheap immigrant labor[52] or the ability to relocate capital in pursuit of a tax haven or a higher rate of return. The profit-making objectives of such capitalist interests are ultimately logically irreconcilable with the idea that “service of a nation...affords the fullest scope for all a man’s powers of mind and body.”

Perhaps more significant is the fact that academic and ordinary discourse about international relations often understates the effect of other non-state actors, such as popular demonstrations and activism beyond the formal political structures associated with the nation-state. As such formal political structures tend to be male-dominated, and other forms of activism less male-dominated, this point is tellingly made in feminist analysis of international relations, which, suggestively, identifies most potently serious theoretical weaknesses of realism.[53] It is noticeable how often realist readings use sexist gender stereotyping to trivialize critics of their domestic and foreign policies, evident in derisive dismissal of "feminist" positions in foreign affairs, and the implication that domestic opponents are prone to inappropriate emotional reactions. In defending (as did Stephen[54]) military intervention in Afghanistan, in 2002, Donald Rumsfeld rejected criticism of security practices at Guantanamo Bay as "shrill": "I think that the people who have been the most shrill on the subject very likely will, once they have more knowledge of the situation, stop being quite so shrill."[55] Such rhetoric recalls the fact that female suffrage was long resisted in the Western world because women were deemed supposedly too emotional, and is cognate to the centrality to realist analysis of foreign affairs of flawed metaphors ascribing characteristics to states which, by highlighting mutual competitiveness and conflict, appear to gender states male. Misleading metaphors, by assuming that national interests must be antagonistic, may actually inspire policies which, even if justified with humanitarian language, precipitate conflict and inhumanity.[56]

The notion that there can only be one center of sovereignty within a jurisdiction, so typical of Anglo-American legal thought, also suggests that conflicts within such a system must be zero-sum, and must ultimately be resolved with one victor. Potent tensions which can arise where this framework intersects with conflicting national or ethnic identities (or even rival conceptions of the same identities) perhaps explain conflicts such as the American war of independence, [57]the Irish wars of independence,[58] the American Civil War, and the Northern Ireland conflict. Additionally, in the case of powerful first-world states, much experience suggests that actions ostensibly justified on the grounds of defending such a conception of sovereignty, particularly in a world where nations are assumed to have competing interests, will rarely be restricted to their own borders.

War origins reinterpreted

It is thus unsurprising that, instead of (or at least in addition to) ascribing war guilt to Wilhelmine Germany, there is a better and more detailed argument than mainstream historiography is prepared to acknowledge for seeing the First World War as another disastrous conflict caused by non-defensive interventions by states in problems outside their borders underpinned by the operation of misguided realist theories of competing national sovereignties. That this was not a problem limited to any one jurisdiction is strongly suggested by the fact that analysis of British policy highlights more similarity with the facets of societal dysfunction which Wilhelmine Germany's fiercest critics have identified than most historians have cared to admit.[59]

If ham-fisted diplomacy is seen as a cause of Germany's increasing friendlessness in the years before 1914, Britain had also had its crisis of isolation, associated particularly with its heavy-handed actions in southern Africa at the end of the previous century. British governments' agents' brutal and unscrupulous methods[60] in asserting strategic control of the region, and not least its newly discovered mineral wealth, made it unpopular on the world stage. Fears of Britain's isolation in Europe by the form of continental league which had been formed against it in its imperial crisis of the late eighteenth century led to a rapid adjustment of its international alignment, particularly through the Entente Cordiale with France of 1904. If Germany delivered its main ally a blank check in 1914, the Moroccan crisis of 1911 demonstrates that British policy had for some years also been informed by the understanding that to neglect its allies (France and, more distantly, Tsarist Russia) in a crisis could lead to a future scenario where conflict might be faced in a weaker strategic position.

Calculations about whether to enter the war in Britain as in Germany took place in a context of domestic crisis. If historians have dismissed the idea that Britain entered the war in 1914 in order to seek a distraction from the crisis associated with political tensions in Ireland,[61] it is less debatable that the ensuing delay in coming face-to-face with these tensions was unhelpful to the Irish context.[62] British imperialists, like their German counterparts, were also prone to hysterical fears inspired by moderate domestic left-wing movements.[63] One aspect of Ferguson's argument which rings true is the suggestion that a liberal-leaning government might find its conduct of affairs influenced in the direction of military adventures by the fear of seeming unpatriotic, a pressure the force of which American readers used to hearing preposterous talk-radio depictions of the likes of Obama as anti-American[64] will be depressingly aware. Ferguson however is disingenuous in problematizing the recipients of this pressure, since it has been a pressure repeatedly marshaled and orchestrated by opinion formers matching his own political inclinations and commitment to realist foreign policy, not least when recent military action in Iraq and Afghanistan was mooted.[65]

The affinities of aspects of British war-time propaganda to points in modern historiography should not disguise the fact that that propaganda's excesses contributed to extremism among insurgent nationalist movements in the British empire,[66] and the inter-war appeasement of fascism.[67] However, it is more important to note that this propaganda served to defend ongoing extensive non-defensive military exercises of British sovereignty. German imperialism was certainly far from beneficent, as its conduct towards the Herero people demonstrates,[68] although Germany's opponents' actions towards their own subject and indigenous peoples (notably the Ndbele, the native Americans, the Circassians of central Asia, [69] the Australian Aborigines, Filipino, Indian, Algerian, and Kenyan nationalists and the inhabitants of Belgian Congo) are not flattered by comparison. Whatever the historical debate regarding Germany's hypothetical aims during the War, in actuality, Britain's rulers cannot be regarded as conducting a defensive war any more than in their current campaign in Afghanistan. It was indeed an imperialist war in the senses that imperial and territorial gains were pursued and accrued from it (such as Iraq, Palestine, northern Papua New Guinea, Tanganyika, and Namibia) and an imperial agenda was pursued on the back of victory, encompassing a renewed forward policy in Afghanistan[70] and military interventions in Iraq; while Churchill feared the 1924 Labour government in Britain would comprise "a serious national misfortune," it in fact persisted with his own policy of military intervention in the country,[71] if stopping short of Churchill's own personal preference regarding the use of weapons of mass destruction.

The role of U.S. realism in the sequels to the conflict was also less beneficent than its defenders would like to suggest. While conservative defenders of British-American "realism" have been quick to charge French governments with ingratitude for not rewarding the liberation of France in 1944 with support for the military projects of subsequent generations of U.S. leaders,[72] ignorance of the extent to which conservative Anglo-American "realism" had itself caused historical and present problems has certainly long since passed the stage of willfulness. It was conservative realists who helped to arm and bolster Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s, and had earlier helped to exacerbate the greatest disaster of the century: realist senators' rejection of U.S. membership of the League of Nations and precipitation of U.S. isolation from inter-war diplomacy, combined with British conservatives' weakness, failed to deliver a promised defensive alliance with France. This episode cast a shadow over French inter-war history, leaving the isolated French to adopt the defensive strategic expedient of the Maginot line, ultimately easily blown aside by the Nazi Blitzkreig.[73] The German and British examples at the start of the twentieth century show that realism in foreign policy can inspire an irresponsible and interventionist precipitation of conflict; U.S. policy for key phases of the twentieth century (along with much other evidence) demonstrates that realism can also cause an isolationist and craven shirking of external moral responsibilities, with at least as terrible consequences.


