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50 Years Ago: Capital's Coronation

Since we may not, without dire consequences to the life of the SOCIALIST STANDARD, record our view on what has been called “the greatest show ever,” we may at least refer readers to what our late and lamented comrade Jacomb wrote on the occasion of the crowning of George Wettin as King George V. (See SOCIALIST STANDARD for June 1911.)

Those to whom it may seem remarkable that in spite of 10 years of devastating war there should be such a tremendous increase of wealth as illustrated by the present show, should bear in mind that with production and consumption of war material at top scale and speed profits and fortunes for factory owners and shareholders who formed this vast congregation of titled gentlemen and bejewelled ladies, were correspondingly big and easily capable of defraying whatever cost participation in the show involved.

And what have those who produced this vast wealth and fought for king and country in the past great and glorious wars to end war, what improvement in their material position have they to show in these 30 years of peace and 10 years of war?

If in writing on the show in June, 1911, our late comrade Jacomb referred among other thing to

“. . . the bestowing of a meal upon thousands of little children whom hunger makes glad to accept even such a trifle from hands so heavy-laden with wealth that they cannot feel the weight of the charitable grains they scatter, . . .”

here is what a London daily paper reported in connection with the 1953 show:-

“At East Grinstead the children who go to the Coronation party will, after they have had their tea, be stamped on the wrist with indelible ink. This will prevent them from getting more than their share of the refreshments.”

(Article by “R”, Socialist Standard, August 1953)