Roe, Marion (1 of 2).  The History of Parliament Oral History Project

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Kent

  • Interviewees

    Roe, Marion, 1936- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    O'Keefe, Eleanor, 1978- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Description of earliest memories. Description of living in Beckenham and Caterham. [01:56] Description of church going. Mentions going to school in Switzerland. Description of time using languages as a secretary. Description of marrying at 21. [04:04] Description of time as a housewife Description of choosing to join Parliament. Description of first meeting with Conservative party. Tells of becoming Secretary of the Women’s Organisation for constituency Conservative party. [08:24] Description of standing for council. Mentions Eric Lugut. Mentions reversing decision to have ward as a smoke-free zone. [11:14] Description of standing in Illford North for Greater London Council in 1977. [13:29] Description of standing for Barking and campaigning methods in lost 1979 election. Description of standing in Broxbourne. Mentions pride in background as housewife. [18:01] Description of huge gender bias in the House of Commons during the 1980s. Description of differences between local and national government. Description of winning adjournment debate as maiden speech. [22:36] Description of learning way around Parliament. Mentions being put on the Police Bill Committee. [24:03] Description of becoming a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department of Transport. [25:12] Description of relationships with other members of parliament. [25:31] Description of social life in Parliament. Description of difficulty of breaking into male-dominated groups of MPs. [28:22] Description of interaction between female MPs. Description on work bringing attention to the issue of Genital Mutilation. [34:27] Description of fighting the general election in 1987. Description of phone conversation with Margaret Thatcher about role as Parliamentary Undersecretary in Department of Environment whilst at the opera. [39:47] Description of time as a backbencher and involvement in all-party groups. Description of setting up sub-committee for children’s right. Description of becoming chairman of health committee in 1992. [44:37] Description of routine of committee work. [48:57] Description of colleagues on committee. Mentions Iain Duncan Smith. [50:00] Description of length of report creation. Description of process of drawing attention to children’s issues. Mentions importance of apolitical action. [57:15] Description of work after politics. [01:02:34] Description of changing challenges faced by politicians. Description of sexist answers faced by MR. [01:07:00] Description of issues at 1979 General Election. Mentions going to the picket line in Barking. [01:13:28] Description of personal side of political campaigns. Mentions preference for letter correspondences. [01:18:16] Description of holding surgeries in constituency. Description of relationship with county councillors. [01:22:40] Description of varied constituency surgeries. [01:25:58] Description of balancing national and local interests. Mentions Stanstead airport. [01:28:13] Description of set up of constituency office. [01:31:00] Description of relationship with local press. [01:34:12] Description of enjoying constituency work. Description of changes to constituency during time in office. Mentions issues with building. [01:36:31] Description of political influences. Mentions membership of Young Conservatives. [01:38:40] Description of political discussion with parents. Description of influence of Margaret Thatcher. [01:40:28] Description of time with the Young Conservatives. [01:42:56] Description of MR’s husband’s political involvement. [01:44:38] Description of selection process. [01:53:48] Description of feeling disillusioned in the House as a woman. [01:56:47] Description of fighting 1983 General Election. [02:00:15] Description of financing a campaign. Description of campaign staffing set up. [02:05:51] Description of election night 1983. Description of continued involvement in local party. [02:09:08] Description of political relationships in Parliament. [02:10:44] Description of relationship with the Party whips. Description of relationship with the Speaker. Description of opposition over taxpayer supported childcare. [02:16:51] Description of modernisation process of the House of Commons. [02:18:55] Description of membership of 1922 Committee. Description of pushing for checks of electoral register. [02:27:22] Description of relationship with the national press. [02:31:30] Description of MR’s husband’s professional career. Description of his response to MR’s career. Description of MR’s children’s response to her career. [02:38:34] Description of facilities in parliament. Description of impact of career on relationship. [02:48:20] Description of length of time spent in the Chamber. Mentions time consuming nature of committee work. [02:51:26] Description of speaking in the chamber. Mentions learning to deal with interventions. [02:53:08] Description of atmosphere of Chamber in the run up to elections. Mentions difficulties of interviews. [02:55:42] Description of Margaret Thatcher’s last speech as Prime Minister. Mentions Thatcher’s achievements and influence. Mentions European Union debate. [03:03:59] Description of landmark experiences as an MP. Mentions need to adapt to being the opposition party. [03:06:23] Description of change of political style after 1997. Mentions impact of Alistair Campbell. Mentions Iraq War. Mentions time on Speaker’s Panel of Chairmen. [03:10:45] Description of time in Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme. [03:14:29] Description of time as an MP during the Iraq War. [03:16:58] Description of lack of consensus during war time. [03:18:57] Description of achieving ministerial status.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Dame Marion Roe (1936-), former Conservative Member of Parliament.

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