Erect statue to a British woman
There are many great British women who merit our remembrance and a statue. I would not include Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor among them. Possibly my jaundiced view of the lady arose because her name first impinged upon my consciousness in the song DDay Dodgers which I heard sung by the fabulous Yetties and which includes the lines “Dear Lady Astor, you think you know a lot. Standing on a platform and talking Tommy rot.” This song is a witty riposte to the claim, allegedly made by Nancy Astor, that the brave soldiers invading Italy were merely dodging the dangers of D-Day.
The second time I came across her name was in a reported exchange with Winston Churchill, in which Astor said: “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.” To which Churchill replied “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
Neither of these paints Nancy Astor in a terribly good light. Even the event for which I understand that the proponents of a statue wish Lady Astor to be commemorated, namely that she was the first woman to take her seat in the
Commons, is less special than it might seem at first glance. She was only the second woman to be elected to the House of Commons; the first was a member of Sinn Fein, who, in accordance with that party’s policy, did not take her seat. Moreover, Nancy Astor merely stepped into her husband’s seat when he was elevated to the peerage.
Nancy Astor was
American. Are there no British women more meritorious than Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor?
David G Tubby