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Would Sylvia Pankhurst have approved such silly shenanigans?

11 May, 2018

Statuette of Sylvia Pankhurst

• “A TALKING eight-foot statue?”, as my three-year-old granddaughter would say, her voice rising in high-pitched disbelief as only toddlers can manage, (Setback to suffragette statue fight, April 27).

There is no doubting Sylvia Pankhurst’s radicalism, but this top-down political project is misplaced – its crowd­funding campaign run from the “Highlands of Scotland” and its lead local politician no longer a councillor. She chose to ignore all questions about the scheme before her resignation last week.

It seems the intention now is to try to push through this ridiculous idea by riding on the planning process, as the recent response to a Freedom of Information request makes clear: “The council wants to transform Clerkenwell Green into a high-quality public space, and as part of this create a suitable setting for the planned statue of Sylvia Pankhurst. The erection and siting of the statue will be subject to planning.”

The “planned statue”? Who agreed this (that was the original FoI question)? At a public meeting last autumn, held to discuss proposed transport changes to the historic Green, an officer acknowledged that the statue was “a done deal”. It would “unlock” money for the ongoing upkeep of the site. All this before the “public consultation” had even begun…

Would Ms Pankhurst have approved such silly shenanigans? It’s impossible to stand for equal rights for all without at the same time being a democrat. Welcome to Disney on the Green. Penny in the slot…

Ellington Street, N7


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