When the actress Georgia Brown accused the BBC of not providing worthwhile roles for women she was challenged to provide a format which did. The result was this epic telling of the story of women's struggle to earn the right to vote.
With a superb cast, excellent writing and top notch production the BBC produced a series which should stand alongside other high points from the 1970's such as 'I, Claudius' and 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'. For some reason it is neglected and I seem to remember it was undervalued on its first transmission.
Perhaps there are those who don't care to be reminded that less than a century ago women were imprisoned, went on hunger strike and were force-fed simply because they wanted to be part of a democratic society. It was only ten years after the First World War that British women were given the same rights as men.
The programmes don't simply glorify the Suffragettes. Christabel Pankhurst in particular is shown enjoying a comfortable exile in Paris and organising an increasingly militant campaign while her followers are being tortured in prison.
The story of the Suffragettes ranks alongside the Civil Rights movement in the US and should be recognised as such. Even though they are now 30 years old these programmes would easily bear repeating on cable as an important lesson in social history.
Perhaps the powers that be are happier for us to take democracy for granted than remember its true value by showing how it was fought for.
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