1940s >> 1944 >> no-481-september-1944

From the Cradle to the Grave


The Manchester Evening News of May 25, 1944, publishes an article by a staff reporter under the heading, “Control of Funerals, Unlikely.”

We are not here concerned with the question of price control, whether for ingress to or egress from “this sorry scherne of things entire”—that we can safely leave to those “financial wizards” and “price ceiling experts” whose job it is to “navigate” the “good ship Capitalism.”

The footnote to the above mentioned article is much more interesting and informative, and we quote it as follows :

“Prices at Southern Cemetery for Graves range from £3 4s. 6d. to £72 15s. More than 50 per cent, are buried in £3 4s. 6d. graves. Those at £72 15s. are double spaces in prominent positions on main drives. Single space in same position costs £30 1s. (Our italics.)

Human beings born into the working class are rocked in “shoddy” cradles, dressed in “shoddy” clothes, fed on “shoddd” food, housed in “jerry” buildings, and when their days of toil are over buried in “shoddy” graves. Worn out by a lifetime of toil and poverty midst plenty, the worker “giving up the ghost'” reaches his goal—a “£3 4s. 6d. grave.”

Not for him the prominent main drive; a back row will suffice, but he may console himself with the thought that the worms are probably fatter where the potentates are laid !

”Prominent graves for ‘prominent’ men” is a fitting slogan for supporters of capitalism, whilst the stone mason, exercising all his skill on magnificent monuments for “great” men and marble memorials for millionaires, vaguely wonders if he will manage a “wooden” cross!

The art of the stone mason adorns the pillars of plutocracy, but the stone mason—lies fertilising in the “back row.”

This is capitalism, from the cradle to the grave. Workers, unite for Socialism !


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