This week in Mash History: Emmeline Pankhurst vows women will be able to vote for the man who shouts the loudest, 1913

MODERN Britain is a beacon of democracy, where anyone, no matter their background, can freely slag off whichever posho gets to be in charge. 

But did you know that just over 100 years ago, even if they were very rich with sensible husbands to guide their hysterical minds, ladies were not allowed to vote? 

The suffragette movement, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, fought for suffrage with often controversial tactics. They believed that every woman is just as deserving as a man of a place in a tedious yet divisive and fundamentally unfair political system.

A letter from Pankhurst to her daughter Christabel reads as follows: ‘My dear daughter. You have surely seen the news of Emily Wilding Davison’s tragic demise under the King’s horse. We must remember that she did not die in vain, but for a future where statesmen can use our issues as a political football.

‘Which is why we must persist. If you are imprisoned, maintain your hunger strike. Instead of food, feast on the dream of the day your letterbox can too be stuffed with pamphlets from male politicians sputtering out insults and half-truths about the opposition.

‘Many consider an escalation to violent tactics extreme. But how can one sit passively by when there are hours upon hours of electoral campaign newsreel we could be entirely apathetic about? Our sex shall not preclude us from tutting at these impressively mediocre leaders.

‘Those in power say they wish to protect us. Yet our minds are well capable of receiving half-baked promises from smug men, not believing them, then resigning ourselves to choose whichever is the least-bad option. How else do they think we found husbands?

‘I may not see this great future in my lifetime, nor you in yours. But be ever strong in our mission of deeds not words, for one day your daughters or granddaughters may finally be granted the right to vote for a shouty liar. Though only if they bring the acceptable form of ID to the polling station, of course.’

And so, thanks to the courage and pioneering vision of suffragettes like Pankhurst, gender cannot preclude anyone from declaring ‘I guess this one’s not as crap as the others’ at the ballot box.

Next week: To 1966, when Bobby Moore began England’s unstoppable winning streak.

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Your astrological week ahead for June 29th, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

What’s the point of doing drugs at the world’s greatest music festival? Do them somewhere shit, like Aldi.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

PlayStation. Xbox. PlayStation 2. Xbox 360. PlayStation 3. Xbox One. PlayStation 4. Xbox Series S/X. PlayStation 5. Complete the sequence.

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

Stand by your man, especially if he’s nearly at the front of the queue.

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

Nothing worse than when the singer at a gig comes out screaming that they love your city. They don’t know about the potholes and spiralling council debt. They should do their research before they speak up.

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

Girlfriend out late? Surprise her by making an elaborate ‘You’re Dumped!’ card out of cardboard, dried pasta and glitter.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

Nothing more embarrassing than a love song. Keep it to yourself, that’s private business and nowt to do with us. It sounds like you’ve had sex and everything, you mucky pup.

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

Are the Irish kidding with that accent? Surely some of them are putting it on.

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 22nd

If rabbits enjoy leaves they should theoretically be able to enjoy a refreshing mojito.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

‘Hey! Hey, get off her! That’s my sister, you creep!’ you shout furiously, immediately after the vicar says ‘You may kiss the bride.’

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

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Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

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Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

Doctors hate her! Because she’s a total bitch. Everyone else hates her as well.