Spotlight on Margaret Bondfield | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

As March was Women’s History month, we have decided to observe it by shining the spotlight on Margaret Bondfield, who is virtually unheard of today but made history in 1929 by becoming the first wo…

Source: Spotlight on Margaret Bondfield | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

9 thoughts on “Spotlight on Margaret Bondfield | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

  1. An interesting story of a long-forgotten female pioneer in politics. Most of us recall Nancy Astor, and Barbara Castle of course, yet few of us have ever heard of this lady, and she deserves to be better known.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting that you mention Barbara Castle, because in her view Bondfield was a traitor to the Labour movement for her willingness to contemplate cutting unemployment benefit when the latter served in the National Government of 1931.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was just thinking about female politicians and those who are better-known. There is also Betty Boothroyd of course, and I chose to leave Margaret Thatcher out!
        Being in government is often a wake-up call to the harsh realities of managing the economy, so it would seem. Many idealists have changed their tune, once in a position of responsibility.
        Regards, Pete.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi beetleypete,

          Bondfield I believe was never an idealist however she was really put in a tough position especially as it was at the height of the Great Depression and it was one thing to campaign for better working conditions but another to tackle the unemployment issue but at the same time balance the books.

          I also think there is an element of class snobbery behind viewing Bondfield as a “traitor” especially as there were many in the Labour movement who came from a privileged middle or even upper class background. When Bondfield was campaigning for universal suffrage she was particularly disliked by the suffragettes for letting the side down and many of them looked down at her for her working class roots.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I can well imagine some of those Suffragettes having ‘class issues.’ When I was in the Labour Party in the late 1970s, I had the same sort of thing. Local Putney-ites thinking that I was too rough-mannered, and unnecessarily outspoken.
            I was eventually expelled for membership of Militant Tendency, not long before the Blairite purge of the working class stalwarts.
            I would never see Bondfield as a traitor, just someone struggling with what had to be done.
            Best wishes, Pete.

            Liked by 2 people

            • The irony is that a lot of class snobbery came from the middle class. For all their progressiveness they looked down on both the upper and working classes sometimes seeing them as two sides of the same coin.


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