THE media reporting, especially on the BBC, of the Women’s Suffrage movement has been appallingly inaccurate. The great majority of those who campaigned were suffragists who believed in doing things by entirely lawful means. The suffragettes of the Women’s Social & Political Union were only founded in 1903 so were Jennies-come-lately to the campaign. The BBC referred to Mrs Fawcett and showed photos of the NUWSS (the suffragists) but labelled them suffragettes, which would have them birling in their graves.

In addition I only heard/saw one brief reference to the debate on whether it was the pre-war campaign or the work of women during World War One that was more significant in getting some women the vote in 1918. PM Asquith certainly thought it was the latter, and he should know as he was the principal obstacle to success in the pre-war years.

In writing this I am not belittling the efforts and courage of the suffragettes in pursuit of their cause, merely objecting to them getting all the credit for the overdue recognition of women’s right to vote. Perhaps the lesson of all this is that it takes civil disobedience to shift Westminster intransigence and attract the attention of history.

Andrew M Fraser