Christmas has traditionally been a time to put aside differences and get on with each other, if only for the sake of the kids. But on Christmas Day social media was alive with two quite different versions of the season’s felicitations. In the main, people laid down their weapons and wished each other a happy day, whoever they were, wherever they were. Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind and all that. But a smaller group were noticeable by their very different and quite sinister instinct; to wish harm on those with whom they disagreed.
Boris Johnson’s Christmas message was inclusive, affable and filled with warmth and good humour. Doing what a Prime Minster should do he sought to embrace the whole nation, wish everybody well and hint at better days to come. In stark contrast Jeremy Corbyn – a Scrooge for our times if ever there was one - was dour, somewhat bitter and condemnatory in tone, refusing to concede for one second that his personal brand of politics was why he had lost the election. It also sought, right from the off, to paint a portrait of a miserable, divided society.
Taking their cue from the top a number of high profile lefties took it in turn to wish ill on the Prime Minister – how dare he be popular, how dare he seek to unite the nation – some even wishing him death or personal disaster during his brief holiday break. Various tweets from many politicos on the left also contained veiled sneers, portents of doom and some even slightly threatening messages, signalling an inability to withdraw from the fray for even just one day of the year.
And what bitter self-loathing can account for the many who wished death on a man who at 98 only retired from a lifetime’s service to the country two years ago? Seriously, what existential threat does Prince Philip represent? Armando Ianucci mocked Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sincere “Today a Saviour has been born to us. He is Christ the Lord.” Quote-tweeting it as ‘Fake news’. One wonders how he might respond to a prominent muslim tweeting out ‘eid mubarak’ – a cynic may suggest that no derision would be dealt in that direction.
And in one after another sneering, divisive, spitting hate-filled, messages of malice the noisy part of the left did what they do on a daily basis. Kevin Maguire, A C Grayling, Jolyon Maugham, Carole Cadwalladr and all the usual joyless circus of sad clowns. As predictable as the sunrise, as welcome as super gonorrhoea. Had the first world war Christmas Day football match been between the modern right and left, the left would have no doubt taken the opportunity to mow down the opposition with machine gun fire.
So certain are they of their just cause that they seem to have gifted themselves the cloak of purity and goodliness that protects them from all criticism, at least in their own minds. Yes, in recent weeks, Owen Jones, Stormzy, Ash Sarkar, John Hannah and others have come under heavy fire, but the ammunition used was what they themselves supplied. Instead of wishing them death, their interlocutors have usually just repeated their own words back at them and expressed a wish that they could see what others see. Know thyself is still sage advice.
Left and right, in a nutshell.
So in the new year we have a much more clearly defined separation between left and right. The right - who in reality are mostly centrists and now include many former Labour voters - wish health and prosperity to all while those who identify with the hard left will do their utmost to wreck such ambitions. All we have to do to win this war for the character of our nation is to carry on being reasonable and turn our backs on those who hate. Come and join us, one and all and whoever your god, bless us all, every one.
Temperament is an unfashionable word and concept. But I've found it's the bottom line in knowing what you're dealing with when good will or common sense or even just good manners doesn't provide a common ground. Temperament is a primal indicator of response. Nothing can be done with malice, no fixing it. It is famously, and I think, truthfully, the temperamentally anxious and nervous dog who bites first.ReplyDelete
I believe we now have less than 50% of the population who think of themselves as Christians. Perhaps it's time to return his festival to what it was i.e. Mid Winter.ReplyDelete