This courtesy of Nourishing Obscurity
Those of a horse racing inclination will know this Saturday is the Epsom Derby. It will also mark 100 years since the death of Suffragette Emily Davison in 1913 shown in the clip above.
Whether Davison intended to die under the King’s horse has always been one of historical controversy. Whatever her intentions however the outcome meant she was to go down in the history books as an iconic figure of the women’s suffrage movement, despite her actions often overshadowing other arguably more effective women, such as Millicent Fawcett who lived long enough to see the campaign of women’s suffrage through to the end. It’s a lesson also in how political movements often split over method.
No doubt the papers this weekend will be full of articles praising the bravery of Emily Davison and what she fought for – already illustrated by the Guardian earlier this week. Ironically what will be hailed as an example of “progressive politics” was at the time ridiculed, dismissed and patronised:
Intuition is far more largely developed in women than in men, but instinct and intuition, although good guides, are not the best masters so far as Parliament is concerned. This is the quality, either of feeling or emotion, which would impress and make itself more distinctly heard in this House if this Bill became law. Parliament is the ultimate seat of authority, where grave questions have to be decided, where men have to use their reasoning faculties which they have gained either in college, business, or commercial life; those reasoning faculties which they have purchased through centuries by hard and bitter experience. Parliament exists for the very purpose of opposing feelings, fancies, and inclinations by reason. The cold light of reason has been and should continue in the future to be the one guide so far as Parliament is concerned… I can only state a plain, undisputed matter of fact. It is for that reason that I oppose the granting of Women Suffrage.
Not that such lack of self-awareness will prevent comforting self-congratulatory adulation of Davison and women’s suffrage in general; an inevitability to be conducted this weekend by newspapers such as the Guardian, Daily Mail and the Telegraph, who fully support our membership of an international organisation that is designed, by its own admission, to remove the very thing she fought for – democracy.
How ironic as we celebrate the actions of Davision, that she would be no more enfranchised today than 100 years ago. Women (as do men) have the symbolic right to enter a polling station and mark a ballot paper with a cross but such actions do not automatically confer democracy. It’s not the mark of a cross that counts but what that mark can achieve in practice.
An obvious example of a disconnect between the act of voting and democracy is the EU itself – specifically EU parliamentary elections. Yes, we can vote for MEPs but by doing so we are still unable to change the executive, a government nor are MEPs’ able execute their voters’ mandate. Similarly in the old USSR, the Supreme Soviet was elected but no-one could seriously suggest as a consequence that the country was democratic.
On a personal note I have two recent relatively simple examples of the current futility of Davison’s actions.
My mother-in-law sadly suffers from an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. This means that although she can still see her sight is progressively failing. Understandably she is more comfortable in her house lit with high wattage incandescent bulbs that can be adjusted to her satisfaction via dimmer switches. She now bitterly complains at uselessness of the pathetic illumination of low energy bulbs and their incompatibility with dimmer switches. Such a ban on incandescent bulbs has been introduced by the European Union, thus, 100 years after Davison, it has rendered my mother in law effectively disenfranchised despite having the right to mark a piece of paper. She is unable to change this law without our exit.
Another example is my next door neighbour who has recently completed her qualifications for being a mid-wife. When signing my nomination form to stand as a local council candidate, she articulated to me her acute frustration at not being able to obtain insurance as an independent mid-wife, instead she could only be insured if she worked as an NHS one. Needless to say:
On October 25th 2013, it will become illegal for independent midwives to practise as they do now. EU Directive 2011/24 on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, once implemented in the UK, will require all healthcare professionals to have professional indemnity insurance or an equivalent guarantee or other scheme to be in place. The legislative proposals for implementation of this Directive have not yet been published for consultation but it is assumed that insurance cover will be made a condition of registration as a midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. In 2002 the last commercial insurer offering insurance to independent midwives withdrew from the market as it was not commercially viable given the small numbers of independent midwives in the UK. As a result professional indemnity insurance is no longer commercially available for self-employed independent midwives.
Another lady…deprived of her voice via the ballot box. No doubt among all the exaltations, all political parties will attempt to claim Davison as their own. But the brutal truth is, among the fine words, their actions have let her down.
As a nation we betrayed her; a 100 years on and nothing has fundamentally changed. We owe her, and her legacy, big time – we have a duty to try to right a massive wrong in her memory at the very least.
Despite coming as no real surprise, I had another lesson today on the uselessness of PCSO‘s. Above is pictured a car parked outside my property this afternoon. As is abundantly clear by the picture it leaves no room for a pushchair to pass by let alone Mrs TBF’s wheelchair.
