The Seventh Deadly Seasonal Message
It is now traditional that to mark this annual event I put fingers to keyboard and deposit a Christmas blog in your mental microwaves to see if it defrosts. This is now just about the only time I write here. The real world now impinges on my time more than it once did and this coupled with different focuses for my activism has meant that blogging is no longer the priority it once was.
I'm sure this is a great disappointment to many (some? any?) of you who miss my critical insights, witty prose and well-selected images, but when reality calls, what am I to do?
Returning to the traditional message, this is usually my opportunity to reflect on the nonsense of the so-called "War on Christmas" a conflict which has allegedly raged in shopping centres, schoolyards and council offices. A cynically manufactured controversy driven by a right wing which is disprate, often incoherent but ultimately all heading in the samer direction: seeking to turn back every social advance of last century from gay rights to female equality.
This year, however, I'm short on material. The leading protagonists in this conflict seem to have been relatively quiet on the subject. One assumes they have been too busy slashing public services to worry about trivial things like the wording used on Christmas decorations. The cultural phoney war has been replaced by an all too real economic class war.
It is this assault on our communities and the effectiveness of our response which will, I suspect, define 2011 politically. This may sound like a pessimistic view, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Already we are doing better than Ireland, where meaningful resistance to the imposition of austerity did not emerge until almost 2 years after it began. This provides some hope that we may be able to avoid following them into a spiral of cuts, bailouts and worsening cuts.
But hope is no substitute for action and we have a long battle ahead of us. So far the students have shown the way, but the struggle needs to spread to other sectors: trade unions, public sector workers, the unemployed, service users and the rest of society.
So enjoy your strangled turkey, drink until you throw up your liver and revel in the spirit of the season, for tomorrow we bring down a government.
Happy Christmas, Chrismukkah, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Duckmass, Festivus, Hannukah, Hogmany, Holiday, HumanLight, Koruchun, Kwanza, New Year, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Winterval, Yalda and/or Yule!
Previous years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004