"Christmas could be cancelled by a bill being put forward by the Labour government, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales have said.Garbage in the way these stories always are. There comes a point when these become so routine that they acquire the status of tradition.
In a letter to MPs, Monsignor Andrew Summersgill, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, said that Harriet Harmon's Equality Bill will have a "chilling effect" on local councils, town halls and other organizations clamping down on Christmas festivities for fear of offending people of other religions."
I'm too far behind to claim to have skewered this one in time but I'd like to be the first - hope I am - to pre-empt another tiresome seasonal tradition, and that would be Christopher Hitchens banging on about how Christmas is awful and terribly authoritarian, nay totalitarian. Art Buchwald? Check. North Korea? Check.
"As in such dismal banana republics, the dreary, sinister thing is that the official propaganda is inescapable. You go to a train station or an airport, and the image and the music of the Dear Leader are everywhere. You go to a more private place, such as a doctor's office or a store or a restaurant, and the identical tinny, maddening, repetitive ululations are to be heard. So, unless you are fortunate, are the same cheap and mass-produced images and pictures, from snowmen to cribs to reindeer. It becomes more than usually odious to switch on the radio and the television, because certain officially determined "themes" have been programmed into the system. Most objectionable of all, the fanatics force your children to observe the Dear Leader's birthday, and so (this being the especial hallmark of the totalitarian state) you cannot bar your own private door to the hectoring, incessant noise, but must have it literally brought home to you by your offspring. Time that is supposed to be devoted to education is devoted instead to the celebration of mythical events."Getting ready to cut and paste this shit for Slate this year, Mr Hitchens? It may be simply jealousy on my part - over the fact that people actually give you money for recycling the same self-regarding twaddle every year. But I'd like to invite him to keep his frankly adolescent musings about Christmas being like living in a one-party state to himself and fuck right off instead. This is a pre-emptive request, you understand...