Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Bond Between Hazel Blears & the Duchess of Devonshire

MPs who are complaining about being shunned at garden parties and getting the occasional nasty comment in the street actually have it easy compared to the passage a reader has sent me from The Mitfords: Letters from 6 Sisters. Deborah Cavendish née Mitford, now the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, told the book's editor Charlotte Mosley about the 1945 campaign, when her husband the 11th Duke, stood as a Tory in Chesterfield...

Deborah went canvassing just once with her husband, which in the immediate post-war election could be very tough. They were tripped up, spat upon and their car nearly overturned. She decided "Never again".

See, Hazel. You are in good company.


Quietzapple said...

Libelous I would think, the Mitfords were hereditary bonker Norman invader crackers:


Hazel Blears, on the other hand, has been bullied rather . . mostly over a one bedroom flat.

Sceptical Steve said...


I commend your choice of reading matter.

On a visit to Chatsworth last December, I felt obliged to visit their shop where they were offloading signed copies of various books, including the diaries you're reading.

I decided that these would make a good stocking-filler for my mother and was delighted to see her enjoyment of the book.

I was particularly struck by Unity Mitford's obvious naive infatuation with Adolf Hitler, and the way that Hitler and Unity's family were able to arrange her medical repatriation from Germany during the war.
Given the close association between some of the Mitfords and the Nazi/Fascist movements, I would suggest that Deborah too was a little naive in thinking her presence would help her husband's campaign as a Liberal candidate in 1945!

Despite her various faults, the Little Chipmunk would have to go a great deal further before she stands comparison with the Mitfords!

Grumpy Old Man said...

Dear Quackers. It seems a long time since you sallied forth from the safety of Come Fourth and the Guardian. The Chipmunk is not being bullied over a one-bedroom flat, but for the amoral, possibly fraudulent, way she abused her position in paying for and maintaining it. Give the Mitfords their due. They used their own money to fund their follies and fantasies. Unfortunately, there are always criminal elements of the vox pop. who consider that unpopularity justifies criminal direct action, which I'm sure you will agree is anti-socialist and generally abhorent. I will look forward to your condemation of the next violent outbreak engineered by Unite against Fascism.

Gary Elsby said...

True, so very true.

One sister shot herself in the head because of her devotion to Adolph and another was a Communist.

Diana (Guinness),of course, married Oswald Moseley and remained loyal to him on her death bed. She was jailed with him under emergency laws.
Moseley's first wife Cynthia(Cimmie) died mysteriously and she was MP here in Stoke.

The Duke's father wanted to shoot everyone and anyone who stepped onto his land (Chatsworth) but the Duke in question, along with Debs, opened up the land to everyone and made it Britain's favourite stateley home to visit.

Now how did they negotiate a repatriation of a Hitlerite to the UK during the war?
Ask Rudolph, friend of the Tories.

Bunny Smedley said...

Deborah Devonshire was an enormous help to her husband in preserving the Chatsworth estate as a going enterprise, encouraging diversification of the sort that tends to keep rural communities going in the face of swine flu, foot and mouth, unsympathetic government policy, etc - this, in the face of death duties which would have caused lesser mortals to give up on the whole project.

She and the late Duke, in other words, did a lot of good without being elected by anyone, and had a real connection with her locality and its inhabitants that the third-rate placemen, party stooges and clapped-out professional politicians of our 'reformed' upper house cannot hope to equal.

Progress, eh?

Quietzapple said...

Some of us regard the Norman Conquest and some of the acquisitions and evasions by such as the Mitfords since with rather greater annoyance that Hazel Blears' perfectly legal augmentation of her (usually) frozen parliamentary salary by moving her one bedroom flat from here to there in London.

Amusing that les hommes des planches think the Guardian is 'safe':

http://quietzapple-musing.blogspot.com/2009/07/and-continues.html etc.

Bryan Dunleavy said...

Not necessarily good, but the same company. This incident is a reminder that the English have put up with a lot of crap from the ruling classes for 1000 years, but every now and then members of the ruling classes, such as Hazel Blears, push us too far and get treated with contempt.

Raedwald said...

The Mitford's infatuation with National Socialism is par for the course; Harriet Harman, Polly Toynbee and many others attest to the attraction of the authoritarian left to many upper class women. And of course Oswald Mosley was a Labour MP and member of Ramsey MacDonald's government; it was only the party's unwillingness to move further to the left that led him to set up the New (Labour) Party. Both he and Cynthia remained ardent Fabian Socialists, and saw little distance between Fabian Socialism and National Socialism.

The subsequent East End battles between Mosley's New Socialists and the Old Socialists were fratricidal rather than class-war.

Blears of course is regarded as a chiselling little crook by many of her constituents, rather than ideologically driven. Different bottle of fish.

Quietzapple said...

Criminal damage is rather more than contempt.

Tories and their nihilist rag bag have been spluttering and bawling their contempts, abuse and libels online with scarce let or hindrance in some jurisdictions online for a fair few years.

In fact some of the nastiest things I have even read have been aimed at whomever the PM was at the time.

It is unsurprising that some of such people encourage violence, and I suppose there will be more of it, not all aimed as its current principal proponents wish.

Joe Public said...

Chipmunk is in denial that it was political retribution.

She asserts it was 'kids'.

If she didn't actually witness the vandalism, how would she know?

Quietzapple said...

She does know Salford rather better than most . . .

But if anyone wants to own up?

Lord Alconleigh said...

No one seems to have noticed that she was parked on double yellow lines or did she roll the offending car forward.

Jon H said...

sounds like a normal night out in Chesterfield to me! Its a dire place.