Dear Reader

A century or so ago and we would not have been able to open a newspaper without reading a report about the latest dramatic action being taken by members of the ‘Suffragette Movement'. This group of women would stop at nothing to further the cause of the Womens Social and Political Union, which was that women should have the right to vote.

The stories about Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia are legendary in UK political history – physical attacks on MPs and their property, disruption of Parliament, chaining themselves to railings, imprisonment, hunger strikes and arson; with perhaps the most famous act taking place at the June 1913 Derby, when Emily Wilding Davison threw herself under the King’s horse, Anmer, as it rounded Tattenham Corner.

In 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed by Parliament. For the first time, women in this country had the vote – something hard fought for and well won. A giant step forward in empowerment and something that present-day voters may not necessarily value to the extent that they might.

I was reminded of all this as I read the ‘Reminiscences of a RANA’ on page 422 of this issue of vnj, followed on the next page by a NEWS REVIEW item headed ‘Candidates sought for VN Council’.

In a light-hearted account of her early days in veterinary practice, Doreen Lawrence RVN paints an interesting picture of the lowly status of the pioneers in the veterinary nursing profession compared with the increased recognition of the profession today.

In its way, the establishment of the VN Council represented a hard won victory for the veterinary nursing profession – no less significant than the arrival of the vote for women. It followed years of self-sacrifice and political lobbying by a dedicated group of veterinary nursing ‘suffragettes’ and the BVNA.

Veterinary nurses in practice – now male and female – are by nature self-effacing; but there is a great deal of talent and experience out there that has yet to be harnessed for the benefit the veterinary nursing profession as a whole. So this is not a time to be shy.

If you believe in the future of your profession, and have lively ideas of where it should go next, think seriously about putting yourself forward for election to the VN Council.

And if that is a step too far – at the very least make sure you vote for the candidates who do volunteer. They may not have to chain themselves to the railings in Horseferry Road, but they will welcome your support.

The editor and the editorial team wish vnj readers a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS Editor

• VOL 16 • December 2011 • Veterinary Nursing Journal