“The last thing I want is to be a Scrooge” observes Dan, Dan The Oratory Man in his Boxing Day offering to those inhabiting the bear pit that is Maily Telegraph blogland, before suggesting that to be a Scrooge is in fact A Very Good Thing. “This practice of treating the period between Christmas and New Year as a semi-official holiday is one that has crept up on us during my working life” he continues.
Hannan has clearly never worked in civil engineering and construction, where whole industries have closed down over Christmas and New Year for decades, partly because much of their workforce has traditionally hailed from Scotland and Ireland, and this is the one time of the year that those workers can get some time with their extended families and recharge their batteries.
He suggests that firms Stateside don’t even take Boxing Day off, but those who work in US-owned enterprises in the facilities and outsourcing areas will know that here, too, it is increasingly the norm to enforce a shutdown at the end of December, especially for contract and freelance workers, as the lack of demand means a saving as these people only get paid for hours worked.
Moreover, those of a right leaning and libertarian persuasion – the favoured territory of Hannan and his ilk – don’t appear to want to do as he suggests. For starters, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has not posted any new content on its website since Tuesday December 20, suggesting that its work ethic is even less strict than the picture painted by Dan, although I suspect there is a pundit on standby.
And over at the Adam Smith Institute, that museum of outdated economic thought that has fraudulently appropriated the name of the founder of economics, there is little activity save for the tortured witterings of one Tim Worstall – so keen that he has located himself as close to Smith’s home town of Kircaldy as southern Portugal – who sounds like he is reading a book with no pictures in it.
It’s not much better at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the almost obstinately Conservative Astroturf lobby group which inhabits a similar mindset to the TPA, where there has been no obvious activity since December 23. Likewise, the Thatcher favourite Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) has no news items since December 20, although some blog posts have been added over the holiday.
And at Policy Exchange, supposedly Young Dave’s favourite think-tank until Tim Leunig’s suggestion that everyone in the north should move to London, there have been no new news items since December 15. Reform don’t manage much better, with no obviously new items on view, and a last Twitter entry from as far back as December 16.
Perhaps Dan could start his crusade with his non-productive pals?