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Home > Media

A Festival of Lies

21 November 2005

Yesterday the Sun launched its annual campaign to save Christmas. Every year, as regular as clockwork, Christmas rolls around, and every year, regular as clockwork, the Sun sets out to save it. Ironically, in indulging in this specious campaign, the Sun brings to mind the story of Mulla Nasreddin, the Muslim cleric who scattered bread crumbs in his house to ward off non-existent tigers, then boasted that his futile ritual was directly responsible for the apparent tigerlessness. The only difference being that Mulla Nasreddin was in actual fact a gifted teacher and fearless satirist, and the Sun are a bunch of mendacious self-serving cretins.

This year they have a new gimmick to ram home their singularly reactionary message that nothing about Christmas shall ever be changed for any reason whatsoever. It's called 'the CRIMBO - standing for Christmas Must Be Observed'. This is basically a play on the ASBO, and a warning that the person to whom it is served will be publicly ridiculed for having failed to satisfactorily preserve the traditions of Christmas. Traditionally of course, Christmas has an 'H' in it. No big deal really, but if the Sun want to preserve the traditions of Christmas, they could at least remember how to spell the Saviour's name, even in abbreviated bastardised form. Also, suggesting that 'Christmas *must* be observed' is hardly in keeping with the spirit of good will to all men. On the contrary, it's tantamount to fanatical coercion. More Hitler than Jesus. Indeed with this one simple idea, the Sun has done more to destroy Christmas than any amount of Muslim-friendly shopping centres or bowdlerised pantomime ever could.

Launching their campaign yesterday, the Sun boasted of their first triumph, claiming to have served their first CRIMBO on Havant Borough Council, who had apparently renamed its Christmas festivities The Festival of Lights. For the Sun this is the equivalent to replacing the Baby Jesus with Osama bin Jesus. The Sun says:

'Yesterday we swooped to issue the first CRIMBO on the bureaucrats of Havant - who immediately buckled and announced Christmas WILL go ahead in the town. Council leader David Gillett pledged: "There will be Christmas trees in Havant town centre, Christmas lights will be switched on in the precinct and a Christmas carol concert will be held."'

However, a brief glimpse at Havant Borough Council's website throws up a statement published on November 9th which includes the following sentence:

'A torch-lit procession will wend its way through the town centre streets, the Christmas tree will be illuminated and everyone will be able to enjoy a family carol concert and a fantastic firework display.'

Oh. So it wasn't the Sun what done it after all. It was the Sun what made it up. We phoned Havant Borough Council to see if there was any truth in the Sun's story at all. 'No,' we were told. Then they sent us a statement, quickly slapped together by Council leader David Gillett in response to the Sun's lies. 'Contrary to media reports Christmas is very much being celebrated in Havant this year...' he begins. 'The event is called Festival of Light simply because the main feature is an illuminated parade of schools and community groups wearing costumes on the theme of light.... The name was not chosen to avoid offending people of different cultures and faiths, as has been incorrectly reported in the press, nor was it chosen to be politically correct. Christmas was not dropped from the title of the event.'

Unfortunately, when the Sun came calling yesterday, they found a very unprepared David Gillett. So unprepared was he that he allowed them to serve him his CRIMBO and then he (rather stupidly in our opinion) posed for photos with the Sun's 'Christmas Team', including a scantily clad 'Page 3 cracker'. Gillett would have been much better advised to simply tell the Sun to fuck off.

So - sad, cynical and villainous though it clearly is - the campaign looks set to carry on. The Sun will continue to highlight, exaggerate and invent situations it feels are anti-Christmas, and will continue to claim to be saving something that is in absolutely no danger of ever, ever ending.

If you represent a council, a school or any institution expected to celebrate Christmas, we recommend you contact the Sun and tell them that the PC Brigade have insisted that Santa wear a turban this year. Then when they rush round with their cameras and their CRIMBO and their Page 3 crackers, please, just tell them to fuck off.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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