So Christmas is here again and it’s time for my annual riverbank humbug message… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really a Scrooge or Grinch, honest. There is no one more chuffed and grateful than me when I realise that I’ve managed to reach another Christmas. But I’m also elated when it’s all bloody done and dusted (see previous)…
I have no wish to be a kill-joy or dampen anyones festivities however; death, violence and all other manner of criminal, social and economic problems don’t disappear just because it’s Christmas. Consequently, my Bah Humbug tee-shirt (and hat) have already had a couple of outings as part of their seasonal airing.
At this time of the year, even more than is sadly usual, it’s time for the excese of exorbitant (and disgusting) levels of over indulgence and over spending!
Again, like most years previously (see here) the supermarkets are full to the brim of people prepping for Armageddon. Another frantic stampede scene from the relief of Mafeking (see previous), much to the undoubted pleasure of the retail industry and their shareholders.
The stark realties of the seasonal festivities are, for far too many problems and issues still concern me and things don’t seem to be getting any better, if anything some even appear worse.
Take the current drink driving statistics which are a major concern and case in point.
If my local police weren’t happy with the figures last year, I bet they’ll be almost incandescent now. This morning the same force reported via Twitter that the seasonal campaign had already resulted in 86 arrests for drink driving… and all before bloody Christmas day has even arrived.
When will people ever learn?
York man charged with drink driving almost four times over the limit: Officers have now arrested 86 people on suspicion of drink or drug driving since North Yorkshire Police Christmas Safety Campaign began at the end of November…(read more)
But equally worrying, domestic abuse, child abuse excessive drunken anti-social behaviour along with death, violent or natural, can (and often do) blight Christmas festivities for many. And all this before we even consider the remaining social ills, like poor health and poverty, both in the UK and further afield.
Many of these issues really shouldn’t exist in a modern and civilised world. But make no mistake about it, disgustingly high levels of poverty also exist here in the UK, it’s no longer just abroad in ‘third world’ countries. The mass national debt in so many nations is at play here, that and the savage austerity measures being employed in an attempt to combat it.
Socio-economic factors, most of them politically controlled, have a significant impact upon the levels of poverty in our society. But even if the politicians don’t finish us all off, we seem to have a situation where a few are getting even richer on the backs of many of us getting poorer. Poverty is on the increase everywhere, including so-called civilised nations like the UK. Another good reeason for my Dickensian “Bah Humbug!”
As recently as today a Tory MP went on the defensive when the church hit out about the issue (see here). The Independent highlighted the fact that even those who live in more affluent areas don’t appear to be escaping the problem. There are people going “Hungry in Cameron’s Cotswolds – Beyond the 4x4s and classy shops of the PM’s own constituency, a food bank is alarmingly busy” (see here).
Organisations like The Salvation Army and homeless charity Shelter, are doing their best to help the less fortunate in our society. A country where; “every 2 minutes someone faces losing their home.” These charities and their people are on our streets day and night trying to care and provide for the homeless and hungry.
Save The Children: Right now, in this country, children are going to school hungry because they don’t get a proper breakfast. They go through winter without a warm coat or a decent pair of shoes. Some even have to sleep on a damp mattress on the floor because they don’t have their own bed…(read more)
So not much appears to have really changed in the last twelve months (as if I really expected it).
As we listen to proper news about the designer of the AK47 (prefered weapon of world terrorists) shuffling off this mortal coil (see here); our media machine continues to bash our eyes and ears with ‘news’ of weather reaching apocalyptic proportions (see here). Oh yes, along with the catastrophic disruption to some Christmas travel (see here).
Perhaps, as one commentator to my Facebook account pointed out, whilst I was I moaning on about our prevalent media methodology; maybe it’s part of some great master plan?
Create FEAR to control the Unthinking Masses then they will blindly follow without thinking!
Although I’ve never been a great believer in the theory about engineered control of the masses, despite the fact it’s perceived by an ever increasing number of people. I’m starting to think, maybe he actually has something here?
There is however some good news; MPs are going to jail for fiddling expenses (see here) and individuals who have disgraced the office of ‘Constable’ (and abused public trust in the police) are getting incarcerated for their “deviant” crimes (see here).
It would be even nicer if we could see more action to reign in the ‘banksters’ – people who, in so many ways control our politicians and are at the root of the economic mess we’re currently in – Can’t see it happening, can you?
So in summary my seasonal message to family, friends and the world is broadly similar to the one last year (see here) and sadly the year before that…Merry Christmas / Bah Humbug (delete as appropriate)!