But the other things was obviously that, going from the 70s and 80s, that the British state had to deal with the national movements, the obvious one being in Ireland. Thatcher said: “We’ll totally face it down. We’ll sit out the hunger strikers.” That didn’t work and so what you got was the move to the Downing Street Declaration: “We have to bring the Republicans on board.” But something else happened in that intervening period and that was the Poll Tax campaign. I mean, I was the chair of the Lothian Anti-Poll Tax campaign and I was co-chair of the Scottish one there, and that threatened to actually become almost the equivalent of the 1969 Ireland, the equivalent of the civil rights movement ... (inaudible) ... something far more significant.

  • Allan Armstrong
Tuesday 25th May 2010