Nonetheless, the limits of mainstream historiography appear to have assisted a renewal of militarism in British society, specifically in supporting the claim that military heroes, particularly those active in an imperial context, are the only true heroes in British history.[74] Veterans' organizations such as the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes have advanced cognate claims that veterans comprise "the Nation's heroes," "our wounded heroes," with confidence, assisted by royal, celebrity and powerful corporate and media endorsement,[75] and supposed acts and sentiments of alleged irreverence to veterans are met with sharp criticism in the conservative media. Yet far from truly cherishing "the nation's heroes" in the manner commonly insinuated, the influence of realist ideologies contributes to the wasteful squandering of the lives and efforts of many such “heroes.”

It is not irreverent to those lives and efforts to observe that the implication that military service exclusively comprises “heroism” is far from as unquestionable as it appears and has a variety of negative social effects, not least on the positions of women and of veterans themselves.[76] A heavy gender bias is suggested, in any case, by the way the term "hero" is utilized in relation to non-military but still male-gendered spheres of activity[77]; but the energy which was and is still put into defining and depicting the military as a male sphere, a distinction men sought to preserve during the Great War by preventing women in support roles from donning khaki uniforms,[78] is more suggestive. The perception that military service makes, or should make, young men more attractive to a supposedly vulnerable opposite sex has been historically exploited by states in recruitment campaigns, noticeably during the Great War.[79] In recent times, even in first-world states, the sexual symbolism appears to have become even more overt.[80] As feminist theories of international relations suggest, the commodification of the female body by both sides in the "war against terrorism" represents only a new dimension of this theme. Insurgent movements have certainly historically possessed their own misogynistic dynamic.[81] Islamic radicals’ representation of the West as decadent is partly defined by the position of women in western society. Meanwhile, in the post-9/11 U.S., citizens have been encouraged to look for protection from sources largely depicted as male, and neoconservative discourse has blamed feminism and homosexuality for pacifying the U.S. and weakening the ability of the West to stamp out Islamic fundamentalism.[82]The rescue of Afghan women from the Taliban was also publicized as part of the West's mission, and even with women now serving actively in the military, the high-profile case of Jessica Lynch demonstrates how the media prefers images of feminine passivity and masculine rescue. Doubtless the resonance of this imagery is cognate to the practice, still ongoing in many theatres of conflict (including places where it is not acknowledged), of seeing sex (including rape) as one of the spoils of war.[83]

As well as trivializing the role of women in society, the effect of such gendered ideologies and realism in glamorizing military service occludes the importance of other forms of heroism and service (a concern to some veterans themselves[84]), serves highly dubious political agendas, and may facilitate an aggressive foreign policy.[85] Feminist critiques of realist theories of foreign policy are thus vindicated. Militarism and imperialism are still used to diffuse the merest threat of popular radicalism, protocol at annual Remembrance Day services being used to intimidate or humiliate even the most vaguely liberal political leaders.[86] Yet the symbolism of such commemorations is neither solely reverential nor defined by passive or apolitical grief; patriotic songs on such occasions cannot be defined as extolling solely defensive military action; “Wider still and wider, may thy bounds be set” “Britannia rules the waves.”[87] More crucially the vaunted concern for “heroes” is in at least some cases hypocritical. The view that nations are “rivals and competitors for all the advantages which nations can enjoy, that is to say for wealth, power, command over inferior races” cannot be reverential in the sense of manifesting serious concern for the military recruit as a human being; it must focus, as Portillo does, on the question of whether “we” “won the war,” and judge the individual recruit as expendable. In the shooting of sufferers from shell-shock [88]in the trenches for refusing to obey orders, and shelling their own “little platoons” (in Burke's phrase [89]) to terminate the Christmas truce, Allied generals acted consistently with the view that “service of a nation is the noblest of human employments” any alternative view would have been considered “shrill.” 

The effect of realism and hypermasculine ideas of heroism is to facilitate a stream of such expendable recruits and enable powerful states such as the British and American to exercise military dimensions of their national sovereignty in ways that recent history has demonstrated are rarely defensive or limited to operations within their own borders.[90] British involvement in the Great War was not defensive, although British propaganda successfully persuaded many into believing it was. The dynamic towards intervention transcends the democratic process; liberal governments, often browbeaten in the mainstream media over their alleged lack of patriotism, launched military action in Vietnam in the 1960s, just as in the British case they did in Iraq in 1924 and (with the misleading support of the Murdoch media[91]) in 2003. By distracting attention from the folly of the War, recent emphases in the historiography of the First World War may assist states in obtaining the personnel to engage in further non-defensive and arguably unnecessary military exercises of their sovereignty outside of their own borders, in the process wasting, and not reverencing, the lives and energies of “heroes.”

Popular protest on the streets

It is relatively easy for millionaire celebrity philanthropists to sit in perfect harmony side by side;[92] such gestures rarely go far enough. Observers will continue to assert the perniciousness of, according to taste, imperialist or liberal elite propaganda, and to debate the effectiveness of the infiltration of popular sentiment with messages from above;[93] but there is no doubt on which side of the balance most energy had been exerted in the late autumn of 1914. Nonetheless, as Weintraub observes, British and German soldiers marching into no man’s land demonstrated a level of familiarity toward one another based on practical experience that neutered the hate-filled propaganda emanating from both governments.[94] Even apart from a shared past of common customs, the power of the contemporaneous experience of life in the trenches was enough to provoke a sympathetic attitude toward one’s erstwhile foes; “both sides fought as soldiers fought in most wars—for survival, and to protect the men who had become extended family.”[95] For their commanders and generals, therein lay the danger of fraternization. What if, by shaking hands or sharing a bottle of beer in no man’s land, enemy soldiers came to see each other as equally human, or as extended family even? At the very least, those in authority knew the power of such meetings to inspire belief in fighting soldiers—as well as in their loved ones back home, to whom they wrote of the truce—that the fighting was senseless, after all, and that in firing at the Germans they were firing at their own. Any form of fraternization was a court-martial offense. By agreeing to a truce, soldiers not only threatened the efficacy of their governments’ military strategies, but also staged a protest that called into question the very meaning of the War, and, for that matter, of any war. Thus “the remarkable moment” of the truce not only “seemed dangerously akin to the populist politics of the streets, the spontaneous movements that topple tyrants and autocrats,” but also contained the potential seeds of a permanent negotiated peace.[96] Hence the energy the high commands put into its suppression, both through reopening hostilities at the front, and the censorship of personal letters home detailing this demonstration of a real possibility of peace.[97] The grounding of this remarkable moment in mundane, practical, and human motivations also negates the assumption in “official histories” that the truce was “of no consequence,” “an impulsive interval in a necessarily hostile and competitive world,”[98] instead intimating how widespread is the potential for such “remarkable moments.”   

Indeed the pattern of moments in which popular humanism, grounded in experiences related to work, food, life, and their sharing, transcends and surprises the powerful government and corporate interests which expect people to act as if in a “necessarily hostile and competitive world” is ongoing.[99] Ordinary working people in the north of England cheered Mahatma Gandhi when he visited the area in 1931, even though his campaigns might have been expected to incur animosity through their effect on employment in the region,[100] and ordinary trade unionists and activists gave up their comfort and security to fight fascism in the name of justice and internationalism in spite of official indifference in the Spanish Civil War, just as they would in the fights against apartheid in southern Africa and segregation in the U.S. south. 

