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Fascism and Constitutional ConflictThe British Extreme Right and Ulster in the Twentieth Century$
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James Loughlin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941770

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941770.001.0001

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The National Front (I)

The National Front (I)

Negotiating the Ulster Political Terrain, 1967–1985

(p.218) 6 The National Front (I)
Fascism and Constitutional Conflict

James Loughlin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the efforts of the National Front to exploit the Ulster problem as it sought to expand on its progress in Britain in the early 1970s and it activities in Northern Ireland thereafter. For some loyalists such early progress had initially suggested that the NF might be a valuable ally in their struggle against the Provisional IRA. However, as its fortunes in Britain diminished in the 1970s –and with it any prospect that it could significantly influence British public opinion in their interest - the NF connection appeared less as a help than a hindrance and unwelcome not least when the level of Catholic membership in its leadership was discovered. However, the persistence of the Ulster conflict, especially a series of developments from 1980, seen as a British betrayal of Northern Ireland, ensured that it would continue to attract the NF’s interest. And yet it was never entirely clear for much of this period what its involvement was for – to assist loyalist organisations or to replace them. Nor did changes of organisation and operation in the early to mid-1980s do much to progress NF interests in the region.

Keywords:   National Front, Chesterton, Tyndall, policies, purpose, leadership, limitations, failure

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