« Home | The witch hunt over Manhunt is over. For now. » | Shake the bottle, wake the taste! » | The doctrine of pseudo-strength. » | There be gold in them thar canoes... » | Amerikkka. » | Not a relinquishing of control. » | Scum-watch: Glorious hypocrisy over Maxine Carr. » | From lyrical to physical. » | Scum-watch: More thieving migrants and an eulogy f... » | No nukes? Oh, time to invade then. » 

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 

The war against Christmas rears its ugly head once again.

For a while I thought we were going to get through the festive period without too much of the perennial "Christmas is being banned by politically correct jobsworths and idiots" spiel, but as seems to happen every year, pages in newspapers need to be filled and right-wing egos need to be massaged.

It's certainly not helped when useful idiots like Trevor Phillips, instead of pointing out that nearly every one of these stories has no actual foundation in fact (although he does state that some have a "silly season" vibe), feels that he has to reach out to other religious leaders and urge them to say it's OK to celebrate Christmas, as if any of them, or indeed any of their constituents had said that it wasn't. FCC has more. The impression I get, one of Christmas lasting longer and with more decorations and lights being hung with each year that passes, even if they look hideous, especially in villages and towns where previously there would have been none, is easy to brush under the carpet when a newspaper even gets the whiff of a "tradition" being broken or "killjoys" flexing their muscles.

Hence today's Sun, which has a "killjoys’ guide to Nativity play perils". Meant to be humourous, it's anything but, and instead just reads like a cynical curmudgeon bemoaning the state of the nation at large. Viz is usually best as pricking the pomposity of some liberals, with the strips Millie Tant and the Modern Parents amongst a couple of others, but the Sun and whoever wrote this certainly aren't subscribers. Most hypocritical is the typical reference to paedophiles who might be lurking in the audience, when it's the Sun and its infamous editor which have done the most to scaremonger about "the scourge of modern life". Trevor Phillips adds his two-pence at the bottom of the article, and helps along the grievance by suggesting that an "agenda" might even exist.

All this garbage about nativity plays was started by the Sunday Telegraph, which came up with a figure that suggested 80% of schools wouldn't be having a traditional nativity play this year. Only problem with that was, as so often, that it simply wasn't true. The UKPollingReport blog digged a little deeper and in fact found the survey actually said that 64% of schools would be having some sort of a nativity play, just not necessarily one that could be classed as "traditional". This was seized upon by the Tory MP Mark Pritchard, who then blamed the "politically correct" brigade. Far more realistic is that, quite simply, nativity plays are both old-hat and get stale year after year. Some schools put on pantomimes instead, to begin with. I remember one year at middle school we had an "Australian Christmas" show, which if it had got out might just have raised the ire of some who seem to find anything other than an exact replica of the nativity scene to be sacrilege. As Rhetorically Speaking also asks, just how many schools have ever bothered to put on nativity plays? All make a difference towards such potentially misleading figures.

In one way, Trevor Phillips is almost right. It is a concern that these stories about Christmas being banned could lead to community tension. It's hardly ever religious minorities themselves though that are blamed for whatever it is that's supposedly being banned; it's either health and safety fascists or "politically correct liberals" who
think that minorities might be offended. As has so often been proved however, it's not the supposed "bannings" that enrage opinion, but the newspaper articles that have little basis in fact that do so and then exercise the usual suspects into their peals of appall. The newspapers themselves though don't have any wider responsibility towards such communities, despite the effect that such journalism can have; it's left to the community leaders themselves to react to that which they shouldn't have had to in the first place.

Labels: , , , , ,

Share |

I was 'nativity' age some 20 odd years ago and attended a school that, whilst not officially religiously affiliated, had a headteacher that was especially keen on the bible. And I can only remember there being a school nativity play on 2 occasions. 2 during my entire primary school 'career'. I don't recall any hysterics about it at the time.
Now my mum, who's a primary teacher is having to fend of angry tabloid-brandishing parents because the school is doing a christmas play that has nowt to do with Jesus. Of course these morons are pointing the finger at the schools sizeable somali muslim student population. You know, those fundamentalist 5 year-olds we're always hearing so much about. All the while overlooking the fact that the school has a whacking great floor-to-ceiling xmas tree, has put up a mural of people travelling to bethlehem along every corridor and is HAVING A FRICKING XMAS PLAY.
The one upside to all this is that my own mother's retarded assertions that xmas is being secretly dismantled because there aren't so many decorations in the shopping centre have disappeared.

I know the feeling. I personally live in an area which has a large Muslim and Hindu community, and no one has so much as batted an eyelid at the 30 foot Christmas tree in the town centre, or the smaller trees which have now been going up on the shops for as long as I can remember. There's even two on the outside of the makeshift mosque, which used to be a post office. It simply stretches credulity that anyone falls for this nonsense, but they sadly do.

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link