Tuesday, May 01, 2007

1945 Thursday July 5th Polling Day



I found a time capsule ,an election leaflet for the 1945 General Election. In it ,Captain Cunningham Reid makes a strong case for re-election as an ‘Independent’ Conservative. Sadly I have not as yet discovered if he was successful. There was a political paradigm shift in 1945 and we are still suffering the consequences of anachronistic loyalty to the ideals that brought Labour to power. Churchill wasn’t finished ,as people forget ,but we drifted left until Margaret Thatcher turned the ship . Much of what the Captain says has a resonance for us today but the adorable ‘word’ from Mrs CR to the women is so of its time .
. I hope you can make out the picture of domestic bliss as well . Aren’t they stylish and doesn’t his wife look terrific in that Spartan but shapely outfit? I have marked some of the parts which had an especially contemporary echo but what I chiefly wanted to draw attention to is the sense of a nation deciding its destiny .There are few “ Big visions “ but more a ‘conversation’ about real problems .The unquestioned assumption is of a “We” and a right to decide. This is what we are losing .Hatfield Girl is daily striking a terrible chord of rage expressed as detached analysis of the constitutional desecration quietly happening around us everyday .I agree with her and partly I mean this as an elegiac comment on all we have lost as a country and a democracy Now lets go back to July 1945.…….

A personal message from Capt. A Cunningham-Reid DFC-Marylebones Independent Conservative
Allow me , your MP for the last fourteen years to ask you-a Marylebone elector - this one question : Do you want a Party hack as your MP ? The other local candidate are bound by the strict disciplines of the old Parties which insist their members do as they are told in parliament regardless of conscience or constituents . It was just this that determined me to be independent of the crack of the Party whip and to be guided solely by what is in the best interests of the nation. I am thus the only truly national candidate before you.
I support the official policy of the Conservative Party but I reserve the right to criticise complacency and ineptitude. I have no desire to be a mere cipher in the Party caucus and I can best serve you in the future - as I have in the past - by remaining unfettered to Party ties.
I am a strong advocate of free enterprise for trade and industry as a whole but I leave die hard Tories behind when I maintain that basic services such as transport and heating, lighting and water should in some measure be State controlled if they over charge the public and give a bad service generally……………………………….........
I am not only a staunch but also a grateful supporter of Churchill as a war leader. Do not be misled by the fiction that Independents I Parliament are ineffective . The very opposite is the truth . Remember the years that Churchill himself showed commendable political independence and has he not indicated that he still appreciates the value independents by his recent declaration that in the new Parliament he would call upon men of all Parties and no parties to support him ? If at this election he was not tied by party leadership he would no doubt be recommending electors to vote for go ahead Independent conservatives rather than Party yes-men.
The 22 Independents in the last parliament did invaluable work it was because I was an independent in 1941 that I was bale to start an outcry in Parliament which resulted unimproved pay and allowances for those in the forces. Subsequently I obtained for them the right when on leave to take part in politics and so to have some say in what they are fighting for . My independence also enabled me to fight hard to ensure that that service folk shall not be let down as they were after the last war and that service men and women shall; have housing and reasonable security from unemployment: and to urge that in order to save our children from being sacrificed in a third world war the German nation must be divided up between the surrounding countries.
I am in favour of the proposed social legislation resulting form the Bevridge report , with the exception of that part which deals with health. I shall oppose the health proposals in their present form, for not only are they prejudicial to the dental and medical professions but there is no assurance of an adequate improvement of pay and conditions for nurses and above all the public will if the present go through , be forced to pay , in many instances for second rate medical and dental attention…………..
Considering that this is one of the richest Boroughs in London, it is disgraceful that in some quarters there should be such deplorable housing conditions. This is largely the responsibility of the Town hall crowd but in future whether those reactionary Councillors and Aldermen like it or not , given the opportunity I am going to make it my responsibility . My wife and I have many of our friends among the less fortunate members of the community and are determined to do everything humanly possible to obtain for all Marylebone folk decent homes with modern conveniences. The lack of accommodation in the area has been aggravated by the influx of refugees. I shall use my best endeavours to find a satisfactory and just solution to this problem, always remembering that the interest if the British people must be paramount.
I am an enemy of landlords who charge extortionate rents for houses , flats or rooms .
The racket in clothing and footwear must also be stopped.
The whole problem with our politics today is that , though there must be political parties , the system which governs all three old Parties has got right out of hand , and most MP no longer represent their voters but their Party bosses who in turn represent selfish interests.
Uninfluenced by the power of the Party machine , political promotion or honours , I have , as you no doubt have observed, taken the gloves off in parliament and fought for what I considered to be the best for my country and constituents .
Will you allow me to carry on for you by honouring me with your vote next Thursday July the 5th

