Firstclass passengers with political connections


S

sashka pozzetti

Guest
Well that is a rather unusual point of view! I suspect your youth has coloured your opinion a bit, because when you are my age, it is all the changes that politicians make that you don't want!!!
PS. How are you defining riff-raff?

Presumably all the women on the Titanic had trouble expressing political views, as they were denied the vote in the UK.

Does anyone know if this ever changed?
(that is a cheeky joke :))
 
S

sashka pozzetti

Guest
Bob, I am confused. If £400 was the equivalent today of £24,000, but the wages are now £60,000, but have fallen behind in line with inflation, was there a peak at sometime, or am I being spectacularly dumb (most likely option when it comes to figures) :)
 
Mar 20, 2007
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'Presumably all the women on the Titanic had trouble expressing political views, as they were denied the vote in the UK.'

Elsie Bowerman and her mother, Edith Chibnall, didn't have trouble expressing their political views. If anything, they encountered opposition for expressing them a little too trenchantly! As I commented above, Helen Churchill Candee also supported the suffrage movement within the US. The Earl of Rothes was actively involved in contemporary politics - Noelle, I believe, was his hostess when he entertained key figures from the government or opposition. Unless she was unusually circumspect or self-effacing I assume that she was fully conversant with what was what and who was who in Westminster. Lady Duff Gordon was a close friend of Margot Asquith. Sigrid Lindstroem, as we're currently exploring on her biographical thread, was the niece of a Swedish Prime Minister and presumably grew up in a politically charged enviroment.

Again, I'd be terribly interested to know if any passengers - male OR female - from the lower classes involved themselves in this arena. The Irish Question was really hotting up and I daresay some of those in steerage would have held strong opinions, one way or the other.

Looking further afield, Lady Mackworth (a survivor of the 'Lusitania') was jailed for suffragette-related mischief. I suspect Theodate Pope might also have had a thing or two to say on the matter.

As a matter of interest - were there ANY countries, in Europe or elsewhere, which had granted women the franchise by 1912?
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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No shortage of riff-raff on either side of the House, I'm afraid, Martin. I'll look out for your friend at the booze-up. Feel free to come along, you don't need to be affiliated to any particular party.

No political aspirations that I can recall in 2nd or 3rd. Has anyone mentioned that Margaret Brown ran (unsuccessfully) for Congress, despite her riff-raff origins? And here's a bit of vaguely political trivia: According to Craig Stringer's excellent Titanic People, Tyrrell Cavendish was a close friend of Norman Craig, MP for the Isle of Thanet. Craig was very nearly a passenger himself, but changed his plans at the last minute and cancelled his booking for stateroom C132.
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Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Sashka, you need to consider price inflation separately from wage inflation. Since 1912, prices are up on average by around 60 times, but wages are up by around 300 times. That's why our average standard of living is now about 5 time higher than it was then. That 1912 £400 had a purchasing power equivalent to £24,000 in 2007, but that would provide for a standard of living which was no higher than it was back then. In real terms, the MPs' salary would need now to be around £120,000 to provide the same level of increase in standards that all the rest of us have enjoyed. You might need to think about that for a bit, but hopefully it will fall into place!
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Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Sorry, I got a bit confused myself earlier when I said that £400 was equivalent to the annual earnings of a junior ship's officer. It was actually a lot more (I was comparing monthly with weekly, d'oh!). The junior officers were on around £100 a year. The only person on board earning as much as an MP (apart from the Captain) was the Chief Engineer. And he was, I reckon, better value for money!
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Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Several American States provided women with voting rights before the end of the 19th century, as did New Zealand. By 1912, I think most Australian States had followed suit. In Europe, any woman wanted full voting rights would have needed to emigrate to Finland. Norway granted full suffrage in 1913, several years after women were permitted to stand for election! Mrs Lindstrom could have voted in Sweden, but only at local elections. That's as far as Britain had gone, too.
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Ben Holme

Member
Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Bob,

I'd be fascinated to hear your source for Uruchurtu and Mrs. Lindstrom being in the same compartment. I know Edith Russell mentioned meeting him there, albeit not by name, but not Mrs. L as far as I'm aware.

Thanks in advance!

Washington Dodge, a democrat, was another passenger who engaged actively in politics.

Best regards,
Ben
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I can't point you to a primary source, Ben, but I'd guess it was one of Edith's accounts. Craig Stringer mentions it in their biographies eg: "On the train Mrs Lindstrom had shared a compartment with Miss Edith Rosenbaum, Mr Manuel Uruchurtu and some American ladies." Craig posts here occasionally, so you could send him a private message if you want to check it out.
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
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Hadn't August Wennerstrom left Sweden because his left-wing political activities had created some trouble for him?

