A Century on, and grainy filmed footage of Emily Wilding Davison falling beneath the Kings Horse and suffering fatal wounds still has the power to shock. She was, as many of you will know, instrumental in the suffragette movement and fought to get women the right to vote.
Emily Wilding Davison died on the 8 June 1913 four days after she suffered what were to be fatal injuries, and a century on her legacy is just as important- in spite of the condemnation she suffered at the time.
She was dismissed as a ‘lunatic woman’ carrying out a ‘mad act’. She was known for her militant protests and had carried out a number of protests for which she was arrested nine times. This included, throwing stones at the Prime Ministers carriage, arson and for causing a ‘public nuisance.’
Regardless of whether or not she intended to throw herself in front to the Kings horse knowing what the outcome would be (some historians’ claim she had not intended to kill herself) her dedication to the suffragette movement- to get women the vote- cannot be denied. She fought so that all women had the right to vote, and we should never forget the sacrifice she (and others) made.
France celebrated its first gay marriage last week, albeit amid tight security. The historic moment followed months of demonstrations and violent clashes between far right groups opposed to the new legislation and riot police as well as 172 hours of heated debate in the French Parliament.
The grooms exchanged rings to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Love and Marriage’ and in his speech, one of the grooms quoted Martin Luther King: “The law may not be able to make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me.” It was a historic moment in France, but we are still debating the issue here in the UK.
later today, in the UK, peers will begin a two-day debate on the same-sex marriage Bill. William Astor today writes in the Telegraph why The House of Lords has a democratic duty to examine in detail this important issue.
He writes: “The cross-bench peer, Lord Dear, wants to reject the Bill at second reading. But this would stop it going forward to its committee stages and deny the Lords an opportunity to examine all the issues properly. That would be a terrible mistake. It would give the impression that the Lords had rejected the measure out of hand without proper debating this important proposed change to the law.”
It’s quite right that the Bill “deserves the full scrutiny of Parliament”. You can read his article in full here.