Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gwyneth Dunwoody (1930-2008)

Cranmer is profoundly saddened to learn of the death of one of the great characters of the House of Commons, Gwyneth Dunwoody MP.

There are some politicians who stand head and shoulders above the anonymous mass of mediocrity in Parliament, and she was one: a truly formidable politician, of impeccable integrity. Gwyneth Dunwoody was not only the longest-serving female Member of Parliament, but the very epitome of a conviction politician. She spoke as she saw it - often to the irritation of her Whips and to the delight of the Opposition - and she was greatly admired on both sides of the House where she spoke with an authority and aplomb which few politicians these days possess.

Cranmer's one regret is that she never became Speaker.

She will be greatly missed.

May she rest in peace.


Anonymous Voyager said...

She was contemptuous of The Machine probably having seen it from the inside when her father was General Secretary of the Labour Party.

Machine Politicians are the demise of Democracy and it is fasinating to read the comments of Wedgwood Benn who said She was an independent-minded woman

and contrast the use of the noun woman with Gordon Brown's "She was always her own person.

Brown has that techno-speak devoid of humanity or anything that might suggest flesh-and-blood. I am surprised he did not use the word operative

He lacks any sense of human affinity and seems besotted with the kind of behaviour we got from Strelnikov in Dr Zhivago

18 April 2008 at 06:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A huge loss, but this was her finest moment:

Labour MP's fury at Blears' plans

A senior Labour MP has accused a Cabinet minister of not respecting voters in a furious Commons outburst over plans for councils in Cheshire.
Gwyneth Dunwoody said Communities Secretary Hazel Blears acted for "venal and personal reasons".

....The row erupted after Mr Healey announced Cheshire's county council and district councils are to be axed and replaced by two unitary authorities.

Mrs Dunwoody...said

I have rarely seen a decision like this taken with such cynicism and with so little respect of the interests of the average voter.

She said Ms Blears had never "deigned" to explain the need for the change, which was being pushed through "irrespective of the needs or wishes of the population".

"I believe it is a decision which has been taken for the most venal and personal reasons and I find it wholly and deeply objectionable," she said.

She added she had seen MPs being promoted over the years: "I have seen the crawlers. I've seen those whose sexual preferences were of interest to others.

"I've seen those who've demonstrated a great commitment to their own interest, irrespective of the political parties they were supposed to be representing.

"But I have rarely seen a decision like this taken with such cynicism and with so little respect of the interests of the average voter."


18 April 2008 at 06:40  
Blogger The Black Fingernail said...

Very sad day. The real sadness is that as more great individuals like Gwyneth Dunwoody die or the likes of Benn and Skinner retire, Parliament gets filled with faceless bureactratic 'professional politicians' who have no conviction except their own careers. It's the same for the Tories - the great characters are being replaced by cloned operatives who just toe the line. Boris Johnson possibly excepted.

18 April 2008 at 08:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shame She is not on hand to offer a word of advice to Alison Smith about the nmeaning of the word "integrity"

18 April 2008 at 08:31  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Your Grace,

Indeed, a dreadful loss to Parliament and us all. May she rest in peace.

18 April 2008 at 10:10  
Anonymous labour voting bead jiggler said...

Allow me to congratulate you on the fair mindedess of your post, your Grace.

18 April 2008 at 14:31  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace and fellow posters

the quote given above on her stance on the combining of cheshire councils , was a highlight, i have watched in committee and she despatched the non job fawners with equal gusto if they were pretending to be somthing they were not .

a marvellous speaker (although its shame she never was given the position) and good allrounder , only 6 weeks ago did she comment on the drug addicts that had bashed her door down at her offices .No subject was too grisly for her to see or deal with .

contrast that with many other politicians who take cars to travell 200 yrds or who are in dinner suite and bow tie more than , red boxes and constituancy meetings .

i am not a labour party supporter , but i rated gyneth dunwoody highly , i now understand she was descended from suffrajet stock, all of which adds to some one who wanted to be in politics for the right reasons.

the people who disliked her or came off badly , in hindsight deserved it , she never offered lavish praise as she thought good truth was the least any senior job should be aspiring to.

a loss to crewe , cheshire , the hosuse and the country .

18 April 2008 at 19:38  

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