Saturday, 24 December 2011


Due to far too much Christmas Spirit and even more festivities and family visits approaching I rely this year on Lefty Lucy from the "Ask a Socialist" website for providing me with a Xmas message for the blog.

Merry Christmas one and all, see you in the new year which promises to be truly awful, and for my own plagiarised contribution to proceedings After Lucy's great piece on Xmas below I have left you with an only slightly updated version of that infamous Kinnock Speech to preview with trepidation the year ahead of us

Do you hear what I hear? It’s the socialist messages of Christmas 

On the surface, Christmas appears to be an overblown capitalist orgy. Starting as early as October, we’re told to spend, spend, spend. But I’m here to tell you about the Socialist messages that have been smuggled into the Yuletide season. Yes, Christmas is just a delicious, sugar-sprinkled part of the Communist conspiracy.

Christmas history: A primer

Due to the inevitable cross-pollination that comes with colonialism, most of the modern Christmas traditions have their roots in pagan customs. Like Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival which permitted slaves and servants to dine with their masters. It was topsy-turvy day, when you could flout power dynamics and class codes. The social contract was formally abandoned for one night to allow raucous merrymaking among the underclasses. It was sort of the precursor to office holiday parties where you’re allowed to get drunk on egg nog and make fun of your boss.

Caroling can be traced back to the Mummers rituals of old Europe. Somewhere around Solstice time, villagers would travel from house to house, performing songs, dances, and pantomimes in exchange for food or money. They occupied each dwelling in the neighborhood with their drum circles and chants, in a lighthearted, insistent demand for cake and wassail.

"Profiting King Wenceslas" would not make a very good song.

It seems that the classic aspects of the holiday season were born out of traditions of empowering the poor. Don’t tell Goldman Sachs! Then there’s all the messages of caring, sharing and peace on earth. Not exactly the stuff of imperialist profits.

Scrooge is a reformed Capitalist who promises to share the wealth with human and Muppet alike. 
But the greatest purveyor of leftist ideals, the most radical agitator of them all, is Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. If you listen to those Bing Crosby tunes, you’ll learn that Santa, like time, is apparently the great equalizer. He brings glad tidings and gifts to all. According to one song, “he doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, for he loves you just the same.” But I know his heart’s really with the 99%. He wears red from head to toe. He redistributes the wealth, chimney by chimney. He bears a striking resemblance to Karl Marx. And those North Pole elves are probably unionized in a worker collective.

Dreaming of a Red Christmas

Amidst the clanging consumerist bells of Christmas at the mall, there persists a reminder to care for the less fortunate and to extend goodwill to everyone, especially those who are most in need. So as the lefties that we are, let’s take the charitable spirit of the season a step further and think of how we can build a world where nobody needs to depend on individual charity, where not a creature is stirring in the shelters, bunkers, or prisons, because we’ve managed to put an end to war and poverty.

It’s a fantastical dream, but custom allows it this time of year. Let’s dream of a red Christmas. We can be like the holdouts of all the raided Occupy encampments, braving the winter cold because we want social justice and “we won’t go until we get some.”

A new year warning

If David Cameron continues as Prime Minister for another year then, I warn you

I warn you that you will have pain–when healing and relief depend upon payment.

I warn you that you will have ignorance–when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right.

I warn you that you will have poverty–when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay.

I warn you that you will be cold–when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.

I warn you that you must not expect work–when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies.

I warn you not to go into Northampton's darkened streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light.

I warn you that you will be quiet–when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.

I warn you that you will have defence of a sort–with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding.

I warn you that you will be home-bound–when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up

I warn you that you will borrow less–when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.

If Cameron and Clegg continue in this Con Dem Coalition then–

- I warn you not to be ordinary

- I warn you not to be young

- I warn you not to fall ill

- I warn you not to get old.


  1. It is Neil Kinnock though...

  2. Sure is, only he was talking about Thatcher, not Thatchers child and his little wannabee

  3. Running your own business can make you see the scrooge side of things. One of my clients said he hated Christmas because everyone goes on holiday for a week. But I think people need a break and that is what Christmas is all about.

  4. Thanks Micheal, I help my brother with his business and I run a local charity so I appreciate the pressures placed on us all to work ourselves into the ground, but as is often said life has no dress rehearsal and we must always remember to take time out to enjoy it and to help others do the same. Perhaps the most well known socialist not mentioned above but even more associated with Christmas was Jesus himself, and I remember him saying something about rich men, camels and the eye of a needle?

  5. How incredibly depressing.

    It always makes me smile when the left talks about Christmas having its roots in paganism. Nonsense. The clue is in the name Christ-mass (Mass of Christ - get it?) I dont think anyone anywhere is trying to push Santa, Christmas Trees and presents as part of the christian festival side of things.

    As much as its good to hear differing views, it would be nice to read of some solutions to the problems we face rather then just listing the bad things (probably why Neil Kinnock never got into No 10) so lets hear some but please keep away from:

    a) its the fault of capitalism
    b) the answer is (i) tax the rich and (ii) get rid of main political parties and vote independent.
    c)keep Northampton market alive

    Over to you ....

  6. St James Socialist5 January 2012 at 14:35

    The problem with the socialist approach set out here Tony is that no one really wants it.

    It reads well on paper but come the ballot box people simply don't vote for it. Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock for example were good men but never got close to winning over the people they needed too. That includes the recent local elections in Northampton too.

    It is either the lack of communication skills or they just say silly things. Look at Diane Abbott today. Niave (bad spelling) at best, inept at worse.

    The left have to find a way to communicate what they believe - or is it just people dont want it?

  7. CastleWardMafia how long have you got?

    How about a proper programme for growth?

    How about we spend less on Trident and more on public employees (including the armed forces)instead of sacking them and adding to the dole queue?

    How about a bit of proper quantitive easing aimed at funding a public housebuilding programme rather than simply giving more money to the banks on the pretense that they are lending it to anybody?

    How about we get some of the biggest blue chip companies in Britain to actually pay their taxes?

    How about we stop borrowing billions more than the last government simply to pay an escalating unemployment and benefit bill and put people to work earning, paying tax and spending?

    St James Socialist if only we had the same air time, press coverage, etc, but this is Britain, a capitalist stronghold, but it doesn't make the solution wrong simply because the masses have not yet woken up to whats being done to them.

    As for Diane Abbott, that's why I don't like twitter! too few words too much room for misinterpretation. Historicly she was right The white nations over the ages have used divide and rule to suit their own imperialistic ambitions, but out of context and without qualification it just gifted the far right the opportunity to accuse her of racism. She apologised, but I felt that was forced and sad that she was not able instead to explain her view. So much for a free press.

    As for what people want? Big Macs and X Factor I guess? but that doesn't make it right or sustainable once the markets start crashing around our ears.

  8. Thanks for getting back to me Tony - the only problem you prove my point.

    Trident - the only party that advocated getting rid of it was the Lib Dems who polled abysmally.

    Blue chip companies paying more tax - 'tax the rich' is a nice slogan for Abington Street on a Saturday morning but has very little substance to it and very little support.

    Think you have lost your way on the quantative easing thing - you can't print money to build houses with. It just doesnt work like that.

    Put people to work? Please dont tell me this is another 'grow the public service' plea?

    I need some new ideas to deal with the problems of UK plc - not something out of 'Karl Marx writes ...'




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