In a typical argument, a recent commentator in the mass media suggested of overseas-aid charity workers: “If aid worked, all these people would have done themselves out of a job long ago.”[101] Yet the humanitarianism of ordinary people is rightly resilient in the face of such powerfully articulated cynicism.[102] Hence, seventy years after the Christmas truce, another popular demonstration surprised the authorities and the corporate profit-making media, when the Band Aid record Do They Know It’s Christmas succeeded Pipes of Peace as the best-selling record in the United Kingdom in a Christmas week. It being promised that proceeds from the record would contribute to relief of the contemporary famine in the horn of Africa, notwithstanding indifference and hostility in corporate media empires,[103] this popular humanitarian demonstration forced the powerful Thatcher government into a climbdown over imposing Value Added Tax (VAT) on the record, in spite of the Prime Minister having famously claimed she was “not for turning,” and the “slavish” adherence of Rupert Murdoch's press.[104] Increases in the relative burden of taxation on the poor in order to present more wealth to the very rich being the common neoliberal prescription, Thatcher's government had doubled this sharply regressive tax a few years before.[105]

A similar embarrassment afflicted British-American governments of different parties (but very similar neoliberal ideological leanings) when expressions of public humanitarianism in response to the South Asian Tsunami of December 2004 exceeded the expectations of both the Bush and Blair administrations. It is a more telling testimony to the force of this demonstration of popular humanitarianism that it was acknowledged in highly unexpected locations. Almost ninety years to the day after the Christmas truce, the conservative British media was caught on the hop by the emergence of such a big story in a traditionally "slow-news" week, and put little energy into peddling the usual cynicism, which would have equated overseas aid with an unjustifiable inflation of domestic taxes. Perhaps such moments occur in the holidays because the wealthy have the position of privilege that enables them to be the first to take any opportunity to relax. While the moneyed sometimes sleep, popular humanity might appear to be dormant, but its potential always remains. Liberated by its own inactivity, the conservative press was free for a moment, uncharacteristically, to offer unqualified praise for popular generosity, and be equally gleeful about the chance to embarrass the hated, supposedly liberal Blair administration on apparently idealistic home ground.[106] Continuing the sequence of multiple hypocrisies, the conservative press, having scored its narrowly partisan political point and returned to its workaday routine, did its best within a season to unpick the work of popular humanity by publicizing claims that Tsunami relief had been wasted.

As the Christmas truce demonstrates, censorship and propaganda regarding demonstrations of alternative possibilities are long-established tactics of those who assert the necessity of an inequitable status quo. But in spite of the obstacles, humanitarian demonstrations with international dimensions continue to pose challenges to the (paradoxically unrealistic) realist position. This is amply expressed in the desperate and contradictory corporately-managed efforts in the mass media to tarnish international anti-capitalist demonstrations such as the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy London movements, and thus to whitewash recent disastrous incompetence in the first-world financial services industry. Mainstream media tactics included misinformation about the details of such protests,[107] and downplaying (or intentionally misconstruing) their messages. The mainstream media particularly portrayed the Occupy protests as comprising a set of activists with too diverse an array of objectives and motivations, and inaccurately claimed that the movement lacked a unifying message. As a Straddler article previously acknowledged, the long list of protesters’ complaints were in fact quite unified in that they each (and all together) indicated the failure of a capitalist system that could barely support those whose labor and investments made it possible. In spite of the obstacles, the occupiers demonstrated (in a most literal sense) how an organization made up of diverse individuals—be it a corporation, a government, or a group of occupiers—might better carry out its democratic ideals.[108]

In a further breakthrough, in 2012, pressure from humanitarian groups meant that a minimum overseas aid budget of .7% of Gross National Product was made a mandatory obligation of future British governments.  All major parties in Britain had become pledged to this step (towards the implementation of which the coalition government moved tardily), a reversal for the Conservative party of their traditional position[109] in spite of media urging to the contrary, because of the weight of popular pressure in favor of the humane policy. There is a pertinent popular perception that it is private sectional interests, especially in the financial services sector, not national interests, which profit from third-world indebtedness, as they do from environmental catastrophe or the right to export weapons. Such demonstrations perhaps also denote a well-founded instinct doubting the typical media cynicism that recipients of overseas aid would not reciprocate the humanity were the roles reversed; often in fact they have, for instance, during the United Kingdom's own major famine (in Ireland, then wholly part of the United Kingdom's national territory) in the 1840s,[110] or in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, notwithstanding the fact that the handling of both crises, respectively in Britain and the U.S., was severely hampered by the ineptitude of the authorities and the selfish indifference of comfortable elite groups. That communities having undergone common experiences of deprivation are stimulated to reach out to one another is indicative of the widespread nature of a humane potential.[111]

Back on the streets

That criticism of overseas aid in the mainstream media has grown increasingly hysterical—at a time when the progress of the global economy out of recession has removed a chief pretext for such criticism[112]—perhaps denotes that when popular humanity in the streets so frightens the “high-born conspirators,” a few well-aimed salvos by an opinion columnist, under the guise of “doing the best by one's own side,” might still stem the “typical generosity” of ordinary people as effectively as shelling one's own foot soldiers; although if this step fails, inflicting physical, social, or financial damage on one's “little platoon” remains an option. But a visit to the streets of Dublin provides a poignant reminder that when trying to gauge the true sentiments of the "voiceless millions," it is easy to err on the side of exaggerating the sentiments approved by the authorities, their claim to be representative being backed with such financial and military power.  A series of statues on O'Connell Street have commemorated significant figures in Ireland's history, especially nationalist leaders.[113] One of these statues is a representation of Charles Stewart Parnell, nineteenth-century leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, adorned by symbols of the four historic provinces of Ireland (Ulster, Connacht, Leinster and Munster) and the excerpt from one of his speeches featured at the commencement of this article.[114] The excerpt, and its positioning in this context, uncompromisingly affirm a national trajectory towards absolute sovereign independence, typical of the militancy which actors with objectives centered around sovereignty have brought to centuries of conflict on the island.

As part of his pessimistic reading of the Northern Ireland conflict, and the contemporary peace process, in 1997, the prolific academic student of Northern Ireland Steve Bruce emphasized that sectarian antagonism pervaded the mindset of “almost the entire Northern Ireland” population. ”Each side possesses vast reservoirs of grievance and resentment. The terrorism of the last 25 years has added immeasurably to the already tense atmosphere which existed in the ‘cold war’ period from 1921 to the collapse of law and order in 1970.”[115]  Another type of march of nations, the marches of loyal institutions and nationalist counter demonstrations, formed such a further picturesque representation of these “reservoirs” of feeling that cognate points of contention for years have punctuated media and academic lamentations regarding popular sectarian animosity in Northern Ireland.[116] The observations of elements close to the Clinton administration on these marches reportedly included: “I think these guys look ridiculous. Why don't they just get over it and grow up? ... These people need adult supervision,”[117] and a pro-unionist “expert” on the marches[118] claimed in a conservative publication that “you can't understand [Northern Ireland] unless you've spent a lot of time at sectarian interfaces smelling the ethnic hatred along with the petrol and the cordite.”[119]

The implication, as so often, from liberal and conservative elites, was thus that popular animosities were a potent force inclining the “voiceless millions” to tear each other to pieces. Some, such as Bruce and Kevin Myers, along with other admirers of Enoch Powell, clearly felt in this context that there was no prospect of a meaningful peace. Conservative media and “experts” such as Conor Cruise O'Brien opined that the only way the conflict would be resolved, given the supposed irrational refusal of the British, U.S., Irish, and European authorities to initiate a purge of grass-roots Irish republicanism, was in a victory for the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and perhaps the “abolition” of Britain.[120] One of the present writers surmised in this context that owing to genuine grass-roots levels of commitment to essentially conflicting ideas, the institutions of the Good Friday agreement would grind to stalemate,[121] while more optimistic commentary implied that only clever containment from above could save the situation, often adding that peace depended on confidence being maintained in specific established cadres of leadership—conservative, liberal, or nationalist. [122] Commentary has focused on the steps taken by the supposedly “great” and the “good” towards conflict resolution such as Clinton's intervention,[123] an immoral appeasement of republican terrorists,[124] intelligent pan-nationalist coalition-building,[125] Irish republican errors,[126] or British government cynicism,[127] and worsting of the Irish Republican Army.

