Download A Vision for London, 1889-1914: labour, everyday life and by Susan D. Pennybacker PDF

By Susan D. Pennybacker

The booklet assessments the imaginative and prescient of the early London County Council (LCC) and of its leaders, the London Progressives, opposed to its rules and achievements. It records struggles to alter social and hard work stipulations, to persuade public tradition and to rent aspiring younger visionaries--both males and women--into white collar jobs. This historical past has left its mark at the current London political situation--central London govt has been abolished and once more many Londoners are looking to recreate it. either the achievements and the disillusions fostered long ago nonetheless impression the current London challenge. Attitudes formed by way of bureacracy and the issues of vested pursuits nonetheless live on.

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Additional info for A Vision for London, 1889-1914: labour, everyday life and the LCC experiment

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Yet the ‘hook’ of much of Progressive rhetoric was precisely its capacity to impart a picture of a future that would involve a fairer distribution of the wealth hoarded by London’s upper strata. The pragmatic dimensions of the strategy to do so were manifested in demands for municipalisation and for the public possession of essential utilities, hence ‘gas and water socialism’. These were notions with clear ends, palatable even to some Conservatives. But there were withering, limiting questions: was the LCC to become a major employer of labour, a major builder of houses and of public works, a major player on the labour market?

Within this market, the LCC became a bastion of respectable lower middle class employment. Its service to the metropolis was seen as socially useful, its workforce as the ‘aristocracy of municipal service’ in nation and empire (see Figure 3). And yet LCC employees also inevitably included a diversity of type. Men and women of its white collar staff argued about votes for women in The ways of life 25 Figure 3 LCC staff dinner, 1903 (Greater London Photograph Library, GLRO) the 1890s just as they would argue about arms to Spain in 1936.

O’Dell. One version of the defence of equal pay, offered by NUC leader Dolly Lansbury, interpreted the ‘right of woman on the labour market as the right to earn a living however she chooses’. If men were so concerned about the decline of a so-called family wage, said Lansbury, they could support the endowment of motherhood and child supplements. 44 These demands were phrased in one of several rhetorical modes that increasingly engaged women at the LCC. 46 Yet the prospect of greater economic independence for women employees was elusive.

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