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The Macbride PrinciplesIrish America Strikes Back$
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Kevin McNamara

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312175

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315893

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MacBride and the British Government

MacBride and the British Government

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter Three MacBride and the British Government
Source:
The Macbride Principles
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846315893.004

This chapter argues that the Conservative government's campaign against the MacBride Principles, orchestrated by the Northern Ireland Department of Economic Development (DED), was flawed. From the beginning it sought to smear the MacBride supporters by association with Provisional Sinn Féin. This approach failed to influence most Irish-Americans and it was later referred to en passant rather than as a major argument. The attitude of UK officials in the US to Irish-Americans generally, and MacBride campaigners in particular, was often arrogant and patronising. The UK response lacked generosity of spirit and imagination, which led to a complete misreading of the Irish-American scene, to the detriment of its overall Irish policy.

Keywords:   MacBride Principles, employment discrimination, religious discrimination, employment policy, Conservative government

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