Yet it is too easy for those in comfortable locations to project feelings of animosity onto silent millions. It was the British and Irish states, and the linked ideologies of British imperialism/nationalism, Ulster unionism, and Irish nationalism, which cast a dark shadow over Ireland for more than a century with their zero-sum war of sovereignties.[128] Even the terminology deployed by the authorities who claimed to speak for the silent millions of the islands, as the Parnell statue shows, seemed to denote an irreducible and presumably insoluble level of conflict and detachment from reality: neither the “Ulster,” nor the “Ireland,” nor the “British Isles,” nor the “Britain” beloved of leaders actually exists in a political sense,[129] and the fantasies of British imperialism certainly now appear at least as forlorn as the aspirations of Irish nationalists for a thirty-two-county sovereign Irish republic. The First World War, spontaneous efforts to halt it notwithstanding, intensified this conflict as it did so many all over the world, through the appearance of British authorities using Irish troops as imperial cannon fodder,[130] the reassertion of British sovereignty over Ireland,[131] the renewed nationalist intransigence of the Easter rebels, the dogmatism of which is praised in the ill-conceived iconography of O'Connell Street,[132] the partition of the island, and a sectarian so-called “war against terrorism” in Northern Ireland.[133]Political leaders and activists, particularly those schooled in the British-American zero-sum conception of sovereignty, could offer no solution.  It is indeed symptomatic of the inflexibility of this conception that those who were the keenest militarists on all sides of the conflict tended to have the most difficulty reconciling themselves to forms of joint-authority and supranationalism represented by aspects of the Good Friday agreement,[134] and the European Union.[135]

But whatever else may be said about Northern Ireland's ongoing troubled context, no perspective nurtured by this elite "realism" has been vindicated. Although a complex set of factors has affected Northern Ireland's political landscape, all the lauded leaders of the peace process have lost their positions or been weakened, and while many elite commentators will seek reputation- and career-saving pretexts and alibis,[136] their prognostications have so often been confounded by events as to suggest that at least one factor of importance has been neglected. It is likely to have been the most important factor of all in many contexts, and the factor that “realist” elite perspectives cannot help but neglect: the crucial role of popular humanity in consolidating steps towards peace. Particular individuals from humble backgrounds have made heroic contributions to peace in Northern Ireland, including those such as Gordon Wilson and Michael McGoldrick, Sr.,  who have dealt with personal tragedy in a non-vengeful spirit, [137] and the late Father Alec Reid, who has been described by a colleague from an ostensibly antagonistic community as “prepared to go into no man’s land.”[138] Yet that actual marches into no man’s land were based in human frailty and heroism in equal measure demonstrates that such “remarkable moments” arise from a human (and humane) potential shared on a far wider scale. It might be suggested that the mass demonstrations in 2009 in Northern Ireland against a renewal of the conflict were in part inspired by a non-heroic desire for a quiet life and to avoid a recurrence of the rounds of communal retribution that had created such an overwhelming sense of “resentment and grievance.” But this very mundane nature of such motivations, and the surprise the protests evoked from elite observers, are the most important, powerful, and revealing aspects of the event.

The Christmas truce and other such marches of nations demonstrate that the “silent millions” are not only better than their culture, but always better than the wealthy and powerful are insistent we believe. As John Steinbeck intimated, the only true generosity is that which emanates from humble sources.[139] A sullied academic reputation is a small price to pay for a reminder of this salutary lesson. Indeed, while the weight of resources put daily into denying this truth by interested parties remains so great, reminders will never be too many or too insistent.



[1] Simon Heffer, Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998), 657.

[2] Kevin Myers, From the ‘Irish Times’ Column “an Irishman’s Diary” (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000), 199, 201.

[3] McCrae’s poem was used in the conflict to assert the inevitability of pursuit of "the national interest"; one commentator observes that its imperative to “Take up our quarrel with our foe” comprised a “propaganda argument […] against negotiated peace”: Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (London: Oxford University Press, 1977), 250.

[4] Philip Gibbs, “No Poppies Now in Flanders Fields,” New York Times, 23 September 1919.

[5] Stanley Weintraub, Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 (New York: Pocket, 2002), 7.

[6] Ibid., 37-38.

[7] Ibid., 28-29.

[8] Ibid., 113.

[9] Ibid., 42–5.

[10] Video here.

[11] Blackadder Goes Forth (1989) episodes 5-6.

[12] Weintraub, Silent Night, 8.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid., 39.

[15] Ibid., 28.

[16] Sir Winston Churchill, The Second World War (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948–53, 6 vols.), vol.i.7

[17] Fritz Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War (New York: W.W. Norton, 1967): Fritz Fischer, "World Policy, World Power and German War Aims," in H.W. Koch (ed.) The Origins of the First World War: Great Power Rivalry and German War Aims (London: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 79-144: Fritz Fischer, World Power or Decline: The Controversy over Germany's Aims in the First World War, trans. Lancelot L. Farrar, Robert Kimber and Rita Kimber (New York: Norton, 1974): Hans Ulrich Wehler, The German Empire, 1871-1918 (Leamington Spa: Berg Publishers, 1985).

[18] Roger Chickering, We Men Who Feel Most German: A Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886-1914 (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1984): David Blackbourn and Geoff Eley, The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois and Politics in Nineteenth-century Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).

[19] M.C. Morgan, Foreign Affairs, 1886-1914 (London: Collins, 1973): P.M. Kennedy, The Rise of Anglo-German Antagonism, 1860-1914 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1980), 468.

[20] Zara Steiner, Britain and the Origins of the First World War (London: Macmillan, 1977).

[21] Ruth Henig, The Origins of the First World War (London: Routledge, 1993, 2nd ed.)

[22] Niall Ferguson, "The Kaiser's European Union: What If Britain Had "Stood Aside" in August 1914?" in Niall Ferguson (ed.), Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 228-80: Niall Ferguson, The Pity of War (London: Allen Lane, 1998): Niall Ferguson, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World (London: Allen Lane, 2003).

[23] Stuart Wallace, War and the Image of Germany: British Academics, 1914-1918 (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1988), 66.

[24] Gary Sheffield, Forgotten Victory: The First World War; Myths and Realities (London: Headline Book Publishing, 2001): Hew Strachan, The First World War (New York: Viking, 2004).