A Word From Mrs Cunningham-Reid to the Women of Marylebone
Many of you have known my husband for the fourteen years he has been our MP. I have known him only five years - in fact since I started war -work in Marylebone. At first in use to wonder why he spent so much time on politics . Taking the independent line he has he could certainly look for no no personal advantage in it - only plenty of grey hairs.
Why - why -why? I have asked myself . He has a comfortable home ;three boys to whom he is devoted ( including our three month old baby son ) and the means to indulge occupations he is interested in; yet he spends all his time fighting in Parliament against tremendous odds , writing political books and apparently getting no reward but plenty of derision from those high places. Why does he continue in Politics ?
I know now . The answer is simple and it makes me proud of him. He has a burning desire to use his abilities and resources to help his fellow human beings
. In the House of Commons he refuses just to be toll to promote Party interests. Only one thing guides him . Is it in the best interests of those he represents ?…..
..he has fought for generous pensions for disabled and for the dependents of those who have been killed; for the 5/- children’s allowance to be paid to the mother; for Service men’s children not to be penalised; for increased Old Age pension; and for spinsters to get pensions at 55.
Yes my husband has fought for all of this and more . Won’t you help the man who has helped you , and wants to go on helping you? Make certain he is able to continue the god work he has set his heart on by voting for him on July 5th.
Your Sincerely Angela-Cunningham Reid "


Well Angela had me at hallo but what about you dear reader( if there is one) . Will you vote for the gallant Captain and his charming wife . The hours are 7AM to 9 PM. You will vote at All Souls Ridinghouse St. You register No. is 2056. You are an about to decide perhaps the pivotal result of the 20th century..
When I think of all these good people deciding what we as a nation should do rightly or wrongly I feel almost overcome with grief that we are giving this ‘nationhood’ , this country; away.




20 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Well Angela had me at hallo"
- you are such a tart!

Newmania said...

I may be a tart Anon but I am not allowed to express my tartiness.

( Why anon what are you hiding)

Jenny! said...

You are so smart and way too advanced for me to understand! I did like the wife's letter, it pulled on the heart strings a bit, much better than Hilary's negative comments about housewives and baking cookies back when Bill was running!

Newmania said...

Jenny I am about the least smart person I can think of doing this........

But thanks anyway...( Love praise..natch ..just anything will do)

CityUnslicker said...

what happened to your doughty street post?

mutleythedog said...

It was another world wasn't it? But my father was just a few months off being able to vote in that election - not in Marylebone though. I found a war time leaflet which describes what to do if we are invaded at some length and finishes "Be assured the enemy will be captured and killed,. God Save The King!

Newmania said...

what happened to your doughty street post?

I thought it was a bit feeble CU I didn`t really have to time to do anything today ? Perhaps I should out it back up

Newmania said...

You father must have been exceedingly old when you were born Mutley.
I don`t know there is alot that hasn`t changed , Housing Health immigration are all in there

Electro Kevin said...

Yeees.

But how good are you at selling insurance, Mr Newmania ?

Newmania said...

Mediocre Kev..I lack interest which doesn't help but its just a job

Newmania said...

Mediocre Kev..I lack interest which doesn't help but its just a job

hatfield girl said...

lot of what is gone and going is blamed on the European Union; perhaps the energy used against the Union should be directed at our own governments, the Union is responsible for collateral damage, but the harm is coming from our own politicians and their policies.

Thank you for the mention, N.
The typeface and design of Captain Cunningham Reid's leaflet is almost as desirable as his ideas.

Newmania said...

I think he seems a decent man HG some of it is a bit historical but much to admire as well

Ed said...

the Union is responsible for collateral damage, but the harm is coming from our own politicians and their policies.

Couldn't agree more! I shall be pontificating on this at some stage - but don't hold your breath I'm a slowcoach when it comes to formulating a blog entry.

Newmania said...

HG and Ed I know what you mean but there is nothing we can do about it here when the descision is made by the EU. They blame eachother and there is no accountability.

TO me it is important that I have say in policy . I may approve of EU laws but that is a different issue . I meant is retrieving this time capsule was to convey a sense of ivolvement in a demos

mutleythedog said...

Newmania said...

You father must have been exceedingly old when you were born Mutley.
I don`t know there is alot that hasn`t changed , Housing Health immigration are all in there


Nope - not particularly - he was born in 1928 - he was 17 in 1945, I was born in 1964 - he was 36 - younger than you Mr N.

Newmania said...

Oh I am older than you Mut 1963. Does it show in wisdom and learning? I think it may well do

gordon brown's best friend said...

Mr N
It's worth pointing out that Capt Cunningham-Reid (Army officer one would presume) is of an age where one would have expected him to have been on active service during the just ended hostilities. Although I imagine that being an MP was one of the 'reserved occupations' it's very likely that he didn't serve due to physical incapacity received during the previous war.
The fact that he makes no mention of his past service apart from use of the courtesy rank (which was almost obligatory at that time) is an interesting reflection of the era. Could you imagine one of the current crop of polls neglecting to brandish a few campaign medals or wave an empty sleeve at the camera?

gordon brown's best friend said...

Mr N
To add to the above:
Capt. A Cunningham-Reid DFC was an 'ace' with 85 Squadron Royal Flying Corps. He accounted for 7 enemy aircraft during 1918

susan said...

I found some great fiction book reviews. You can also see those reviews in Fiction book reviews

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