Here at Scottie Press Online we are embarking upon a new research project. The project will be based upon the colourful political history of the Scotland Road area, and will address the question as to why voter apathy seems to grip this area especially hard in contemporary times.
We will start by researching three political heavyweights of the area T.P. O'Connor , the only Irish Nationalist MP to sit in a constituency outside Ireland ( Liverpool Scotland 1885 - 1929 ) Locally born Davie Logan who succeeded O'Connor and sat till 1964.Bessie Braddock Liverpool Exchange 1945 - 69 . We are also interested in the un-written history of the area's political struggle.
Pictured above (left to right) are T. P. O'Connor, Davie Logan and Bessie Braddock.
We are asking for help from our readers to create this unique piece of social history. Everything and anything is welcomed, pictures, personal recollections, family anecdotes. These will help us to create an understanding of the past political forces that have led us to the present day.
Voting apathy seems to be gripping this area especially hard. In the last election for the European Parliament the number of people who voted in this area was around 10%. In the 2001 General Election Riverside turned in a low 34.1% (although again this area was much lower ). Why is this happening, can it be explained? In an attempt to address this problem we will look back to the past. Was it any different, and can we use anything we may learn in an effort to interest people, especially the young in politics at both a local and a national level?
Born 5th October 1848 died 18th November 1929.
Often called Tay Pay he was a journalist and Irish Nationalist political figure, and an M.P. in the House of Commons for nearly fifty years.
O'Connor was born in Athlone, West County Westmeath, on 5 October 1848. He was the eldest son of Thomas O'Connor, an Athlone shopkeeper, and his wife Teresa Power. He was educated at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Athlone and Queen's College Galway, where he won scholarships in history and modern languages and built up a reputation as an orator. He entered journalism as a junior reporter in Dublin, in 1867. In 1870, he moved to London, and was appointed a sub-editor on the Daily Telegraph. He later became London correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1885, O'Connor married Elizabeth Paschal, a daughter of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Texas.
O'Connor was elected Member of Parliament for Galway Borough in the 1880 General Election, as a representative of Charles Stewart Parnell's Home Rule League. At the next General Election in 1885, he was returned both for Galway and for the Liverpool Scotland constituency, which had a large Irish population; he chose to sit for Liverpool, and represented that constituency in the House of Commons from 1885 until his death in 1929. This was the only constituency outside of Ireland ever to return an Irish Nationalist Party MP. Remarkably, O'Connor continued to be re-elected in Liverpool under this label unopposed in the 1918,1922,1923,1924 and 1929 elections. He died in London on 18 November 1929 and is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in north-west London.
Born 22nd November 1871 died 25th February 1964.
Better known as Davie Logan he succeeded T.P. O'Connor as member of Parliament for Liverpool Scotland in 1929, 44-years after O'Connor had been first elected. Born in the Scotland Road area of Liverpool, Logan was the son of Thomas Logan, a ship's cook, and Catherine McHugh.
He was Member of Parliament for Liverpool Scotland from 1929 until his death in 1964, aged 92, becoming the oldest MP since Samuel Young in 1918. Logan was a longtime associate of the previous MP T. P. O'Connor as well as himself having a strong involvement in the Irish Nationalist movement prior to joining the Labour Party, serving on Liverpool City council as a nationalist councillor.
Born Liverpool 24th September 1899 died 13th November 1970.Better known as Bessie Braddock.
Bettie was an ardent socialist and fiery campaigner, nicknamed 'Battling Bessie', her special interests included maternity, child welfare and youth crime.
Born Elizabeth Bamber, Braddock's mother was Mary "Ma" Bamber also an active woman in Liverpool politics. The younger Bamber first joined theCommunist Party of Great Britain but left, reportedly due to their lack of commitment to democracy. She joined the Labour Party and in 1922 married John 'Jack' Braddock, also a member. Jack would later become leader of Liverpool City Council, holding the position from 1955 to 1961 and again in May 1963. Bessie herself became a councillor in 1930 for St.Anne's Ward, and in 1945 she became president of the Liverpool Trades Council and Labour Party. She was a member of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers for many years. During World War 2 she worked as an ambulance assistant officer. Braddock was elected Member of Parliament for Liverpool Exchange at the 1945 election and represented the seat for 24 years. She was a member of the Labour Party National Executive Committee and served as vice-chairman of the Labour Party in 1968.
These are just bare facts and figures, we must have readers with personal stories about them, especially Bessie and Davie, I remember my mother telling me how as a child she would run through the streets with all the other kids singing " vote vote vote for Davie Logan. " Did you meet them, did they call round to your house, were you a Labour Party member at the same time. We are looking for stories that will put some flesh on the bare historical facts and which will help bring to life the personalities of those involved in the local political scene and the atmosphere and the times in which these battles were conducted.
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