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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 guidelines and achievements. It records struggles to alter social and exertions stipulations, to persuade public tradition and to rent aspiring younger visionaries--both males and women--into white collar jobs. This heritage has left its mark at the current London political situation--central London executive has been abolished and once more many Londoners are looking to recreate it. either the achievements and the disillusions fostered long ago nonetheless impact the current London difficulty. Attitudes formed via bureacracy and the issues of vested pursuits nonetheless continue to exist.

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

Sample text

It is the great gobetween of the world…anyone who contemplates the City as a profession…will not have to face the competition of the flower of his contemporaries, who will be scrambling for briefs, teaching unruly forms in public schools, or rusting in the deadening atmosphere of Government offices. 55 Herein lie the commonplace assumptions of those observing the market in men’s white collar and professional labour in turn-of-thecentury London. Native intelligence and intellectual aspiration were not rewarded in many of the most lucrative jobs, especially in finance.

In the capital, advocates of the rights of women, votes for women and the causes of labour and of the trade unions employed rhetorics of ‘Englishness’ and committed themselves to the cause of bettering those whom they saw as their racial and social inferiors. 79 The case of the LCC helps to reveal these attributes of both rhetoric and practice, not for the purpose of establishing the outlines of a sensibility that is largely already known if not always readily acknowledged, but in order to understand the role of that sensibility in shaping a political experience of which it was an endemic, inexpendable part.

Not all of London’s inhabitants had no legal recourse other than to accept the Council as the central governing body of London but, at the same time, most could still not vote for their councillors (or, at the very least, did not vote for their councillors). These are starting points of this particular study of the LCC. This remains so in the moments in which this book concludes with a comment on the influence of the last period of limited unenfranchisement upon subsequent collective political memory.

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