Suffragette City

Now, I’m not one for making gargantuan physical efforts: I watch in bewilderment the increasingly mad efforts of people to run six marathons before breakfast, climb Everest backwards, swim the Nile, jog the channel and just about anything that hasn’t been done before.  Why?  In god’s name, why do people do these things?  I once went on a church holiday where the first thing some people did on getting settled on the beach was to join a communal bus-pull!  Why?  I turned to the woman next to me and said ‘They’re mad, aren’t they?  Why don’t they just lie back and enjoy the sunshine?’  She gave me an embarrassed smile before stripping off and charging up the beach to join them.

But don’t go running away with the idea that I’m a couch vegetable.  I’m reasonably active; I do yoga every morning, I walk a couple of miles every day and cycle about ten miles a week, the key word here being ‘reasonably.’  Plus, now and again I push the boat out a little bit: in the past I have swum a mile for charity and taken up karate, weight-lifting and, for a brief period, jazz dance.  So it was in this spirit that I went on a Sky-ride tour of Leicester’s suffragette sites.  Actually it was pretty gentle: only four miles and with frequent stops to hear about suffragettes (and suffragists) in Leicester whilst examining their blue plaques.  The most famous of them is Alice Hawkins who was a key organiser of protesters in the city.  Some women dressed up as suffragettes and we all wore sashes in purple or green.  It was very interesting.

And today I received a leaflet on the coming referendum.  I am intending to vote to stay in, not because I am a great believer in the EU as such but because a) outcomes will be very uncertain if we come out and more importantly b) our politics will likely be influenced far more than at present by the United States which, with the possibility of D T at the helm, is a prospect that fills me with terror.  This, incidentally, is a view shared by Noam Chomsky, though I thought of it first:

So get out and vote!  Even if you don’t care – because people died for the right to do so.

Kirk out (but also staying in)