East Midlands Railway faces backlash for Coronation scones offer
A tweet signed off with a much-asked question about scones has seen East Midlands Railway [EMR] inflict the wrath of passengers.
The rail franchise holder for the London to Nottingham route has now turned off replies to its original post after receiving a backlash of angry messages about class and privilege.
The offence was caused when EMR offered scones to some first-class passengers and, crucially, first-class passengers only, in the lead-up to the coronation this weekend.
“To help celebrate the coronation of King Charles III this weekend, we’ll be giving out a limited number of scones onboard our services to London to first-class passengers tomorrow and Friday,” EMR wrote on Wednesday evening.
“The question is — do you put jam or cream on first?”
To help celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III this weekend, we'll be giving out a limited number of scones onboard our services to London to First Class passengers tomorrow and Friday 🇬🇧
The question is - do you put jam or cream on first? pic.twitter.com/qNwThL2z74
— East Midlands Railway (EMR) (@EastMidRailway) May 3, 2023
With the post was a picture of a scone, complemented by jam and cream, alongside a hot drink, which accidentally came to perfectly illustrate the storm in a teacup that was about to unfold.
However, the rage wasn’t around the age-old debate about the order of the spreads.
Commenters took aim at the privilege awarded to first-class ticket holders, particularly around an event honouring the monarchy — an institution that provokes questions about entitlement itself.
Natasha Standen wrote: “I respectfully suggest that first class passengers are in a position to buy their own scones.”
I respectfully suggest that first class passengers are in a position to buy their own scones. Perhaps you could give some to standard class travellers instead?
— Natasha (@NatashaStanden) May 3, 2023
@LutonEye wrote: “What about those of us slumming it on EMR Connect services, with no first class? Do we get a Malteser or something?”
Luca Trenta added: “A ‘limited number’ to first class customers. Are you sure? Isn’t that too generous?”, while @critchyboy wrote: “First class passengers only — that’s the epitome of how pointless a thing the coronation really is.”
Tim Arnold found an anytime return from Nottingham to London — a one-hour, 51-minute journey — cost £255.30, which he pointed out was enough for more than a few scones.
I'd expect more for £255 🤷🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/xEz9AlZ44D
— Tim (@Tim_Arnold1977) May 3, 2023
At the time of writing, EMR had received 87 replies. And, while most of the comments were not amused, one wrote: “Ignore the naysayers, I for one think it’s a marvellous gesture. I’d personally have to say jam, dee-licious! My question for you, if I may, is how do you pronounce scone?”
EMR has not tweeted since.
The company told the Standard: “To celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, we are offering some first-class customers a complimentary scone.
“From time to time, we offer treats such as these and they are in line with the added value that a higher cost of a first-class ticket affords.
“However, all our customers can join in the fun of the coronation and, to help people get into spirit, we will be displaying coronation bunting at some of our stations and handing out free special coronation hand-waving flags and paper crowns.”