17 March 2010

Mary Wilson is “fiercely proud of her husband's record”

The Guardian pays tribute to Mary Wilson, wife of Harold, who attended Michael Foot’s funeral on Monday.  When the Wilsons occupied Downing Street she very much seen but not heard, although she did have very strong political views:

During the years that her husband was prime minister, the combination of her own temperament and the conventions of the era conspired to cast Mrs Wilson as a deeply private and almost apolitical figure. In some respects this image was accurate. Mrs Wilson always preferred poetry to the political life. At times of stress, she would escape from Downing Street to stay with friends, share a drink and have a good cry. Yet Mrs Wilson was and remains a lady of firm convictions. As she pointed out on Monday, she too was a left-wing Bevanite, just as Foot and her husband were. Less well-known is that she was also a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Only motherhood, and perhaps her husband's political interests, prevented her from joining the Aldermaston marches.

She remains fiercely proud of her husband's record, especially the creation of the Open University, and on her return journey from Foot's funeral took a diversion to see the blue plaque on the Hampstead Garden Suburb home that the Wilsons left in 1964. The sun never seemed to shine in their Downing Street flat, she recalled. Happily, though, it still shines on Mary Wilson.

Her actions speak louder than any views she may have wanted to express over the years.

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