February 6, 2018

On the anniversary of the recognition of the suffragette movement, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said, pardoning Suffragettes who were convicted of crimes could be “complicated”.

No way to say thank you

There is a little irony that – 100 years on from the day (6 February 1918) that The Representation of the People Act was passed to give women aged over 30 and “of property” the right to vote – a female MP should be suggesting the women who fought for her rights to represent her country in Parliament may not have their convictions overturned.

It is fair to consider that the some of the crimes committed by these women, in their efforts to obtain equality, cannot be dismissed for fear of repercussions in the present day. Potentially allowing modern day campaigners to commit crimes in the cause of their revolution with the knowledge of a pardon could be tricky but…

100 Year Old Criminals?

Given the time that has passed it must be possible in law to pardon someone based on their age? Maybe, over the age of 118? After one hundred years plus 18 – the modern day age of adulthood – it must surely be possible to consider the cases of political campaigners as exceptional, especially when the law was changed to agree with their cause.

If Nelson Mandela could be freed to serve his country, having been imprisoned for terrorism, then surely their is some room for manoeuvre in the UK legal system?

“Take a look”

Amber Rudd has she said she would “take a look” at giving pardons. This is hardly a statement of intent and would undoubtedly make the noble suffragettes turn in their graves.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May hosted a reception for female MPs past and present in Parliament as part of the anniversary celebrations. The suffragettes have a lot to be thanked for for this recognition to have occurred. Maybe the government should have put the past 100 years to good use for Emily Pankhurst and those she stood beside, in the first major move towards equality, and delivered a thank you that held recognition and meaning? But, alas, it is obviously too “complicated”!

Last updated: February 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm