Thursday, 24 December 2015
Up is down, left is right, history is bunk and the rights of some exceed the rights of others. Why is anybody remotely surprised that the political classes, having already decided on an outcome, would seek to get a mandate for that action by any means? Dodgy dossiers, about-turns, the convenient argument that “the facts changed so I changed my mind”. When William Hague, a man who built his political career on being a solid Eurosceptic, announces he will ditch his previously held convictions to vote out you realise that everybody has their price.
But ‘twas ever thus; history is riddled with backstabbing, betrayals, about turns and uncertainty and the longer I live the more I understand about uncertainty... or is that less? I'm not sure. Those long-held views which are overturned by a confrontation with reality or venal opportunity. The things that were once ‘true’ but are true no longer, such as practically every magnificent achievement of Victorians turning into shameful oppression of anybody with a tan. But closer to home, the certainty of youth giving way to scepticism in and of all things; believe nothing you read and only half of what you see.
In the face of change it is vital we preserve as much history as we can and cling to the old traditions that bind us, at least until we discover that what we thought was a universal truth turns out to be a local and short-lived rumour. Ah, but Christmas! Even Christmas has changed beyond recognition in my lifetime. Where we grubby urchins used to send letters to Father Christmas up the chimney, kids of today presumably Snapchat ‘Santa’ their demands from their iPhones. And while we're on the subject, how many kids today have access to a chimney? Another traditional work opportunity gone!
We’ve transitioned from an orange, some nuts and a toy in a stocking, with a trip to church and a traditional home-cooked meal at the table, to an orgy of unrestrained, non-stop consumption; bulging sacks stuffed with technology and whimsy followed by a boozy, continuous banquet of exotic, ready-made, mass-produced, calorie-laden indulgence. Our spreading waistlines are expanding at a rate unprecedented in Christmas past and many of us won’t make it to Christmas future.
The true meaning of Kentucky Fried Christmas!
The food we used to eat only at Christmas is now available all year round. Britain is supposedly starving yet the incidence of strokes, heart attacks, clogged arteries, liver failure, kidney failure, gout and all the diseases of decadence climbs ever higher, year on year. But forget all that for a couple of days; as blood pressures build and cholesterol counts soar, it is important that we maintain our old traditions. Never forget the true message of the season. Christmas is a time that families come together to celebrate the advent, the nativity and the Girth of the baby Jesus.
Now, it's Christmas Eve - have another Sherry and get fighting!