Women Must Vote And Not Because Women Died For The Right

Today is voting day in the UK. Every newspaper, Facebook, every conversation is about this election and yet I know so many women who still, half way through the day, don’t know who they will vote for, or even if they will vote.

When someone mentions the word ‘vote’ or ‘election’ I burst out with a full throated:

“So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sing in grateful chorus
“Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!”

– even if it’s just in my head, it’s full of gusto!

And like many others, I’ve been quick to say, but you must vote! Women DIED to give you a vote!

Women died 1, were exiled 2, were imprisoned 3, were tortured 4. These women, among them:

Suffragettes

But you know what, for many of us, that kind of doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect our lives today. That was then. So much has changed. Read more: Women Must Vote And Not Because Women Died For The Right

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Davison
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christabel_Pankhurst
  3. http://mashable.com/2015/10/28/suffragettes-in-prison/#wtoWurMARgqE
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_Terror_(event)

Six Ways To Kill A Revolution

I don’t know why this is on my mind tonight, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with what I normally write about. And yet it does, since politics affects us all whether we pay attention to it or not. I’ve been thinking a lot about the events of the last few weeks – haven’t we all – and there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: why isn’t anyone demanding justice over the lies from the people we’re supposed to trust to lead us?

The few people I have spoken to about the fact that I am angry that voters for the EU Referendum were lied to from so many sides that even intelligent, interested people walked into the polling stations still unsure of what to vote, have all said the same thing: That’s what politicians do. 

So, a few weeks have passed, xenophobic attacks have died back a little, angry people are still smarting, but life goes on, and we’ve had other things to worry about, so we’re not sitting stewing as loudly in our disappointments – or victories, for those who wanted Out.

But I’m stilll sitting here wondering why the owners and editors of newspapers that emblazoned lies in capital letters aren’t held accountable. Why politicians and people speaking on behalf of them aren’t held accountable. Why people – all people, both sides of the vote – aren’t in uproar over the lies. Aren’t furious that interviews that ‘came clean’ weren’t held the day before or the day of the vote rather than the day after. Aren’t insulted at being taken for fools. Aren’t livid at how powerless we really are.

I’m fairly certain that if I applied for a mortgage, say, and supplied misinformation and blatant lies, I could be ‘done’ for fraud? I’m equally certain that if I dressed up in a police officers uniform and grabbed someone’s car claiming ‘police business’, I would still be ‘done’ for theft or at the very least impersonating a police officer – even though I never actually said I was a policeman.

So where is the accountability? Why is there one set of laws for them, and not for me.  How do I teach my children wrong from right if they can’t even see it in the pinnacle of leadership in our country? Why aren’t people furious about this? 

I’ll tell you why:

Distractions Distractions Distractions

6 Ways To Kill A Revolution

1. Give the people a common enemy

My daughter asked me this morning “what does ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ mean? I don’t even know where she heard it, but it got me thinking about this. Give people a common enemy and they will draw together, even if only for a time. Give generally decent people from both sides of the vote a common enemy aka the ‘indecent’ people – the bigots, the racists, the haters – and they’ll put aside their own differences to fight their common enemy. Or all those people who voted ‘out’ simply to protest vote against Cameron and his government – even a lot of people who were gutted after the results were announced saw his resignation as a relief. Enough of a relief to not demand answers?

I’ve written frequently enough about my experience of growing up in a country at war, and one thing I knew as a nine year old child was this: give people a common enemy and they band together. That new unity becomes a temporary distraction.Read more: Six Ways To Kill A Revolution