A HUNDRED years ago this week, women got the vote. Well, sort of.

Provided you were 30 years old or more. Provided you had some property. Which left most of womankind still unable to vote for the government which decided how they should live their lives.

The suffragettes had a powerful presence in Scotland.

Edinburgh was the site of a massive march in 1909 with Princes Street thronged with crowds a dozen deep to watch thousands of banner bearing women demand equal voting rights with the other half of the population.

As one banner held aloft had it: A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Arm. And it did too.

The towering figure of Winston Churchill was reduced to a cowering figure in a local shed as he hid from a posse of women intent on giving his coat an extra layer of egg as he came to campaign in Dundee.

The Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, also had a Scottish seat, which gave his constituency visits added frisson. He had to turn up with bodyguards.

Some women took to the links burning Votes for Women into the hallowed greens of golf courses, which must have gone down a treat with the greenkeepers!

One innovative soul replaced flags on the greens at Balmoral with the flags of the Womens’ Social and Political Union which had its Scottish HQ in Glasgow.

More dramatically, the stands at both Ayr and Perth Racecourses were burned down – on non race days obviously.

The Scottish suffragettes had no compunction about destroying property in the hope the insurance companies would also be up in arms. But there was never physical harm done to people.

However, the reverse was very much not the case. Just as down south, women campaigners were chucked in prison and force-fed, a grotesque punishment as you will know if you watched the screening of the recent film Suffragettes.

When there was a royal visit to Perth – one of two Scottish jails to force feed – a sign put up outside read “welcome to your Majesty’s torture chamber.”.

Then, as now, people argue that protest must always be peaceful and proportionate. Yet the sad truth is that worldwide, political inequity has usually only been halted when people have taken direct action of one sort of another. I don’t condone violence of any sort in any cause.

But history tells me that writing a polite note to the Prime Minister on scented notepaper will incite nothing more than lofty indifference.

There was a famous anthem used by the women’s suffrage movement which still resonates in a 21st century littered with assorted injustices.

The opening lines of the last verse began: “Life, strife – those two are one. Naught can ye win but by faith and daring.” These doughty women had faith in their cause, and dared to dispute the status quo with every tool at their command.

It’s been suggested they receive a pardon. But as the redoubtable Shirley Williams noted on the airwaves this week: “Why a pardon? They’ve done nothing wrong.”

Too right. What they deserve is a political equivalent of the VC.