The Federalization of Iraq and the Break-up of Sudan

Type Journal Article - Government and Opposition
Title The Federalization of Iraq and the Break-up of Sudan
Volume 47
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 481-516
especially in Belfast. I am old enough to have known Professor Schapiro
from the days of my first appointment at the London School of
Economics and Political Science. More surprising than my age is that
possession of one of Schapiro’s books once got me into potential
trouble. In 1978, then a student in England, I returned to Northern
Ireland at Christmas by catching the ferry from Stranraer. At the
Scottish port, one of my heavy suitcases drew the attention of a
detective. I was asked to open it. The two books most visible were
Michael Farrell’s Northern Ireland: The Orange State and Leonard Schapiro’s
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The detective showed
absolutely no interest in The Orange State, presumably unaware that
Farrell, now a member of President Michael Higgins’s Council of
State in Dublin, was then Ireland’s most famous Trotskyist, and had
been one of the most prominent leaders of the People’s Democracy.
Instead, the detective focused on Schapiro’s book, and gravely
enquired whether I was a communist. I laughed, replied negatively,
and could not resist observing that Schapiro was no communist. The
detective let me board the ferry, and I thought the episode closed,
until the boat docked at Larne. As I walked down the gangway I was
tapped on the shoulder. The detective had followed me over.
Without arresting me, he asked me to accompany him to the local
office of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, just beside the docks. There
he asked me to open the suitcase again, lifted up Schapiro’s bookand pointed at it. The Ulsterman glanced at the open suitcase,
looked witheringly at his Scots colleague, and said, ‘For Chrissake,
Jock, the man’s a student.’ The episode taught me that when young
and crossing a border – even a border within a Union – do not have
a beard; it also taught me that the titles of books and lectures do not
automatically signal their author’s views.

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