Respect to the memory of the poet Mary Wilson who died today at the age of 102. Her marriage to Harold Wilson was an extraordinary love story. An Oxford Don at 21 he entered politics because of his outrage at the waste of unemployment and he never lost his focus on everybody being entitled to useful gainful employment as the building block of society.
How horrified he would have been at today’s Labour leadership supporting Brexit which will increase unemployment, shrink the economy and hit the poor hardest.How would this master tactician feel at Labour contriving to help govt survive when they say they want to bring it down; giving Tory rebels reason not to rebel; ignoring members when they say they listen to them; doing the wrong thing by country and marginalising the UK. Mind Blowing election losing stuff.
Harold, later Lord, Wilson was prime minister from 1964 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1976, winning four elections. Lady Wilson died at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Wednesday. A friend of the late poet laureate Sir John Betjeman, her own poems were published in the 1970s in two volumes and sold in their tens of thousands.
The daughter of a reverend, she was born Gladys Mary Baldwin in the Norfolk town of Diss in January 1916. She wrote poetry from the age of six and became a shorthand typist in Cheshire after leaving school, meeting her future husband at a tennis club in the area in 1934. The pair married on New Year’s Day in 1940, when Harold was working as a senior civil servant at the Ministry of Fuel and Power. She was at his side during his rise to prominence in the Labour Party but tended to shun the limelight during their years in Downing Street.
Poem on the death of Harold Wilson
My love you have stumbled slowly
On the quiet way to death
And you lie where the wind blows strongly
With a salty spray on its breath.
For this men of the island bore you
Down paths where the branches meet
And the only sounds were the crunching grind
Of the gravel beneath their feet
And the sighing slide of the ebbing tide
On the beach where the breakers meet
Gladys Mary Wilson, Baroness Wilson of Rievaulx (née Baldwin; 12 January 1916 – 6 June 2018) – English poet and the wife of Harold Wilson, who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She is the only spouse of any Prime Minister to have died a centenarian.
In 1898, to widespread bemusement, a small Provincial Newspaper in an equally small town in the South West corner of Ireland sonorously warned the Czar of Russia that it knew what he was up to and he should be careful how he proceeded for “The Skibbereen Eagle” was wise to his game and in future would be keeping its eye on him! It is doubtful that Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, even noticed the Eagle’s admonitions but as history soon proved he should have paid closer attention to the Eagle’s insightful opinions!
Today, powered by its readers and contributors, from its cyber eyries in Ireland and the centres of the Irish Diaspora The Eagle casts its Cold Eye on Life and Death and much in between.