I'm writing this message just before Sam and I sit down to enjoy a thoroughly seasonal retrospective of Breaking Bad. The travails of a chemistry teacher with cancer who turns to producing meth might not seem festive, but I believe it carries a message for us all at this time of year. However dismal life might seem, all you need is a little bit of aspiration and you can turn everything around.
Just look at the economy. It's thanks to the efforts of millions who go out and work hard every day that we're making real progress. We've proved all those naysayers who predicted a triple-dip recession at the beginning of the year wrong, and growth is now really motoring along. There's a few people who want to try and talk down the recovery, moaning that there isn't enough full-time work, that wages are still stagnating, or that the growth is as unsustainable as that engineered by Gordon Brown, but frankly they want to take us backwards, not forwards, refusing to accept we're in a global race.
It's not all about hard-working families who want to get on though, although honestly it is. At this time of year we should also spare a thought for those who attempt to keep on strengthening our society too - like a politician who came up with a fantastic idea to how charities and volunteers could step in and help people help themselves - yes, I'm talking about myself and the big society. It's a idea I'll admit I haven't focused on of late, but this Christmas it's really come into its own. Let's hear it for charities like Shelter, trying to ensure everyone has a home this festive season, and the Trussell Trust, which runs hundreds of food banks up and down the country. Without these organisations many wouldn't have either a roof over their heads or Bernard Matthews Turkey Twizzlers to eat. Truly, in these times of austerity the government is most grateful that the blame for such hardship is placed squarely on the individual and not on the state.
Just as we must honour those who live out to the letter that verse in Acts, that 'it is more blessed to give than to receive', we can't avoid also dealing with those who believe it is more blessed to take than do an honest day's work. Like those people who maintain workfare is in some way unfair, as though being asked to work for your pittance is an abuse of human rights, or those who think it's funny to call the spare room subsidy the bedroom tax. Rest assured that those stuck on benefits without hope or responsibility will find 2014 to be an even more hostile environment than 2013 was. That also goes for any Romanians and Bulgarians who dare to venture to Britain come January 1st. We've arranged to have Keith Vaz meet them off the plane, and if that doesn't make them think twice I don't know what will.
Lastly, as well as remembering our servicemen and women, who will shortly be returning home from Afghanistan with mission accomplished, although no one can quite remember what the mission was, we should also think of other civil servants who have been much maligned this year. Yes, we should give thanks for the snoopers, hackers and crackers at GCHQ and their counterparts in the Security Service and the Special Intelligence Service, all of whom have been personally traduced by the accusations made against them in a rag I will not so much as name. They've kept us safe, or at least have up to a point, and all they get in return is insults and jibes. I personally am thankful for all that they do for us, just as we should be for the hope given to millions by the birth of Jesus Christ. It's all some of the less fortunate have, and as both Nick and Ed don't believe in God, or Santa for that matter, it's left to me to hold Jesus's banner aloft. Thank you, Santa Christ.
With season's greetings,
(P.S. All the usual end of year gubbins will be up sometime between the 27th and the end of the year, if I manage to get through the backlog of albums I still have to listen to between now and then. Tch, the things I do for this blog, eh?)
Labels: 2013, 2013 review, christmas, David Cameron, mockery, politics