A Vision for London, 1889-1914: labour, everyday life and by Susan D. Pennybacker

By Susan D. Pennybacker

The ebook exams the imaginative and prescient of the early London County Council (LCC) and of its leaders, the London Progressives, opposed to its rules and achievements. It records struggles to alter social and exertions stipulations, to steer public tradition and to rent aspiring younger visionaries--both males and women--into white collar jobs. This historical past 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 impression the current London obstacle. Attitudes formed by means of bureacracy and the issues of vested pursuits nonetheless continue to exist.

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Twice the number of letters arrived. All this new work required more ‘officers of a lower grade’ capable of carrying out ‘additional, superior’ work. Their promotions would depend upon their ability to handle these new tasks. 12 The first public tramways, the Fire Brigade and the massive School Board for London were acquired by the LCC. County Hall off Trafalgar Square could no longer house the central office staff, who spread out amongst many adjacent buildings. 14 Amongst the various administrative bodies at the centre of the Council bureaucracy was the Clerk’s own department, the secretariat of the Council as a whole, whose head was the LCC’s chief administrative officer.

Class struggle London’, the London of aggressive Labour strongholds, of new unionism and the unemployed marches, of Eleanor Marx and of Tom Mann, has grown dimmer. 103 This book does not seek to revive an undifferentiated ‘radical London working class’. But in Chapter 3, it does offer an exploratory survey of selected areas of social and cultural policy in which contact between municipal agents and London’s inhabitants proved problematic. Here, to be sure, is a more activist portrait of the working neighbourhoods than one that emphasises a relatively anaesthetised working class fervently celebrating imperial victories and the Jubilee.

Skyrocketing residential and commercial land values, rackrenting, compounding and jerrybuilding would be vulnerable to abrupt shifts in London’s political economy. Little of Marxist orthodoxy was needed to frighten the opposition. Fabian utilitarianism prevailed: merit and order would be furthered by planning and expertise. Well-meant reassurances still implied ruin to those who had prospered quietly in the absence of serious municipal or national government regulation. Critics of the Progressive LCC regarded its goals as dangerously similar to those of the left-wing parties on the Continent.

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