A leading Tory backbencher says his party’s high command is in “complete panic” over next week’s Commons vote on an EU referendum.
Clearly 3-line whips are used when the Government is concerned that Parliament may vote against their proposals and wishes. So it’s revealing to learn, 2 years later, that Tory ‘rebels’ have a free vote on the same issue:
Tory MPs could be allowed to vote against the Queen’s Speech next week as a row over an EU referendum deepens.
Oh how jolly kind…is that because Cameron is sure of winning the vote anyway?
And what a joke this is:
The prime minister’s official spokesman did not rule out the possibility that Mr Cameron might consider backing the amendment himself, effectively voting against his government’s Queen’s Speech.
But Mr Cameron is likely to be out of the country when the vote takes place.
I’m coming to the conclusion that I hope Labour win the next election because the last thing we need is a fake referendum on the EU organised by this bunch of charlatans (if bunch is the right collective noun).
Naturally the headlines suggests Boris Johnson (with one eye on Cameron’s job) is trying to portray himself as deeply Eurosceptic but the detail of the Telegraph‘s article most certainly demonstrates that he’s not at all, instead revealing on closer look a policy which is exactly the same as Cameron’s…
Mr Johnson warned that the country must be ready to “walk away” from Europe if David Cameron failed to negotiate better terms of membership.
Boris’ line will probably convince maybe a few Tories to remain put, but it won’t work for everyone else. Our EU membership has been based on lie and so has the Tory party’s position on it. It was entirely inevitable that the more the EU would reveal itself the less convincing the Tory party would be.
Faced with a perceived UKIP threat, we starting to see the consequences very clearly of the long established schizophrenic Tory EU policy towards our membership of the European Union, to the extent that some are breaking ranks. First up was Lawson now we have in today’s Times Michael Portillo, (click to enlarge the scanned in copy*)
A phrase containing the words “chickens, home and roost” spring to mind – only the chickens in this case are headless ones. As cosmic notes in the comments on Autonomous Mind:
What becomes very apparent when fighting against the UK’s membership of the EU is that pro-EU arguments are based less on facts and more on insults disguised as implied phrases and the warped interpretation of words.
An example of this, is the use of the word “progressive” particularly by the Labour party:
Over the last decade Policy Network has performed a momentous role in the development of progressive thinking, bringing us together as a global progressive family.
For example this:
Members of the Labour Party can become PES activists and get involved in PES activities and campaigns that promote progressive politics on European level
However…the word “progressive” has one meaning but two outcomes. Clearly Labour believe, and use the term, on the basis that it has positive outcomes. The problem is the other outcome describes something that is getting worse leading to an unsatisfactory situation. Mrs TBF for example has ‘progressive multiple sclerosis’ (I write this to make a point rather than to illicit sympathy), thus the word progressive can also have completely negative connotations.
In light of this, one is also reminded of the term “Little Englander”. I’ve never yet met a pro-EU advocate who can fully explain to me what this term means, especially given that its use in terms of EU membership is contradictory to its origins. Instead it has turned into a term of abuse, based on no facts, which seems largely accepted but on little basis why. It’s a term of abuse that can be easily negated by the argument that many EU and European countries have, in various forms, rejected aspects of further EU integration; Denmark, Ireland and Norway who cannot be accused of this. No-one is seriously going to accuse the French who rejected the original EU constitution, of being “Little Englanders”.
Thus we come to the thorny issue of immigration.The British public have been concerned about the unprecedented influx in the last decade* and the subsequent fake concern shown by the Tories, Labour and even the Lib Dems very clearly indicates that. However until recently using the term immigration was deliberately used to imply being a racist as a way of shutting down the argument by the use of redefining words.
The deep irony is though our country’s current immigration policy is by most definitions racist, a position that is supported by all 3 main parties by virtue of our membership of the EU. A cursory glance at the above picture confirms that. Anyone entering our country is defined by their passport and which country they come from. From EU member Lithuania? Fine enter the easy lane. From non-EU member India? Sorry queue in the ‘harder to enter’ lane.
This is discrimination personified by the EU – the rules are not applied evenly across all nationalities trying to enter our country. It is a discriminatory policy based on country origins and therefore racist – a situation supported by our establishment. But then changing the meaning of words means getting away with it….
*hattip for the link Witterings from Witney
I truly can’t be bothered to devote much of my time to providing a critical analysis of this pathetic article by the Telegraph;
A limited package of new laws reflects the approaching general election, and points the way to Conservatives and Lib Dems living separate lives, says James Kirkup
Only to say…in a word; Brussels.
It comes to something when a football manager’s resignation genuinely has more significance than the Queen’s speech.