When Vice President (ial candidate*) Tim Kaine announced that “Humans don’t like change” he overlooked the fact that actually we introduce, create and endorse change all the time. In the political sphere, the Ancient Greeks created democracy but the right to vote was limited to a very select and limited group. In the nineteenth century, democracy in Britain began to include a wider range of voters but still only half of men were eligible to vote.
By 1918, all men were enfranchised and the size of the electorate grew from 7 to 12 million. Women were included for the first time but only if they were over 30 years old. By 1928 , women’s rights had changed again and came in line with their male counterparts: both could now vote if 21 or over. This changed yet again in 1960 when the age was lowered to 18. Even today, convicted serving prisoners are not allowed to vote and there is a movement to lower the age limit to 16 so the meaning of “universal” suffrage is constantly changing.
Sixty-six years ago, you may well have been planning your visit to the Festival of Britain. If you fancied making the journey to London, you would have joined the 8.5 million visitors to the South Bank of the River Thames who encountered thirty pavilions showcasing various aspects of Britain’s life that had been constructed around the new Festival Hall.
The Festival of Britain was a celebration of Britain’s dominant position in the arts, science, technology and industry and provided visitors with the opportunity to be educated, bask in Britain’s culture and history and see the very best in modern industrial and decorative design. The government had allocated £14 million as a budget and the Deputy Prime Minister, Herbert Morrison, had appointed Gerald Barry to spearhead the project. He turned to Hugh Casson Continue reading →