The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

07 February
Comments Off on FORGET THE SUFFRAGETTES…..IT WAS THE SUFFRAGISTS WHO WON THE VOTE FOR WOMEN

FORGET THE SUFFRAGETTES…..IT WAS THE SUFFRAGISTS WHO WON THE VOTE FOR WOMEN

 

 

WHEN THE LENS OF WISHFUL THINKING TURNS HISTORY INTO MYTH

 

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Much of the reporting about the centenary of the granting of votes to women has been strong on emotion and weak on historical facts. Most of the narrative has been about the “suffragettes” and their militancy, with various celebs and politicians decked out in purple, white and green, the WSPU (suffragette) colours.

In fact most of the heavy lifting for women’s suffrage was done by Millicent Fawcett’s “suffragists” (NUWSS) who favoured non violent campaigning. It could well be argued that it was the NUWSS effort that won the right to vote. Yet they (and their colours of red.white and green) have today been overshadowed by the Pankhursts and the suffragettes.

Curiously enough the NUWSS was a tad more left wing than the suffragettes. The WSPU abandoned action in 1914 and fully supported WW1. Although Fawcett also supported the war she had to be more circumspect because many of her members were pacifists. Nevertheless today even left wingers were decked out in purple white and green when they should have been red, white and green.

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Maybe the passionate grandstanding of the suffragettes has a greater resonance with 21st century culture than the equally determined but less theatrical behaviour of the suffragists. However, although the current commemorations focus, quite rightly, on women gaining the right to vote and the democrat in me celebrates that landmark, the historian in me does get irritated when facts get….massaged…..

“The failure of a second bill in 1867 led to the formation of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage in Manchester, gradually joined by numerous other branches around the country, which were united in 1897 in the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. The suffragists of the NUWSS were many more in number than the militants who in 1903 set up the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) and adopted direct militant action as tactics. By 1914 the NUWSS had 50,000 members, the WSPU 5,000. The NUWSS retained their focus on peaceful campaigning: petitioning, demonstrating, writing, speaking and teaching, organising and lobbying in favour of the vote. Many of them saw the violent tactics of the suffragettes as bringing the movement and the credibility of women as aspiring responsible members of political society into disrepute and compromising the female values which they argued were needed in government and society and which necessitated that women should have a vote.”

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24 May
Comments Off on Will Cameron Really Defy European Judges Over Prisoners Being Allowed To Vote…Does He Actually Have A Spine?

Will Cameron Really Defy European Judges Over Prisoners Being Allowed To Vote…Does He Actually Have A Spine?

Well he has said it

On Tuesday, Euro judges rode roughshod over the will of Parliament by upholding a 2004 ruling that Britain’s blanket ban on prisoner voting is unlawful. MPs had previously voted by an overwhelming 234 to 22 majority to keep the ban.
Yesterday Mr Cameron was asked in the Commons by DUP leader Nigel Dodds: ‘Will you give an undertaking that you will not succumb to the diktat from the European Court of Human Rights in relation to prisoners’ voting?
‘Will you stand up for the resolution that was passed in this House by an overwhelming majority and that you will stand up for the sovereignty of this House and the British people?’

Mr Cameron said yes.

POW!!!!!!

Cue all the BBC and Guardian bleeding hearts to say how unhelpful this and surely Cameron could have a quiet chat with the ECHR and negotiate some form of weaselly compromise that would give European judges the green light to carry on dismantling our centuries old tradition of common law and parliamentary sovereignty. Cameron has let it be known that he will also defy any “punishment” issued by the ECHR (a stiff letter or maybe a fine) so he has really left himself no room for manoeuvre.

Trouble is he is not known for translating his verbal defiance of Europe into deeds…..remember his embarrassing retreat at a recent EU summit on the question of allowing the European courts to police any infringements of a future EU Fiscal Union? His original stance of open defiance was reduced to that pathetic “watching like a hawk” squeak.

Voting is a right and those who break the law and go to prison give up that right, no matter how many GCSEs or degrees they gain while inside.

Cameron is of the metro elite, a creature more at home with the chattering classes. His Euro scepticism is a sop to the right wing in his party who he secretly despises. But even he can see the growing appeal of UKIP so a bit of red meat thrown to the beasts has got to be par for the course.

Will he do it? We shall have to see – but if he doesn’t then I predict more Tory voters haemorrhaging to UKIP and the bell will be tolling for any hope Cameron might have of being Prime Minister in 2016…..

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