[25] The Things We Forgot to Remember, BBC Radio Four, 22 April 2007, 1330-1400.

[26] Hew Strachan, "Foreword" to Svetlana Palmer and Sarah Wallis (eds.), A War in Words: Accompanying the Major Channel Four Series, The First World War (London: Simon & Schuster, 2003), x: Janet S.K. Watson. Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory and the First World War in Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004): Correlli Barnett, The Collapse of British Power (New ed., London: Pan, 2002). Ironically Barnett was closely involved in the BBC 1960s series The Great War, which Portillo claims has had a malign influence on how the conflict is remembered in Britain. For contrasting views see Samuel Hynes, A War Imagined: The First World War and English Culture (New York: Macmillan, 1990): Samuel Hynes, The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to Modern War (New York, Viking Penguin, 1997), 31-107: Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory: J.M. Winter, The Great War and the British People (Houndmills, 1985).

[27] Harry Patch with Richard van Emden, The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Oldest Surviving  Veteran of the Trenches (London: Bloomsbury, 2007).  

[28] Ted Harrison, Remembrance Today: Poppies, Grief and Heroism (London: Reaktion, 2012). 

[29] The lyrics include "All round the world / Little children being born to the world / Got to give them all we can till the war is won / Then will the work be done."

[30] Dennis Sewell, A Question of Attitude: The BBC and Bias Beyond News (New Culture Forum 2012).The extraordinary broadcasting privileges accorded on the BBC to conservatives such as Portillo are hard to reconcile with such commentary.

[31] See the BBC documentary on the series, Blackadder Rides Again.

[32] Blackadder Goes Forth, episodes 3-4.

[33] Especially in the episode "Captain Cook," Blackadder Goes Forth, episodes 1-2.

[34] Michael Brock, "Britain Enters the War," in R.J.W Evans and Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann (eds.), The Coming of the First World War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 145-78.

[35] G.S. Messinger, British Propaganda and the State in the First World War (Manchester, 1992), 251.

[36] The outcome of the war was probably more due to Britain's powerful allies and some ham-fisted German diplomacy than British propaganda: Avner Offer, The First World War, an Agrarian Interpretation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 354-67.

[37] Paschendale was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, occurring in autumn 1917.

[38] Bruce Dickinson, the group's lead-singer and chief song-writer, is a former Territorial Army recruit and has a college degree in history, so would be aware of historiographical debate regarding the origins of the First World War.

[39] Harrison, Remembrance Today. It is also telling that Blackadder Goes Forth appears to have been popular with British military personnel serving in the first Gulf war in Iraq, many regimental mascots apparently being named for Baldrick, one of the series' leading characters.

[40] Lawrence James, Warrior Race: A History of the British at War (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003).

[41] Harrison, Remembrance Today, 114-5: Kevin Jefferys, Finest & Darkest Hours: the Decisive Events in British Politics from Churchill to Blair (London: Atlantic, 2002), 208-31. At least the desired regime change in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts was achieved quickly. Notoriously, an advisor to the Tsarist regime suggested ahead of the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 that the country needed "a short, victorious war to stem the tide of revolution": David Walder, The Short Victorious War: The Russo-Japanese Conflict of 1904-1905 (London Hutchinson, 1973)

[42] Ferguson, Empire: David Gilmour, The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj (London: John Murray, 2005): Lawrence James, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (London: Abacus, 1998).

[43] Colin Mooers, "Nostalgia for Empire: Revising Imperial History for American Power," in Colin Mooers (ed.), The New Imperialists: Ideologies of Empire (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006), 111-35.

[44] Cambridge University Library, James Fitzjames Stephen papers, Add 7349/14, Stephen to Lytton, 30 August 1877.  On realism see Jack Donnelly, "Realism," in Scott Burchill et al., Theories of International Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, 3rd ed.), 55-83: Hans J. Morgenthau, In Defense of the National Interest: A Critical Examination of American Foreign Policy (New York: Knopf, 1951): Lawrence Freedman, Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam (Oxford: OUP, 2000).  Louis Mallet, referred to here, was permanent under-secretary to the India office in 1874-83.  Mallet's support for expanded native involvement in the Indian Civil Service was attacked in the imperialist newspaper the Times as ultimately that of "stay-at-home Englishmen," in implicit contrast to Stephen's position, although Stephen's direct experience of India was little greater in longevity than Mallet's, and certainly of little depth: Times, 29 Sept 1883, 8, Times, 5 Mar 1883, 9.  A more pertinent criticism of Mallet would concern his advocacy of limited relief in the circumstances of the Madras famine of 1877: The National Archives (London), PRO 30/6/15, f.40-9, 100-3, 144-9: Mallet to Carnarvon, 6, 15, 19 Jan 1877.

[45] Scott Burchill, "Liberalism," in Burchill et al., Theories of International Relations,55-83.

[46] A very similar cognate combination of arguments (frequently advanced from the same perspective) is often posited about overseas aid in both Britain and America. The same commentator (not least in Heffer's preferred publications) will often maintain in the same breath that overseas aid does not work and that in any case his/her own country already offers aid with "typical generosity": Ian Birrell, "Hideous Hypocrisy of the Charity Fat Cats," Daily Mail, 7 Aug 2013, 11. These arguments are not only contradictory, but factually inaccurate.

[47] Ferguson, Empire, xxiii: William Bain (ed.), The Empire of Security and the Safety of the People (London: Routledge, 2006): Mooers, "Nostalgia for Empire."

[48] Antonia Juhasz, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time (London: Duckworth 2006): Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (London: Penguin, 2008).

[49] Epifanio San Juan, Jr., Beyond Postcolonial Theory (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), 116-7: Arif Dirlik, The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997): Martin Conboy, "Parochializing the Global: Language and the British Tabloid Press," in Jean Aitchison and Diana M. Lewis (eds.), New Media Language (London: Routledge, 2003), 45-54.

[50] B.R. Tomlinson, The Economy of Modern India, 1860-1970. Cambridge: CUP, 1993. 99. Andrew Porter (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire: the Nineteenth Century. Oxford: OUP, 1999. 322, 342.

[51] Zig Layton-Henry, The Politics of Immigration (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), 13.

[52] Note for instance the hypocrisy of the conservative Daily Express, praising border-hopping Eastern European migrants for fleeing Eastern bloc countries in search of a better life, yet resorting to racist stereotyping of such migrants when this search leads them to settle in English provincial towns: Daily Express, 13 Aug 1986: "The Town that Ceased to be British", Daily Express, 24 April 2008.

[53] Jacqui True, "Feminism," in Burchill, et al., Theories of International Relations, 213-34: Joan Wallach Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York, Columbia University Press, revised ed., 1999, first published 1988).

[54] Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia (Washington: Counterpoint, 2001), 285.

[55] Britain Wants U.S. to Explain Guantanamo Photos," USA Today, 20 Jan 2002."Britain Wants U.S. to Explain Guantanamo Photos," USA Today, 20 Jan 2002. "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Larry King, CNN." 5 Dec. 2001. United States Department of Defense web site.

[56] True, "Feminism."

[57] P.J. Marshall, The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America, c. 1750-1783 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005): P.J. Marshall, "A Nation Defined by Empire, 1755-1776," and Conrad Russell, "Composite Monarchies in Early Modern Europe: The British and Irish Example," in Alexander Grant and Keith J. Stringer (eds.), Uniting the Kingdom? The Making of British History (London: Routledge, 1995), 208-222, 133-46: Eliga H. Gould,"A Virtual Nation: Greater Britain and the Imperial Legacy of the American Revolution," American Historical Review, 104, no.2 (Apr 1999), 476-89.

