Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Twas the night before Christmas (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

24/12/2015, 12:53:59 PM

by Rob Marchant

Twas the night before Christmas, and in Labour’s house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Jeremy soon would be there.


Corbynistas were nestled all snug in their beds,

Political utopias danced in their heads.

It’s ok, they dreamt, don’t pay heed to the polls,

The party loves Jezza, despite the own goals.


It’s not pesky voters ‘bout whom we should bother,

As Brecht said, dissolve them, then elect another.

Not true that each interview’s now a car-crash,

Or that they didn’t trust us with their hard-earned cash.


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Christmas special: It’s a wonderful Labour life

25/12/2013, 08:00:32 AM

by Rob Marchant

(With apologies to the late Frank Capra)

Christmas Eve, 2013: snow was falling fast in the small town of Leftford Falls, the stores were packing up for Christmas and Edward Bailey – known to his friends as Ed, and his detractors as “Red Ed” – had finished work for the day at his little family savings-and-loan business.

It had been a very difficult year: the business had been established a hundred years before, to provide help to “the many not the few”, as its slogan ran. This Christmas, it was just about keeping its head above water, in troubled economic times.

Meanwhile Lennie M. Potter, the power-hungry boss who owned half of Leftford Falls, was cooking up a plan to secure the one piece of the town he had never yet managed to get hold of – Bailey’s company.

Seeing that the savings-and-loan was in difficulties, Potter had decided to turn the screws further by declining to cooperate in Bailey’s clever new scheme to save his little business. The scheme was a bit complicated to explain, but Bailey’s idea was that the company would get more money, more power would go to ordinary people and less to Potter. Potter, needless to say, disagreed.

In fact, Bailey had never ventured much outside of his neighbourhood of Leftford Falls, because he always had the fear that, when he came back, Potter would have taken over the whole place.

To cap it all, Bailey’s own bank – a co-operative enterprise headed by the clownish “Uncle Billy” Flowers – had just gone bankrupt. Indeed, thanks in part to the foolish actions of uncle Billy, the financial base of the whole savings-and-loan business was now at risk.

So, on that last evening before the holidays, everything had come to a head. There was only one thing for it: he would have to go cap-in-hand to Potter, and beg him for a loan to get his business back on the straight and narrow. Surely Potter would see that ordinary people would be better off that way? He couldn’t see Bailey go to the wall, could he? It was Christmas, after all.


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Fostering: the ultimate form of community activism

22/12/2011, 08:52:44 AM

by Peter Watt

I wrote recently about other forms of community activism that we, as a political party, should be celebrating. Well can I recommend one in particular to you all: fostering.

Christmas is a time for families and a time for children. It’s a time for celebrating the nurturing, loving and secure environment of home. But of course that is the ideal and we all fall short of that from time to time. And for all sorts of reasons, some children from some families are unable to live at home with their parents. Instead, for a short period, or longer, they live with a foster family. Each and every day in this country there are about 59,000 children and young people living with 45,000 foster families.

The numbers of places available have always been tight, but are getting worse. This week saw fostering network raise the alarm about the looming shortfall in foster carers. Their research indicates that there needs to be a further 8750 families who foster across the UK over the next 12 months to avoid a potential crisis.


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Even Santa is not what you think

26/12/2010, 01:00:35 PM

by Ian Silvera

Christmas is a holiday dedicated to a mythical event in the middle-east. Not Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, but the birth of Jesus of Nazareth our Lord Saviour and the main idol of the Christian religion.

The exchange of Christmas cards, cheap alcohol, mistletoe, nativity scenes and awkward reunions with unknown older relatives are mandatory throughout the festive period. I am a cultural Christian over Christmas. A champagne atheist. That is, I take part in the Christmas celebrations even though I know that the religious side of proceedings is nonsense.

Christmas is an uneasy mix of cultural events, religious and pseudo-religious beliefs. The use of an evergreen coniferous tree as a festive ornament originates from pre-Christian Europe. The Norse pagans were probably the first to use a Christmas tree this way. There is a debate over the specifics of its origin: the worshiping of oak trees complemented the pagans’ beliefs, which centred on worshipping nature. With the advent of winter, the pagans believed that dark spirits would enter the forests in Europe. In order to combat these magical forces they used mistletoe and holly to ward off the spirits. Moreover, during the winter solstice, when winter is at its darkest, the pagans would make sacrifices to their god Jul, which became Yule. And now the pagan god has a piece of confectionary named after him. And they brought evergreen trees into their houses, in an attempt to promote good spirits. (more…)

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Wonking in a winterval wonderland

13/12/2010, 01:00:49 PM

by Atul Hatwal

Santa is coming, bringing his annual sleigh of seasonal stories – will it or won’t it be a white Christmas; who can stop an X-Factor number 1 and that festive favourite: council bans Christmas so as not to offend minorities.

The “war on Christmas”, as Fox News puts it, is raging. From thwarted nativities in primary schools to international conspiracies to rebrand the whole thing as Winterval, a blizzard of synthetic outrage is blowing.

As these stories speckle the media through December, an old challenge awaits the new leader of the Labour party: the Christmas test.

Remember the Tebbit test? Well, add some tinsel and substitute cricket with Christmas.

Ed’s choice of Christmas cards will come under the spotlight. Do they mention the word Christmas or is there just vague talk of “happy holidays”? How will the first Jewish leader in well over half a century handle the c-word – Christianity? And what about on the day – will it be turkey with all the trimmings or does he prefer the vegan option?

Forget fees or cuts, commentators will pore over the answers to resolve the most pressing question of the day: Is Ed Milliband on the side of middle England, Christmas decency or does he stand with nativity-hating, godless, Wintervalistas? (more…)

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