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April 18, 2008


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Mike Homfray

Something to do with their adherence to socialist values?

Paul Flynn

Thanks very much Hilda.

That fills any important gap in the story of her life. She became dis-illusioned with the more strident form of feminism that she thought was damaging in parliament. She had a reputation among women MPs of all parties as a friendly, kind mother superior who was generous with her advice.

There is a great difference between the generation of Jo Richardson, Barbara Castle, Audrey Wise, Gwyneth and the new crop of women MPs.

hilda smith

In all the varied praise for Gwyneth Dunwoody I have heard no one comment on her work on behalf of women. I clearly remember her regularly attending meetings during the early 1970’s of the National Joint Committee of Working Women (NJCWM), who had worked assiduously for the rights of women at work and in wider society since 1915.

How supportive and helpful she was. With her common sense approach to the problems of working women, especially when taking forward such developments as the Equal Pay Act and the Equal Opportunities Act. She along with Jo Richardson gave strong support to the work NJCWM that has been largely ignored, but at the time was crucial and should not be forgotten as a valued aspect of her contribution to the Labour Movement.

Gwyn the bus man

er, just to wander into a by-way; I share 98% of my DNA with a chimp? Well, yes, and I also share 70% of my DNA with a banana.

The key point is not the 98/ 70 we share, but the 2/ 30 that sets us apart!

Anyway, to turn to the subject.

I knew Gwyneth Dunwoody for 34 years; I campaigned for her in Oct 74, and stood against her in 1992. She had virtues, and she had vices; strengths and weaknesses. Like all of us. Humans do.


Lively debates on this site are very welcome. but mindless abuse is not. One comment has been deleted because it's fall below the cretin level. We have our standards.


Hi Chas you big tough steak eating hunter gatherer!If speech was "entirely about brain size and power" then no doubt Whales would be contributing on here. We have no idea how intelligent the king of mammals actually is. Humans are so stupid that in less than several millennia we have just about made the planet uninhabitable.
Bye the way unlike you i dont have a little pussy cat as i prefer wildlife.


Is Chas a chimp?
As you have yet to realise chas that you are an animal,let me enlighten you. You share at least 98% of your genes(maybe 100 in your case) with chimps. Your ability to speak evolved entirely unconnected with brain power.Modern paleantologists suggest a link between development of speech with enlarged primate group sizes. When human group sizes became to large to individually groom each other then speech evolved.
People like you that think you are not part of the animal world are usually the most disconnected ,unfortunate , and repugnent of our primate species.


Fantastic post from Chris - "If animals could speak..."

Chris: if animals could speak they wouldn't be animals, now, would they? They would be people. And we wouldn't eat them or turn them into shoes. But the thing about animals, Chris, since you obviously can't see this for yourself, is that animals can't speak, because they can't think. And because they can't think they don't have responsibilities. And because they don't have responsibilities they don't have rights. We have responsibilities to them instead, Chris, but we treat them differently from people and we eat them and turn them in shoes. Do you understand that?

That's the difference between animals and people, and it's a very good idea to remember that, otherwise your morals get very confused and you give all your money to donkey sanctuaries while people starve in Africa and China commits human rights abuses.

Here endeth the lesson.

Paul Flynn

No GaryJ, it's nothing to do with politics. All speakers have their favorites. Of the three in my time in parliament, the best was Labour's Betty Boothroyd and the worst was the Tory Wetherill. He lack a sense of humour and invited unnecessary confrontation. The next Speaker was tipped to be Derek Conway. That was a narrow escape. The likely one is Tory George Young. He'll be good.


Sounds wrong that being a friend of the Speaker gets you preferential treatment. Time for a non-Labour speaker perhaps?


Thank you Mrs Hyde Hartley. She was often a difficult companion but always needle sharp with her barbs and always loyal to her own lights.I had a running row with her for 20 years about animal welfare, but i prized her company and she will be greatly missed


Thanks for your comments Jean Shaw, but the situation is not as bleak as you say.

there were 139 Labour MPs and 16 Tories who defied the strongest three line whip on the most important vote of recent year. They voted against sending British troops to join Bush's war in Iraq.

Philip Cowley, the academic who studies these things,says that this is the most rebellious set of backbenchers for a generation. There are between 40 to 60 on the Labour side.

jean shaw

Without doubt she will be missed , she was willing to stand upto the whips /ministers . She came to Parliament when it was believed that the purpose of being an MP was to offer service to your Community and country. Compare that to the vast majority of todays MPs who believe that it the country which is there to provide to their needs. There are probably about a dozen MPs who really have the strength of character to stand up for their views instead of crumbling into a heap when called into the Chief Whips/headmaster's study.

Mrs.Josephine Hyde-Hartley

I will miss watching Miss Dunwoody on BBC Parliament.She obviously knew her role as a Parliamentarian and Chairwoman inside out and commanded the total respect of those she was grilling.What a character!

There is nothing wrong with country sports

Get stuffed 'Chris'.

She might have been a raving fruitcake about most issues but she was right about freedom in the countryside.

Paul Flynn

Thanks Chris. You are right of course. I hinted in my comments that there was friction between us on animal welfare issues. I did not know she backed the clownish Middles Way Group.

but she was still a formidable parliamentarian, and a great backbencher.


Have to fundamentally disagree with you about Ms Dunwoody Paul.

She was not only an active supporter of vile bloodsports (sitting on the so called 'Middle Way Group') but also a supporter of the fur industry who defended leg hold traps amongst other barbarisms. She was for several years a Parliamentary representative for the fur industry.
Her bully tactics which are being bizarrely celebrated were simply an extension of the cruel mindset she had.
If animals could speak they would not be joining in the chorus of 'wasn't she wonderful.'

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