[58] On the importance of British legal thinking to the conflict of British and Irish nationality, see H. Tulloch, "A.V. Dicey and the Irish Question, 1870-1922," The Irish Jurist, new series, xv (1980), 825-40: T.J. Dunne, "La Trahison des Clercs: British Intellectuals and the First Home Rule Crisis," Irish Historical Studies, xxiii, no. 90 (Nov. 1982), 134-73.

[59] Steiner, Britain and the Origins of the First World War.

[60] The Jameson raid (1895-6) and the use of concentration camps during the Boer war are only the most notorious such examples.

[61] Patricia Jaland, The Liberals and Ireland: The Ulster Question in British Politics to 1914 (Aldershot: Gregg Revivals, 1993): Brock, "Britain Enters the War."

[62] P. Jalland and J.O. Stubbs, "The Irish Question after the Outbreak of War in 1914: Some Unfinished Party Business," English Historical Review, xcvi (1981), 778-807: Paul Bew, Ideology and the Irish Question: Ulster Unionism and Irish Nationalism, 1912-1916 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998): Ben Novick, Conceiving Revolution: Irish Nationalist Propaganda During the First World War (Dublin: Four Courts, 2001).

[63] Alan Sykes, The Radical Right in Britain: Social Imperialism to the BNP (Palgrave Macmillan. 2005): Kenneth Douglas Brown, The First Labour Party, 1906-1914 (London: Croom Helm, 1985).  The German Social Democratic Party was actually the largest party in the German Reichstag when war broke out, but owing to the lack of responsibility of the Kaiser's government to parliament, was unable to influence the direction of policy. Similarly, Winston Churchill greeted the prospect of the (exceedingly moderate) first Labour government in Britain in 1924 by suggesting it would comprise "a serious national misfortune such as has usually befallen great States only on the morrow of defeat in war": "Mr. Churchill's Position," Daily News, 18 Jan 1924, 3. Churchill was a cabinet minister in the government which took Britain into the war in 1914.

[64] David Frum, "The Chads Fall off in Florida," in Andrew Roberts (ed.), What Might Have Been: Leading Historians on Twelve "What Ifs" of History (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004), 169-78.

[65] "Is Labour Fit to Govern?" Daily Telegraph, 11 Mar 2003. Michael Gove, "Willing Guardian of Designer Terrorist," Times, 15 Sept 2001, 18.  Reference was thin on the ground in such quarters to the best case (realist or otherwise) that could be made for Anglo-American military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, that British and American governments had a moral responsibility for unpicking some of the disastrous consequences of their 1980s conservative realist predecessors' (or younger incarnations') support for (and arming of) Saddam Hussein's genocidal dictatorship and Islamist elements in Afghanistan. Reference to the alleged desirability of further military intervention in new theatres (such as Iran) was rather thicker on the ground in the same quarters; note Gove's comments on The Moral Maze, BBC Radio Four, broadcast 4 July 2003, 2215-2300 (Gove is now Secretary of State for Education and a possible future British Prime Minister).

[66] Novick, Conceiving Revolution, 107-9.

[67] Messinger, British Propaganda and the State, 255: M.L. Sanders and P.M. Taylor, British Propaganda in the First World War, 1914-18 (London: Macmillan, 1982).

[68] David Olusoga and Casper W. Erichsen, The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide (London: Faber, 2011).

[69] Stephen D. Shenfield, "The Circassians: a Forgotten Genocide?" in Mark Levene and Penny Roberts (ed.), The Massacre in History (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999), 148-62.

[70] With the third Anglo-Afghan war of 1919.

[71] Huw Richards, The Bloody Circus: the Daily Herald and the Left (London: Pluto, 1997): Peter Sluglett, Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007).

[72] Dick Morris, Off with Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks & Obstructionists in American Politics, Media & Business (New York: Regan Books, 2003), 170-91. Dick Morris, "Britain's Future Lies Over the Atlantic—not the Channel," Telegraph, 19 May 2003. Precipitate examples of such self-righteousness include a publicity stunt by Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper on 20 February 2003, comprising the free issue on the streets of Paris of a French language edition of the title with the front-page headline, "Chirac est un Ver" ("Chirac is a Worm") ascribing worm-like characteristics to the then French President for failing to lead his nation in a display of gratitude which would comprise support for the coming British-American invasion of Iraq.

[73] Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France. Vol. 3, France of the Republics, 1871-1962 (London: Penguin, 1990).

[74] James, Warrior Race.

[75] The Royal British Legion, "Public Policy eNews - March 2010."
Help for Heroes.

[76] Harrison, Remembrance Today.

[77] “Successful” athletes—overwhelmingly male—are often termed "heroes" for undertaking intrinsically trivial activities.

[78] Christine Collette, "Women and Politics, 1900–1939," in Chris Wrigley (ed.), A Companion to Early Twentieth-Century Britain (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 118-35.

[79] Novick, Conceiving Revolution, 173. During the Great War, women in Britain were encouraged to goad civilian men of eligible age into recruiting by presenting them with white feathers, a symbol of cowardice. Feminist activists encouraged this activity as a way of obtaining an acceptable niche within public political activism for women, and thus strengthening the case for women's suffrage: Collette, "Women and Politics."  Wilfred Owen's poem "Disabled" contains a cognate section:

"There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why [. . .]
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts.

That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years."

[80] A British TV advertisement promoting military recruitment in 1990, shortly before the first Gulf war and while British troops were serving in Northern Ireland, contained no representation of military life at all, but consisted entirely of a young woman discussing her boyfriend, a recent recruit, with a jealous group of her female friends.

[81] L. Perry Curtis, Jr., "The Four Erins: Feminine Images of Ireland, 1780-1900," Éire-Ireland, 33 nos. 3 & 4 & 34 no. 1, Fall/Winter 1998 and Spring 1999, 70-102: Novick, Conceiving Revolution, 142-59.

[82] True, "Feminism," 227.

[83] These include occurrences of mass rape (often followed by women's suicides) during the "liberation" of areas in World War Two. Recent controversies regarding the legal standing of rape in India contain an unacknowledged link to the immunity granted to servants of the British imperial state in the 1940s for actions undertaken in the aftermath of colonial repression, specifically the British suppression of the "Quit India" revolt of 1942, which still influences the legal framework in India. "Right to Rape?" The Telegraph (Calcutta), 19 June 2013. S. Sarkar, Modern India 1885-1947 (Delhi: Macmillan, 1983), 394-404.

[85] Harrison, Remembrance Today.

[86] Patrick Wright, On Living in an Old Country: the National Past in Contemporary Britain (London: Verso, 1985): Daily Mail, 9 Nov 2009. Other cognate examples concern the conservative Telegraph querying the proportion of Tony Blair's book A Journey which would be donated to the Royal British Legion, and the asserted link between the MPs expenses scandal of 2009 (a potent reference point in Conservative propaganda against Gordon Brown's administration), alleged military underfunding and deaths of service personnel in Afghanistan: Daily Telegraph, 17 Aug 2010, 1: Martin Bell, A Very British Revolution: the Expenses Scandal and how to Save our Democracy (London: Icon Books, 2009).