Also, Eloise Smith was active in the suffrage and in Republican Party politics. Her obit - linked to ET - also mentions that she had served in government in some capacity, perhaps during the war.
 
Apr 30, 2007
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{In real terms, the MPs' salary would need now to be around £120,000 to provide the same level of increase in standards that all the rest of us have enjoyed.}

Wake up Bob!

It's true that MP's only received a modest £400 per annum from August 1911 until June 1937, whereupon it increased to £600 eventually topping £1,000 in April 1946. Today their salary ranges from £60,675 for a back-bench MP to about £188k for the P.M. which in isolation is still not excessive.

However what you overlook is the extremely generous expenses and allowances that they claim for. This information has only recently been made available to the general public as previously Parliament had refused to divulge the details. Not surprising when one studies the figures and the abuses that have occurred.

This pushes the average income of an MP above £200,000 + With all the free facilities available at Westminster and their advantageous pension arrangements they certainly don't experience similar standards of living as "the rest of us"!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Steve - I'm fully awake, but your concern is noted! :) It was never my intention to crusade for more (or less) money for MPs. My aim in that posting above was to answer a simple question by explaining the relationship of price inflation, wage inflation and living standards. Hopefully I was able to do that, using the perfectly valid figures I quoted. You've mentioned the controversial extra payments which (in theory) are NOT part of an MP's salary. You believe these should be regarded as additional income and I wouldn't strongly disagree, but the recipients of course would offer you an argument. Be that as it may, this wasn't part of the question so neither was it part of my answer and certainly not something which I chose to 'overlook'.
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Apr 30, 2007
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Bob. Just thought I'd put a bit of perspective into the figures you had used to illustrate your point. I suppose I'm just tub thumping as usual.

In today's terms the headline salary of an MP may be modest but there are massive financial compensations which the British public are not generally aware of.

For example when Parliament first disclosed MP's expenses on 21/10/2004 we learnt that Claire Curtis-Thomas, MP for Crosby, had claimed £168,889 to top up her approx £57k salary. Of course those with their snout in the trough will always try and justify what they receive irrespective of the rights and wrongs.

I don't mind what an individual MP receives just so long as we, the taxpayer, are not mislead. And up until 3 years ago we were. I won't go into the various abuses of public funds here but they are well documented.

Mind you now that the figures are disclosed and scrutinised the rules have been tightened up somewhat and the MP's are a lot more careful about what they claim for. Rant over.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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No worries, Steve, feel free to rant in a good cause. Screwing the system is a national sport, but nobody does it better within the letter of the Law than the law-makers themselves. Except, perhaps ... but no, I'd best keep quiet or we'll end up sharing the same cell!
smile.gif
 
May 12, 2005
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It might surprise some that Edith Russell had political connections, albeit social in nature. I haven’t found that she ever prevailed on her politico pals to help with any of the civic or charitable causes in which she was interested, but as she was quite the serial dinner party guest —— and more in demand the older she got! —— she may have called on their aid at some time. Among the governmental bigwigs she hobnobbed with were Mussolini (at least they danced together once at a party in Rome) and, many years later, the Kennedys through her connections to Peter Lawford and his parents. Edith’s friendship with the actor’s lush of a mom, Lady Lawford, was a contentious one, with huge fights breaking out suddenly and then as speedily mended, a real love/hate connection.

Lucile had all the political connections she could want. But she was the least political animal and although she was involved socially and professionally with some of the real movers and shakers in the governments of England, France and the USA, she didn’t care a whit about their platforms or causes. Unless, of course, it involved a glittering gala for which her clients would need some smashing new frocks! This isn’t to say Lucile didn’t have definite opinions on social issues, because she expressed herself frequently on topics like women’s rights (she was not a suffragette however), and during WWI she cared a lot about helping refugees in France and rebuilding the many communities destroyed by Germany. As already pointed out, Lucile was a good friend of Margot Asquith, the PM’s wife, but she had political connections in her own family. Her daughter Esme was married to Viscount Tiverton, son of the 1st Earl of Halsbury, who was twice Lord Chancellor and remained till his death a personal advisor to George V.
Lord Tiverton, too, was important politically, or at least militarily, as he was top strategist for Britain’s air warfare campaign in WWI. Tiverton’s plans were used in the 2nd WW as well.
 

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