The Great Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, London in 1848*
Warning: Some of you may have noticed that there is a General Election in just under three weeks time. I happen to think this is quite an important occasion especially with regards to the National Health Service, Education, Welfare Services and much, much more.
So here's the thing, politics of the left wing variety have been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. Some of you may have already noticed that every now and then - not that often really! - I comment on something which I find interesting. This is likely to increase in the coming days!
I am not apologising but quite understand if any of you don't join with me in that interest. BUT please remember that the privilege of voting is something which many of our ancestors fought for us to have. Many were attacked, arrested, injured, deported and died - especially women - to get us that privilege [see footnotes re Chartism and Suffragists] Please don't waste it.
BTW, I do love a good discussion [argument] so feel free to comment. But as David Dimbleby pointed out to Nigel Farage in last night's BBC debate [16th April], insulting one's audience is never a good idea!
*Chartism was a working-class movement for political reform in Britain which existed from 1838 to 1858. It took its name from the People's Charter of 1838 and was a national protest movement.......Support for the movement was at its highest in 1839, 1842 and 1848 when petitions signed by millions of working people were presented to the House of Commons.........
The People's Charter called for six reforms to make the political system more democratic:
- A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for a crime.
- The Secret Ballot – To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.
- No Property Qualification for Members of Parliament – thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.
- Payment of Members, thus enabling an honest trades-man, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency; when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the country.
- Equal Constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones.
- Annual Parliament Elections, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since as the constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelvemonth; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.
As the charter only 'covered' men, the Suffragette movement was formed to demand 'Votes for Women':
Suffragettes were members of women's organization (right to vote) movements in the late 19th and early 20th century, particularly militants in Great Britain such as members of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Suffragist is a more general term for members of suffrage movements, if radical or conservative, male or female.
The term "suffragette" is particularly associated with activists in the British WSPU, led by Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, who were influenced by Russian methods of protest such as hunger strikes. [ Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffragette ]
Elizannie electioneering with the brilliant Labour candidate for Castle Point, Joe