[87] Respectively lines from the "patriotic" songs Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

[88] An occurrence which Stephen’s niece was forced to engage with in her writing: Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (London: Grafton, 1976): Peter Leese, "Problems Returning Home: The British Psychological Casualties of the Great War," Historical Journal, 40, no.4 (Dec 1997), 1055-1067.

[89] Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

[90] Homeland security operations associated with British or U.S. "wars against terrorism" are also not strictly defensive but products of earlier colonial entanglements. The U.K. was not under direct threat in August 1914, and many operations undertaken by Britain and the U.S. in the Second World War can also hardly be deemed defensive. G.K. Peatling, "On Giving a Dog a Bad Name," The Straddler, summer2012.

[91] "Brits back PM," Sun, 18 Mar 2003, 1, 4.  Contrary to its title, the content of the story actually concerned a reported marginal increase in the percentage of Labour voters supporting Blair on the issue: Britons polled as a whole did not back his (or the Sun's) position.

[92] Harry Browne, The Frontman: Bono (London: Verso, 2013). The conservative media occasionally make the germ of an apposite point in attacking "liberal elite" sycophancy to millionaire celebrity philanthropists (Mail on Sunday, 24 Dec 2006), but destroys any benefit this might bring both by their own obsequiousness towards the rich and powerful (including in their philanthropic moments), and by their persistent cynicism towards and undermining of more genuine popular "typical generosity."

[93] Andrew Thompson, The Empire Strikes Back? The Impact of Imperialism on Britain from the Mid-nineteenth Century (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2005): John M. MacKenzie, Propaganda and Empire: The Manipulation of British Public Opinion, 1880-1960 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984): Antoinette Burton, "Who Needs the Nation? Interrogating 'British' History," Journal of Historical Sociology, x, no. 3 (Sept 1997): 227-49: Bernard Porter, The Absent-minded Imperialists: Empire, Society and Culture in Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

[94] Stanley Weintraub, Silent Night, 113.

[95] Ibid., 9.

[96] Ibid., xvii; 178-99.

[97] Ibid., 179-81.

[98] Ibid., xvii.

[99] True, "Feminism."

[100] Thompson, Empire Strikes Back, 77-8.

[101] Birrell, "Hideous Hypocrisy": Daily Telegraph, 6 Aug 2013: James Delingpole, How to be Right: In a PC World Gone Wrong (London: Headline Review, 2007).

[102] Logically one could say that (for instance) if the military, the police, the prison service, capitalism, conservative politics, and conservative journalism were working correctly they would each have ceased to be necessary and their practitioners done themselves out of a job. One phenomenon of which this definitely cannot fairly be said however is overseas aid, since unconditional overseas aid (e.g., without political or economic conditions being imposed on aid, unfair first-world trade practices, or often onerous conditions being imposed on debt repayment) has not been tried.

[103] Sun, 12-3 Feb 1985.

[104] Hugo Young, One of us: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher (London: Macmillan, 1989), 349.

[105] The animosity which both the down-market and so-called quality conservative press expressed towards its own workforce during the 1986 industrial dispute at Wapping probably even exceeded their customary contempt towards the northern working classes: Paul Johnson, "Murdoch holds the High Ground," Spectator, 29 Mar 1986, 21. Such contempt for one's own "little platoon" was certainly characteristic of Stephen. He told Lytton: "We, the educated & driving part of the country, are where we are not in order to truckle to a set of workmen, but in order to lead & drive them towards ends adequate to the magnitude of the national forces": Stephen papers, Add 7349/14, Stephen to Lytton, 29 June 1877.

[106] Like Obama's, Blair's genuine level of commitment to fighting poverty is much open to question. During the campaign before his election as Prime Minister in 1997, he revealed that he refused to give money to streetpeople in Britain. This is a more crucial test case of commitment than is often realized.  If those who comprise the most liberal possible leaders of rich societies such as Britain and the U.S. show such palpable indifference, it is obvious that the energy required to fight poverty must come from non-elite sources.

[107] Elizabeth Murphy, "Demonstrating Democracy: Wall Street's Occupiers," The Straddler fall2011). Tom Kelly, "Un-occupy the City: Nine out of Ten Tents Remain Empty Overnight at St Paul's Protest Camp," Daily Mail, updated 20 March 2012. Daily Express, 16 Nov 2011, 1. "St Paul's Protest Camp 'is a Magnet for Crime,’ Court hears as Anti-capitalists Pledge to hold Two-week Christmas Party," Daily Mail, 20 Dec 2011.  Negative stories about the Occupy London movement often blatantly echo the position of the City of London Corporation, and/or have been shown to be inaccurate.

[109] See the Conservative election manifesto of 1987, with its assertion that "The best contribution Britain can make to developing countries is to champion open trade and free enterprise," the championed trade and enterprise in fact being neither "open" nor "free."

[110] Christine Kinealy, "Potatoes, Providence and Philanthropy: The Role of Private Charity during the Irish Famine," in Patrick O’Sullivan (ed.), The Meaning of the Famine (London: Leicester University Press, 1997), pp.140-71

[111] The people of Sri Lanka—an island particularly devastated by the Tsunami less than a year earlier—were among those who made offers of assistance to the U.S. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

[112] Birrell, "Hideous Hypocrisy."

[113] The act of violence was implicitly accepted by the authorities in its replacement by an apolitical design, "The Spire of Dublin."

[114] Dublin City Council, "History of Monuments O'Connell Street Area,"17-21, 20. The previous clause in the speech was: "We cannot ask the British constitution for more than the restitution of Grattan's parliament, but ...".  On the context see Alan O’Day, Parnell and the First Home Rule Episode, 1884-7 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1986): F. S. L. Lyons, "The Political Ideas of Parnell," Historical Journal, 16 (1973) 749–75: Paul Bew, Conflict and Conciliation in Ireland, 1890-1910: Parnellites and Radical Agrarians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).

[115] Steve Bruce, "Victim Selection in Ethnic Conflict: Motives and Attitudes in Irish Republicanism," Terrorism and Political Violence, 9, no.1 (Spring 1997), 68. On the conflict see Paul Dixon, Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001): Thomas Hennessey, A History of Northern Ireland, 1920-1996 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997): Paul Bew, Peter Gibbon and Henry Patterson, Northern Ireland, 1921-2001: Political Forces and Social Classes (London: Serif, 2002, revised and updated edition): Sabine Wichert, Northern Ireland Since 1945 (London: Longman, 2nd ed., 1999): Paul Bew, Ireland: The Politics of Enmity, 1789-2006 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

[116] James Dingley, "Marching Down the Garvaghy Road: Republican Tactics and State Response to the Orangemen's Claim to March their Traditional Route Home after the Drumcree Church Service," Terrorism and Political Violence, 14, no.3 (Fall 2002), 42-79: Neil Jarman and Dominic Bryan, From Riots to Rights: Nationalist Parades in the North of Ireland (Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster, 1998): Neil Jarman, Material Conflicts: Parades and Visual Displays in Northern Ireland (Oxford: Berg, 1997): Chris Ryder and Vincent Kearney, Drumcree: The Orange Order’s Last Stand (London: Methuen, 2001): Dominic Bryan, "Drumcree: Marching Towards Peace in Northern Ireland?" in Jörg Neuheiser and Stefan Wolff (eds.), Peace at Last? The Impact of the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland (New York: Berghahn, 2002), 94-110: Anne Cadwallader, Holy Cross: the Untold Story (Belfast: Brehon, 2004).

