The Bristol Radical History Group
The Struggle For Democracy,
How We Won It And How We Lost It
5th - 25th April 2010
In the run up to the 2010 election this is your essential guide to how we got the vote, where representational democracy has gone wrong and possible alternatives to party democracy.
Recent British histories arrogantly claimed that the 'we' brought democracy to the Empire and ultimately the world in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Despite centuries of struggle to wrestle power from an elite few, the vote in Britain is still seen as a gift from the rulers to the people to help bring 'us' into the modern age. These days, the establishment of western style 'democracy' is used by Britain as a context for invasion, war and occupation.
In April this year through the media of public lectures, debates, history walks and other events, Bristol Radical History Group will be critically examining the British history of democracy and enfranchisement. Tracing a path from the English and French Revolutions via the Spenceans, the Chartists and the Suffragettes to New Labour we will be trying to answer the following questions:
- How was the vote for everybody achieved?
- Who wanted democracy and who didn't? What was the composition of the movements that fought for the vote for all?
- What did these movements actually want?
- What were the alternatives?
- What did we end up with?
- Is democracy historically necessary for capitalism to exist?
- Does 'democracy', as we know it, have a future?
Join us in uncovering the hidden history of democracy and enfranchisement in Britain. A perfect antidote to the misery of 'election fever'.
Popular Democracy And The Internet
|Film and panel discussion: Tom Arclight, Chris Chalkley, David Goldblatt, Alice Trapese, Roy Norris.||Cube*|
|Sat.10th.Apr.||2:00pm||The Chartists And Their Legacy||Dorothy Thompson - world-wide authority on the Chartists.
Owen Ashton - Professor of History at Staffordshire University and an expert on Chartism in the West Country.
Les James - a community historian whose work celebrates the Newport Chartist Rising.
|Mon.12th.Apr.||7:30pm||Mills & Bone
|Ian Bone & Steve Mills relate their experiences of contemporary interventions into the electoral process.||Stag & Hounds|
The Forgotten Revolutionary
|Steve Poole traces the fate, after Spence's death, of this alternative current in English radicalism.
Keith Armstrong will consider Spence's ideas and their relevance to the present day.
|Thu.15th.Apr.||7:30pm||How Protest And Riot Won Working Men The Vote||Roger Ball on the unrest that proceeded the 'Great Reform' of 1832.
Dave Cullum analyses the popular pressure which led to the later Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884.
|Fri.16th.Apr.||2-4pm||Opening The Archives||Your chance to view primary source material related to the struggle for democracy.||Cen. Ref. Lib.|
|Mon.19th.Apr.||7:00pm||Suffragette!||Anny Cullum - Votes for Ladies: The Suffragette Movement 1903-1914.
Dawn Dyer - They Fought for it, They Starved for it: THE VOTE
|Wed.21st.Apr.||7:30pm||'Every Cook Can Govern'
From Athens To Westminster?
|Dan Bennett & Tony Dyer follow a historical path from ancient Athens via Anglo-Saxon participatory democracy through to the French Revolution.
Dave Cullum, is representative democracy necessary for modern capitalism to exist?
|Fri.23rd.Apr.||7:30pm||Leon Rosselson And Robb Johnson
The Liberty Tree
|The Liberty Tree is an evening of contemporary songs reflecting the revolutionary ideas of Thomas Paine.||Thunderbolt|
|Sat.24th.Apr.||2:00pm||Bristol Radical History Walk||Thomas Clarkson, James Nayler, St. Wulfstan, Dorothy Hazard and various Bristol Riots.||Cen. Ferry|
|Sun.25th.Apr.||7:00pm||Mock Election Bonfire||Stand for election and listen to Eirlys Rhiannon, Who’s Afear’d and the Surfin’ Turnips.||Boiling Wells|
- Download and print a guide, prints two sides of A4 in black and white (0.8 MB pdf file)
- Download a high resolution version Sharks Colour (1 MB jpeg file)
- Download a high resolution version Sharks B&W (0.8 MB jpeg file)
- Download a high resolution version Victoria Colour (1.2 MB jepg file)
- Download a high resolution version Victoria B&W (1.2 MB jpeg file)