Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mrs Pankhurst, terrorist

In today's Daily Telegraph we read that the women in the Suffragette movement were like members of al-Qa'eda, according to one Dr Bearman who gained his PhD from Hull University with this interesting thesis.

Now I know Hull is a long way from the centre of world events, but surely the news of acts of terrorism has reached there. Mrs Pankhurst encouraged women in acts of civil disobedience: some chained themselves to railings and carried banners; knocking policemen's helmets off their heads was a favourite act of 'terrorism'. Surely one wouldn't equate these actions with suicide bombings on trains and buses? Can one draw any comparison between Emily Davison, who stepped in front of the King's horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913 and the pilots of the 9/11 aeroplanes?

Douglas Reid, a senior lecturer at Hull who oversaw Dr Bearman's doctorate, said: "It is through such debates that we make progress in understanding the past."
We could agree with that, or we might wonder about the value of a PhD from Hull University.


  1. I suppose the point he was making is that both suffragettes and al-Qaeda did more harm than good to their own causes.

    Same with Northern Irish independence. They've only made any progress since they stopped bombing.

  2. I would agree if the suffragettes had been bombers. In fact they never set out to do anything other than protest peacefully and I thought our democracy could handle that.


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