And so we arrive at December, which means that Christmas will soon be upon us. This may mean family gatherings, a welcome break from work, journeys to warmer climes, or even getting ready for the sales that come afterwards. But to the press, and particularly the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail, it means just one thing - to frighten readers by reminding them they are under attack.
What the f***'s wrong with scaring the crap out of my readers, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
Yes, many of the Mail’s readers may not attend church services regularly, but they identify as Christian. So the Dacre doggies have served up plenty of frighteners, to remind them that there is a War On Christmas, and that Christians are under attack, living in fear of having their religious freedom curtailed, and even losing their jobs.
The Mail has today combined this mildly paranoid and wholly untrue storyline with its continuing adoration for Theresa May as it tells “Theresa stands up for Christmas: PM says Christians must feel free to celebrate and discuss their beliefs without fear … Prime Minister said employees should able to talk about their faith at work … Equalities watchdog said employers were victimising Christians … Businesses that unnecessarily drop Christmas references were criticised”. And there was more.
The PM, who is not unelected, “said that, in the run-up to Christmas, it was particularly important that people felt able to speak freely about their faith at work … The Equality and Human Rights Commission criticised organisations which unnecessarily drop references to Christmas and use secular phrases such as ‘Season’s Greetings’ and ‘Winterval’”.
It didn’t stop there: readers also got “Christians are 'fearful' about celebrating their faith and marking Christmas at work, a Tory MP claimed today … Fiona Bruce cited a think tank report which warned religious freedom was being eroded in Britain … Think tank ResPublica has warned teachers, magistrates and other professionals have been disciplined and sacked for living according to their beliefs”. It should be noted that the last sentence does not specify Christian beliefs.
Add to that a story off the PA wire that claims “Some Christians feel so ‘picked on’ they are too scared to speak about their faith in public, a bishop has warned … The Right Reverend Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, said some secularists ‘have a problem’ with religion being talked about”, and last weekend’s Mail On Sunday claiming “The Government’s equalities watchdog has hit out at politically correct public bodies and employers who victimise Christians because they fear offending others” and it looks truly frightening.
The reality is that there is no war on Christmas, and never was. This is the annual outing for the Mail’s version of the manufactured controversy that has been going on for years across the North Atlantic, fuelled by hosts like Bill O’Reilly at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), seeing evil intent in greetings like “Happy Holidays”. Seriously.
But the Mail has to flog papers, and Dacre needs to keep his readers scared. So no change there, then.