Yesterday, the Sunday Telegraph announced its victory in a campaign to have the first statue of a women erected in Parliament Square. When it started last May, the prevailing idea was that the statue should be of a suffragette. The most obvious choice would be Emmeline Pankhurst. Nobody seemed to mind that the distinctive behaviour of the Pankhurst’s suffragette movement was violence, disrupting a society then at peace. Nobody remembered that the suffragettes were a splinter movement of the suffragists, the latter wanting to use constitutional and legal processes to extend the franchise. Nobody, apart from here at The Conservative Woman.
Last year, we pointed out this forgotten history, that there were rational, non-confrontational campaigners for women’s suffrage. The most obvious choice for the statue would be Millicent Garrett Fawcett, and that Kaiser Wilhelm had as much influence on women’s suffrage as Pankhurst, as they both used violence, but in different ways. A month later the Telegraph‘s campaign seemed to agree, although they still persisted in mistakenly describing Fawcett as a suffragette. A good story got in the way of the historical facts.
Mrs May, Britain’s second woman Prime Minister, has announced that Mrs Fawcett’s statue will be erected in Parliament Square. The selection of Mrs Fawcett was always the sane and rational choice. Great minds think alike, so the saying goes. Here at The Conservative Woman, we thought of it first.
(Image: Morgan Davies)