Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Cartoon entitled 'Solving the Irish question', 1909

image from Red Clydeside collection

One of six cartoons featured in the booklet entitled 'The Catholic Workingman' by John Wheatley, published in 1909. Up until 1916, the greatest political issue for Irish people living and working in Scotland was the question of home rule for their native land. As such the large Irish-catholic vote in Scotland was given to the Liberal Party, who were committed to passing home rule legislation.

The failure of the Liberal Party to deliver on Irish home rule sounded the death knell for their previous political domination in Scotland. Thereafter most of the Irish-catholic vote was given to the Independent Labour Party.

This cartoon highlights the increasing Irish-catholic disillusionment with the Liberal Party, whose representatives were increasingly perceived as part of the problem and not the solution. Liberal support for the rule of British capitalism and native landlordism in Ireland is depicted as one of the main reasons for Ireland's troubles.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives