Councillor’s Jack the Ripper tour likened to "page 3" by Battersea Labour Party member

Councillor Rex Osborn, leader of the Labour group

Councillor Rex Osborn, leader of the Labour group

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

The leader of Wandsworth’s Labour group has come under fire from within his own party after he led a Jack the Ripper tour last weekend.

Jeanne Rathbone, a prominent member of the Battersea Labour Party, took umbrage with Rex Osborn, who is a qualified London Blue Badge Guide, leading a group of enthusiasts through east London on Sunday’s tour.

Ms Rathbone likened the tour to Page 3 and said she was disgusted by his involvement.

She said: “It is ironic the recent launch of a Wandsworth Women’s Forum focused on violence against women and misogyny and that this should be promoted by the Battersea Labour Party as a jolly fundraiser.

“This is another celebration of a misogynistic English institution which is ‘a bit of fun’ like page 3.”

Responding to the allegation Mr Osborn, who represents Tooting’s Graveney ward, said: “The story of Jack the Ripper is an important part of history that should not be forgotten.”

Comments (3)

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10:25pm Wed 12 Dec 12

FionaElizabeth says...

I consider it disappointing that Ms Rathbone likened Blue Badge guide Rex Osborne's Jack the Ripper tour in East to "Page 3" and said she was "disgusted by his involvement". First, prostitution was not a crime in the day's of JR. Indeed, women did as they wished with their bodies - and if that meant buying food and paying rent food in those tough times, no crime was committed. Times have changed and, although one respects the Wandsworth's Women's Forum view of historic 1888, and that women now have better opportunities, as Rex Osborne says: “The story of Jack the Ripper is an important part of history that should not be forgotten". I agree. My Great Gandfather, John Joseph (Jack) McCarthy was the landlord of Mary Kelly, a victim of Jack the Ripper and I am pleased that Blue Badge guides, such as Mr Osborne, keep alive the fascinating history of the East End.

Fiona Kendall-Lane
nee Fiona McCarthy
I consider it disappointing that Ms Rathbone likened Blue Badge guide Rex Osborne's Jack the Ripper tour in East to "Page 3" and said she was "disgusted by his involvement". First, prostitution was not a crime in the day's of JR. Indeed, women did as they wished with their bodies - and if that meant buying food and paying rent food in those tough times, no crime was committed. Times have changed and, although one respects the Wandsworth's Women's Forum view of historic 1888, and that women now have better opportunities, as Rex Osborne says: “The story of Jack the Ripper is an important part of history that should not be forgotten". I agree. My Great Gandfather, John Joseph (Jack) McCarthy was the landlord of Mary Kelly, a victim of Jack the Ripper and I am pleased that Blue Badge guides, such as Mr Osborne, keep alive the fascinating history of the East End. Fiona Kendall-Lane nee Fiona McCarthy FionaElizabeth
  • Score: 0

11:59pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Dubularity says...

I did not attend Mr Osborn's tour last week, and while I applaud Ms Rathbone's publicizing the Women's Forum, I feel that blaming a historic tour as a "celebration of a misogynistic English institution" is indefensible.

I agree with Mr Osborn's response; Regardless of how awful the events were, it can’t be denied that they're an important part of London's, and indeed Britain’s rich history. How does ignoring or denying that those terrible atrocities happened help?

I have attended a number of Rex Osborn's talks in the past, and found him to be thoroughly professional and responsible. More importantly, they’re always well researched and accurate. He doesn’t tarry on the salacious, or take pleasure in shocking people, but deals authoritatively and sensitively with the facts.

As far as I'm aware, attendance was not compulsory. I suspect that those who did attend found the tour to be both informative and worthwhile.

Finally, thanks. Now that you've brought it to my attention, I'm considering attending the next tour he gives on the subject. I can only hope you don't accuse me of misogyny just because I'm interested in history.

Andrew Cordani
I did not attend Mr Osborn's tour last week, and while I applaud Ms Rathbone's publicizing the Women's Forum, I feel that blaming a historic tour as a "celebration of a misogynistic English institution" is indefensible. I agree with Mr Osborn's response; Regardless of how awful the events were, it can’t be denied that they're an important part of London's, and indeed Britain’s rich history. How does ignoring or denying that those terrible atrocities happened help? I have attended a number of Rex Osborn's talks in the past, and found him to be thoroughly professional and responsible. More importantly, they’re always well researched and accurate. He doesn’t tarry on the salacious, or take pleasure in shocking people, but deals authoritatively and sensitively with the facts. As far as I'm aware, attendance was not compulsory. I suspect that those who did attend found the tour to be both informative and worthwhile. Finally, thanks. Now that you've brought it to my attention, I'm considering attending the next tour he gives on the subject. I can only hope you don't accuse me of misogyny just because I'm interested in history. Andrew Cordani Dubularity
  • Score: 0

12:01am Sun 16 Dec 12

Geoff_Simmonds says...

How ridiculous. Should we airbrush out all atrocities in human history so as not to offend anyone?

I sincerely hope the absurdity of this complaint is obvious and applaud Mr Osborn on his efforts to educate and inform.

Geoff Simmonds
How ridiculous. Should we airbrush out all atrocities in human history so as not to offend anyone? I sincerely hope the absurdity of this complaint is obvious and applaud Mr Osborn on his efforts to educate and inform. Geoff Simmonds Geoff_Simmonds
  • Score: 0

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