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National Health Insurance stamp - Forcible Feeding

National Health Insurance stamp - Forcible Feeding


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National Health Insurance stamp - Forcible Feeding

Forcible Feeding - Lick! A double-meaning postcard, primarily relating to the introduction of the National Health Insurance stamp under the 1911 National Insurance Act, but also referencing the force-feeding of suffragettes in custody (on hunger strike) at the time. In the early twentieth century a free National Health Service did not yet exist and the poor could not usually afford medical services. To help address this, the Liberal Government under David Lloyd George introduced the National Insurance Act. The scheme was known as the 9 pence for 4 pence scheme. Workers had to pay 4 pence into the scheme, employers 3 pence and the state paid 2 pence. Date: 1912

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 14375314

© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection

Assistance Custody Double Feeding Forcible Health Hunger Meaning Nationalisation Strike Striker Strikers Struggle Suffrage Suffragette Suffragettes Force Feeding Rights


EDITORS COMMENTS
This intriguing postcard from 1912, titled "Forcible Feeding - Lick!", offers a thought-provoking commentary on two significant social issues of the early 20th century: the introduction of the National Health Insurance stamp under the 1911 National Insurance Act and the force-feeding of suffragettes in custody. At a time when a free National Health Service was yet to exist, and the poor could barely afford medical care, the Liberal Government under David Lloyd George introduced the National Insurance Act. Known as the "9 pence for 4 pence" scheme, workers paid 4 pence, employers 3 pence, and the state contributed 2 pence towards the fund. The postcard's double-meaning title, however, alludes to another pressing matter: the force-feeding of suffragettes on hunger strike in custody. The suffragette movement, fighting for women's right to vote, employed hunger strikes as a form of protest. In response, authorities resorted to forcible feeding, a controversial and often brutal practice. The image on the postcard depicts a woman in a prison uniform, being held down by two guards as another force-feeds her. The caption "Lick!" adds a layer of irony, as the woman's expression suggests resistance and defiance. The postcard's design cleverly juxtaposes the themes of state-enforced assistance and individual resistance, reflecting the complex social and political climate of the era. The National Health Insurance stamp, symbolizing state intervention in providing healthcare assistance, and the struggle for women's suffrage, embodying individual rights and collective action, both left indelible marks on the fabric of British society. This postcard serves as a poignant reminder of the complex interplay between the state, individual rights, and social change during this transformative period in history.

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