[117] Conor O'Clery, Daring Diplomacy: Clinton's Secret Search for Peace in Ireland (Boulder, Colo.: Roberts Rinehart, 1997), 248-9.

[118] Ruth Dudley Edwards, The Faithful Tribe: An Intimate Portrait of the Loyal Institutions (London: HarperCollins, 1999).

[120] Myers, From the "Irish Times", pp.133-43: Arthur Aughey "The Agreement: Unionist Responses," in Michael Cox, Adrian Guelke, and Fiona Stephen (eds.), A Farewell to Arms? From War to Peace in Northern Ireland (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 70: Sun, 28 Oct 1993, p. 9: Heffer, Like the Roman Peter Hitchens, The Abolition of Britain: the British Cultural Revolution from Lady Chatterley to Tony Blair (London: Quartet, 2000 Rev. & exp. ed., first published 1999): John Redwood, The Death of Britain? The UK's Constitutional Crisis (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999). Unionist politician Jeffrey Donaldson's comments in 2001 are typical: "We see in Northern Ireland a system today where the people, and the will of the people—particularly those of us who are of the Ulster British tradition—are being subjugated by a political process that is designed by stealth to take us towards a united Ireland within a United Europe. We are, if you like, the laboratory to test what will, in time, be visited upon the whole of the United Kingdom": Frederick Forsyth, Britain and Europe: the End of Democracy? (London: Friends of the Union, 2001), 29.

[121] Peatling, The Failure of the Northern Ireland Peace Process (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2004).

[122] Henry McDonald, Trimble (London: Bloomsbury, 2001, first published 2000), 346: Henry Patterson, "From Insulation to Appeasement: the Major and Blair Governments Reconsidered," in Rick Wilford (ed.), Aspects of the Belfast Agreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 166-83: Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA (London: Allen Lane, 2002). Peatling's argument that a less unimaginative media representation of the provincial context might help to liberate a better scenario could also be placed in this category. or often onerous conditions being imposed on debt repayment) has not been tried.

[123] George Mitchell, Making Peace (New York: Knopf, 1999): Jeremy Smith, Making the Peace in Ireland (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2002): O'Clery, Daring Diplomacy.

[124] Bew, Ireland: the Politics of Enmity: Paul Bew, The Making and Remaking of the Good Friday Agreement (Dublin: Liffey, 2007): Patrick J. Roche, The Appeasement of Terrorism & the Belfast Agreement (Ballyclare: Northern Irish Unionist Party, 2000): James Dingley, "Peace in Our Time? The Stresses and Strains on the Northern Ireland Peace Process," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 25, no. 6  (November/December 2002), 357-82. A chief problem with this voluble branch of analysis is that it neglects the importance of loyalist terrorism, in which British government agents colluded in ways which are increasingly (albeit tardily) admitted, as well as British government infiltration of republicanism.

[125] Eamonn Mallie and David McKittrick, The Fight for Peace: The Secret Story behind the Irish Peace Process (Mandarin: London, 1997, revised and updated edition, first published 1996): Paul Arthur, Special Relationships: Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland Problem (Belfast: Blackstaff, 2000): Tim Pat Coogan, Wherever Green is Worn: the Story of the Irish Diaspora (New York: Palgrave, 2001): Gerard Murray, John Hume and the SDLP: Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1998): Moloney, Secret History.

[126] Henry McDonald, Gunsmoke and Mirrors: How Sinn Féin Dressed up Defeat as Victory (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2008):  R.F. Foster, Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change, 1970-2000 (London: Allen Lane, 2007), 99-146: Richard English, Armed Struggle: A History of the IRA (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2003).

[127] Peatling "Unionist Divisions, the Onset of the Northern Ireland Conflict, and 'Pressures on O’Neill' Reconsidered," Irish Studies Review, 15, no. 1 (Feb. 2007), 17-35: "Pasts, Futures, and Connections between Scotland, Ulster, and Ireland: a Critique of Some Historiographical Tendencies," International Review of Scottish Studies, 32 (2007), 33-54.

[128] John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary, Explaining Northern Ireland: Broken Images (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995): Brendan O'Leary & John McGarry, The Politics of Antagonism: Understanding Northern Ireland (London: Athlone Press, 1993): Joseph Ruane and Jennifer Todd, " 'Why Can’t you just Get Along with Each Other?' Culture, Structure and the Northern Ireland Conflict," in Eamonn Hughes (ed.), Culture and Politics in Northern Ireland, 1960-1990 (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1991), 27-44.

[129] The Irish republic does not comprise the whole of the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland does not incorporate the whole of the historic province of Ulster, the whole of the north Atlantic Archipelago is not British, and the use of the shorthand "Britain" for "United Kingdom" offers a convenient way for British observers to claim sovereignty over Northern Ireland while abdicating responsibility for its turbulent history: James Loughlin, Ulster Unionism and British National Identity Since 1885 (London: Pinter, 1995).

[130] Novick, Conceiving Revolution, 62.

[131] Ronan Fanning, Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922 (London: Faber and Faber, 2013).

[132] Thomas Hennessey, Dividing Ireland: World War I and Partition (London: Routledge, 1998).

[133] Alan F. Parkinson, Belfast's Unholy War: The Troubles of the 1920s (Dublin: Four Courts, 2004): Michael Hopkinson, The Irish War of Independence (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002), 153-203.

[134] Graham Walker, "The British-Irish Council," in Rick Wilford (ed.), Aspects of the Belfast Agreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp.129-41: Steve Bruce, The Edge of the Union: The Ulster Loyalist Political Vision (Oxford: Clarendon, 1994).

[135] Forsyth, Britain and Europe: Norman Lamont, Sovereign Britain (London: Duckworth, 1995): Norman Lamont, The British Nation State and Its Enemies (London: Friends of the Union, 1994): Denis O’Hearn, "The two Irish Economies: Dependencies Compared," in James Anderson and James Goodman (eds.), Dis/agreeing Ireland (London: Pluto, 1998), 54-72. Luke Gibbons "The Global Cure? History, Therapy and the Celtic Tiger," in Peadar Kirby, Luke Gibbons and Michael Cronin (eds.), Reinventing Ireland: Culture, Society and the Global Economy (London: Pluto Press, 2002), 89-106. Gerry Adams' Sinn Féin was central to rejection of the Nice Treaty, an agreement towards closer integration in the European Union, in the Republic of Ireland's referendum of 2001. It is telling that the effect of Adams' action was praised in a British conservative media which shares with foreign terrorists an equally unrealistic "realism." Peter Hitchens, "Only Snobbery Unites Us," The Mail on Sunday (17 June 2001), 9.

[136] Peatling’s interpretation suggested that grounded commitment to both unionist insecurity and Irish nationalist ideals underlay an ethnic animosity that foreclosed any more optimistic possibility than a relatively peaceful society with dormant provincial institutions. He erred by paying if anything too much attention to "sectarian interfaces," "cordite" and conservative pontification, and by projecting his exaggerated investment in ideas onto others.

[137] Mark R. Amstutz, The Healing of Nations: the Promise and Limits of Political Forgiveness (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 182-3: News letter (Belfast). 21 Mar 2003.

[139] John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (London: Penguin, 2000, first published 1939), 445.