George Walford: Guess the Date

GUESS the date of this one:

Sunday next will be May Day. That there will be trouble because of the Anarchist and Socialist movements there is little doubt; but the steps that have been taken during the past week are calculated to maintain the peace and to secure property at all hazards.

It’s from the Inverness Courier, 26 May 1892. Going on to name several European countries, each of them permitting less freedom of political action than the UK, it then protests: ‘And yet ours is the system of Government against which noisy people frequently rail!’ Not much point in having political freedom if you don’t use it, but the use of it does not seem to have gone much beyond railing. Anarchists and socialists are still likely to make trouble on May Day, and the authorities can still expect to control it, and protect property, without great effort. In 1892 Queen Victoria sat firmly on the throne, while the monarchy may now be endangered, but that results less from revolutionary action than from royal failure to comply with the conventional expectations of eidostatic subjects. (Sent in by Adrian Williams)

from Ideological Commentary 59, February 1993.