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Friday, December 24, 2010

A very Merry (White) Christmas

A very happy Christmas to everyone.

Well, it's finally happened. For the first time in exactly forty years, most of the UK has a proper white Christmas. I know for many readers in the USA, Canada and in northern and eastern Europe, a white Christmas is no big deal, but in Britain, (particularly in England), it really is something. We no longer have to dream of a white Christmas, like Bing Crosby, we've actually got one. Great stuff!

Coincidentally, back in 1970, the last time we had a proper white Christmas, we also had a new Conservative government in power, though one which was very different to today’s Con-Dem coalition. In fact you could say that its highly appropriate that given that we’ve got a government which wants to take us back to the darkest days of the 19th century, we’ve got a cold and snowy Dickensian Christmas to go with it. Ebenezer Scrooge lives on.... and he’s to be found at Number 11, Downing Street, living under the name of 'George Osborne'.

Meanwhile, the coalition’s latest extreme neoliberal measure- to sell off ALL of England’s publicly owned forests.

As usual, our Christmas sermon comes from the great Christian Socialist George Lansbury. I‘m sure that if George were alive today, he‘d be playing a prominent role in the protests against this truly appalling government.

Keep in mind the fact that the Son of Man, the Christ who lived and was executed by the government of His day, was a great leader, and leader of the common people. It was his great message of Love and Brotherhood which brought him to his death. He knew the poor of the earth were oppressed by the rich and wealthy, and in scathing terms denounced the money changers and all those who defiled the Temple and brought suffering to starving humanity.

George Lansbury, 1926.

UPDATE: You can hear me discussing the 'Winners and Losers' of 2010 on BBC Radio Five Live , here. (the discussion starts at 1hr 24 and a half minutes into the programme.)


Chris H said...

More of a nightmare this past week or so with this snow!

Good to see George's words again, he'd certainly b protesting but I do wonder if he'd feel at home, or even be welcome in today's Labour Party.

Czarny Kot said...

Merry Christmas all.

Poland has been a winter wonderland for the last month or so but the temperature has risen just in time for a dirty, slushy Christmas.

Oh well.

PS: My wife was talking about an article she read in a Polish magazine about the privatisation of all of Poland's forests. I'll look it up..

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas everyone! I am also enjoying the snow this Christmas. Great quote by George Lansbury as well.

Gregor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Neil. I always feel rather strange at Christmas; during all religious festivals, for that matter. After having lapsed shortly after my Confirmation as an Anglican, I can't bring myself to return to Christianity. Yet, I see the yawning chasm in secular liberalism, its social atomism, its hypocrisy and the violence that lies all too near its surface of human rights rhetoric. It impoverished the western world forever when it shifted its purpose from the teleological and dialectical 'good/evil' dyad to the non-teleological and non-dialectical - in fact virtually static - 'rights/harm' dyad, a shift expressed most clearly in the works of Mill. When I reflect upon my own position I feel quite stranded, so for the most part I forget about myself and turn outward to structures, processes and politics, and the fate of others who are caught up in them ... which is more interesting, anyway.

- questionnaire

jock mctrousers said...

Merry Christmas to all. Not white after all, in London anyway. Where's the snow when you need it?