The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Long Kesh Meets Peterhouse

Anthony McIntyre • Expac News Dec 2002/Jan 2003

Travelling to England is something which I have done frequently since my release from prison ten years ago. During those visits I have spoken in a number of universities to audiences interested in something other than the standard line. Peterhouse Cambridge, was something else. Being well used to the circuit it held no trepidation for me. But because it had in a sense been the bosom in which were nurtured future leaders of the British ruling class, the challenge that lay ahead seemed stimulating. There could hardly be a sharper clash of ideas than that between the intellectual product of the republican H-Blocks and that of Peterhouse.

Cambridge struck me immediately as a city built around a university. It was its reason for existing. Previously my familiarity with the town was through occasionally watching the annual boat race - hoping to see the lot of them capsize, which only happened once I think. There was also Peter Cooke, the Cambridge rapist whose nefarious activities captured the media spotlight in the mid 1970s. And the city also hosted a football team which is probably best forgotten about.

Brendan Simms, who invited me to speak proved an excellent host. Politically the only thing we seemed to agree upon was that there had been no revolution in Ireland. On Palestine, Iraq and US foreign policy we were as far apart as Long Kesh and Peterhouse. After he and I walked through the college and discussed its history I delivered my paper. The audience was gracious and heard me out politely before asking a range of questions. Given their background which contrasted so sharply with my own, I was somewhat surprised by the lack of sparks. But there was no animosity - just intellectual curiosity.

On departing my sumptuous room in the college, I walked through the city to the train station, stopping on my way to buy two books. Long Kesh left Peterhouse much as it had arrived - polite but not persuaded.










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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

16 February 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


A Plan "B" for Tony Blair and Northern Ireland
Paul Fitzsimmons


Evidence, What Evidence?
Michael Youlton


Choices to be Made
Larry Kirwan


Talking Through His Cassock
Bert Ward


Letter to Uncle
Jimmy Sands


Long Kesh Meets Peterhouse
Anthony McIntyre


Socialists, Leadership and the Working Class
Davy Carlin


14 February 2003


Anti War March Tomorrow
Davy Carlin


A Tale of Two Writers
Anthony McIntyre


Phil Berrigan is Dead
Larry Kirwan


8 Mile Worth the Trip
Mick Hall


A Letter of Protest
Orlaith Dillon


London Arrests Update




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