Published at 09:06, Monday, 13 August 2012
I’M sorry that Rodney Atkinson (Courant Letters, Courant, August 3), was disappointed by the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Most commentators considered it an unalloyed success, including the appearance by Mr Atkinson’s sibling, Rowan. Everyone is entitled to an opinion though.
However, Rodney’s comments regarding the 1936 Jarrow Crusade as being a pro-capitalist response to a ‘socialist’ stitch-up is somewhat wide of the mark and requires correction.
The ‘socialist’ presiding over the National Government in 1936 was in fact the Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.
The crusaders themselves were scarcely pro-capitalist. Their shipyard (Parson’s) had been bought out and closed by ‘National Shipbuilders Security’, an organisation founded by the Government in response to the economic collapse of shipbuilding in the 1930s, in yet another of our now familiar ‘crisis of capitalism’. The distinctly un-socialist Sir James Lithgow was at the helm of the NSS, which set about demolishing the shipbuilding infrastructure of the yard.
The crusaders marched with pioneering MP for Jarrow, ‘Red’ Ellen Wilkinson, calling for jobs and the alleviation of poverty in Jarrow and for similarly neglected northern towns.
Sadly, Baldwin refused to receive a deputation from the men, as he was ‘too busy’.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk