John Throne was heavily involved with the establishment of Militant Irish Monthly, the newspaper of the Militant Tendency in Ireland. It began publication in June 1973, and a copy of the first issue, as well as some information on the Militant Tendency, is available on cedarlounge here.
The interview below is part of an Irish labour and working class oral history archive, the original tapes of which will be stored with Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. John has asked me to put the interview on the web.
There is a third part to the interview, where John talks about his expulsion from the American branch of the Committee for a Workers’ International. This incident took place around 1996 and is still somewhat of a live issue. John Throne is a regular contributor to Indymedia Ireland, and often the issue of the expulsion and the Irish Socialist Party dominates the posts. Because of this, I’ve taken the decision to post the third part separately, and to leave this post to focus on the history of Militant in the 1970s, as well as John’s personal and political background.
I will be posting the third part of the interview next week.
Part one: 1940s/50s – growing up – family life – school days – Donegal Orange Order – 1960s – working life at home – emigration – Canada – merchant ships – Vietnam – growing politicization – Australia – back to Ireland – 1967/68 – Derry Labour Party – civil rights movement – Young Socialists – Paul Jones and Militant – 1970s – internment and the rise of the Provisionals – end of the Young Socialists and NI Labour Party in Derry – Socialist Labour League – Gerry Healy – the Communist Party and Roy Johnston – Workers’ Party – Stalinism and Trotskyism (48:38)
Part two: 1970s – Stalinism – working in London – the International Socialists – joining Militant – the permanent revolution and Ireland – joining Crumlin Labour Party branch – building up Militant – selling the paper – Joe Higgins – anti-coalition – Northern Ireland – family life – religious sectarianism – development as a Marxist – Young Socialists and Derry in 1968 – Militant Irish Monthly – Irish Labour Party – collapse of Communism – working class consciousness – Trotskyism (1:06:51)
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