As well as the Morris Beckman event at The Cube on 1st March 2010 Bristol Radical History Group are planning a series of events for April around the theme of the inevitable General Election:

Bristol Radical History Group Election Special

The Struggle for Democracy in Britain

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 Spencerites, 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’.

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