So how was it for you?
On Christmas Day the BBC announced the winter weather was “set to be the coldest since 1910”, and a few loyal subjects stuffed with too much Xmas turkey, tuned in for HM Queen’s Christmas message to hear that ‘sport IS good for us’. Always assuming they weren’t still frozen into their car under a snow drift on a motorway or, still asleep on the floor of an airport or railway station somewhere!
There’s no doubt that the internet has played a major role in the creation of our permanently switched on 24/7 world and its socio-echonomic demands. However, even without the web, or our constant entertainment and retail demands, there are many aspects of our world which have always been 24/7 and 365 days per year. Some people may realise it but just as many won’t appreciate it; Christmas is a time of work for many.
In addition to the military personnel in the Afghanistan war zone trying to get a little Xmas light relief, the NHS and our Emergency Services have been picking up the pieces of our alcohol fuelled debauchery, violence and take ridiculous 999 calls from our stupid society.
My wife returned home from work on Christmas Day after what she described as “the day from hell”. It started with cells full of the drunken dross from the night before and, as motorists headed out to visit relatives and fell foul of the still poor conditions, minor bumps and serious road accidents began across the county. Officers struggled with violence at domestic disputes and in a separate incident, another officer was so badly attacked he is spending the season of goodwill in hospital with serious head injuries. After being taken to hospital in a police car because the paramedic ambulance (which gave a 30mins ETA) was diverted to a cardiac arrest and, the 1st responder vehicle dispatched as backup also gave a 30mins ETA.
And as the trio of sudden deaths proved, the Grim Reaper is just another worker who doesn’t take a Christmas break. The BBC news report that; “Police looking for missing Bristol architect Joanna Yeates have sealed off an area near a golf course after the body of a woman was found” (read more), also proved that yet another family was set to have all their future Christmas celebrations changed for the worse… For ever!
His Holiness The Pope urged an ‘end to conflicts’ in his Christmas message (read more) after telling the BBC on Christmas Eve that ‘God often surprises us’ and, the Archbishop of Canterbury used his Christmas sermon to question whether; “the richest people are bearing their share of the economic downturn” (read more). It’s just a pity that the constant in all these questions/advice being posed are people. The ones who are very unlikely to change their ways and, despite Christmas around the world meaning many things to many people, I will always just see it cynically as ‘Same Shit Different Day’!
So now it’s Boxing Day and the seasonal bun fight is all but over. Some may be thinking of recipes for Christmas leftovers but probably many more will be filling their bin liners with the aftermath of the excess the day before. As the wheelie bin overflows at the back door, they’re heading out to the sales and bemoaning the reduction in refuse collections over the holiday period. Always assuming they haven’t utilising their airport misery sleeping bags at the nearest NEXT sale outlet.
But what vision can be gleaned from the misty glass of Grumpy’s Crystal Ball? Well, despite all the
hot air words of comfort and advice being offered up by our political, cultural and spiritual leaders, things are unlikely to change much. If any changes are actually in the offing, they’ll probably only be detrimental ones.
Tin-pot third world dictatorships will continue to abuse and starve their populations and posturing little yellow men in Far East nations will continue to play their war games and throw bangers about in their next-door neighbour’s back yard. And misguided rag headed islamic fundamentalists in their checkered scarves will continue their journey to meet Allah, as they blow themselves, and a not so carefully selected group of infidels, to smithereens and kingdome come!
Our politicians will continue to tell us one thing and proceed to do something totally different. Our education system will continue to fail our children and our Criminal Justice System will continue to fail all the victims.
The ACPO officers and other Public Sector CEO Turkeys that don’t vote for Christmas, will continue to gobble from the trough of their worker’s redundancies, assuming the likelihood of them escaping the inevitable austerity farmer’s big chopper, will all still be abstaining from casting their votes next yuletide. Our underclass will continue to theive anything that isn’t bolted down and our great spotty and unwashed youth will continue to rise up against the fear of having to work for a living (or indeed the decline of their god given right to sit around some educational campus getting pissed and smoking pot).
And when Christmas 2011 comes bounding through the snow to bash us in the face again next year; the Military will still be fighting for and defending democracy whilst protecting our national interests. The trimmed down emergency services, nurses, doctors and much thinner blue line will still be picking up the pieces of our nation’s broken society…
Or just maybe, my
cynical crystal ball really needs a good polish!
- Queen hails sport’s unifying role (bbc.co.uk)
- December ‘coldest for a century’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Rich must shoulder their fair share of the burden, says Rowan Williams (guardian.co.uk)
- Pope Benedict XVI Delivers BBC’s Thought for the Day (biblicalpaths.wordpress.com)
- Boxing Day snow warning as parts of Britain see a white Christmas (telegraph.co.uk)