Poor old David Cameron. Well I say 'poor old David Cameron' but he's neither poor nor old, and I don't really have a great deal of sympathy for him, given what he's probably about to do to the country I live in and the people who live here. On the other hand, while I can't agree with a lot of his policies, I do think he is trying to make the Conservative party a bit more socially liberal (in public at least), in step with the population of Britain rather than pandering to the "bring back the birch" grassroots grumpies.
Which infuriates the socially neanderthal. You knew where you stood with Thatcher, they moan: she brought extreme right-wing economics and spectacularly backward thinking on all social issues. Cameron has the economics bit but doesn't appear to have a cruel streak for minorities or think that everything would be better if it just reverted to the 1950s; he doesn't want to punish the vulnerable for perceived 'loony left' favouritism. This annoys them. They want both aspects in the Conservative Party, and it would appear they're not going to get it if Cameron is elected (though we will of course see if that's the case).
So even when Cameron does something as ordinary as saying 'Season's Greetings' in the official Conservative Party Christmas card, the backlash begins. It begins in the newspaper you'd expect, as well:
Note the subtle power implication of that headline. It's not PC Dave being ridiculously inclusive by not putting a ruddy great cross and bleeding Jesus on the front of his card saying "Pray for forgiveness now or you shall DIE oh and Merry Christmas if you like"; it's actually that David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, is not powerful enough to defeat the spectral PC Brigade and so therefore has to pander to them.
Which is nonsense. He's a grown man and he can decide what he wants in his Christmas cards. No PC Brigade foot soldier is standing there in Cameron's study holding a revolver to his wife's head saying: "We want something that won't offend people of other faiths, Mr Cameron, or she gets it." No. But you see how the spectral PC Brigade is such a brilliant construction. Somehow they are responsible for other people's decisions; they're so scary and so omnipotent that they can force people into pandering to their views, whether they want to or not.
But then you look a little further into the Mail story and you realise just what is going on here. It's not David Cameron's Christmas cards at all:
The Christmas cards, which are available on the party's website, avoid all religious imagery - preferring generic winter scenes and pictures of robins to pictures of Jesus and the Three Kings.
(I'd love to think that's because the Conservative Party realises it never fucking happened, but I don't think so.) So the Tories are producing nice Christmas cards showing traditional British winter scenes - so what? What's wrong with that in the slightest? I couldn't give a shit how they raise their money; they won't be getting any from me. And Cameron probably hasn't been involved at any stage, at any time, so whether it goes against something he said two years ago is entirely irrelevant. This is just another example of the usual concoction of outrage. Ring up a couple of rent-a-quote idiots on the back benches and whip up the outrage:
Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, said: 'If this decision has been made on a PC basis it would be totally unacceptable and I would be extremely saddened.
'This kind of pandering to extreme elements of the PC brigade is not something I
would envisage from the Conservative Party. I have yet to meet anyone of any religion who is offended by people in this country celebrating Christmas.
But not all Christmas cards do have Jesus or the Three Kings on them. Not everyone is religious. Which isn't to say people don't celebrate; just that not everyone believes in the little baby in a manger surrounded by nice-looking donkeys. I don't, but I still send Christmas cards with winter stuff on them - why not? Why should non-religious Tory supporters be forced into sending cards with a particularly religious message? Don't these people understand that corporate branding means you can't just go associating yourselves with one particular faith - many Conservative supporters are surely satanists, for example. What about them?
Last night, red-faced Tory officials were forced to announce a U-turn after being contacted by the Daily Mail.
A spokesman said: 'Due to an oversight, the cards available from our online shop currently have the words "Season's Greetings", but we have now added new stock with the words "Merry Christmas".'
But still no pictures of the shepherds, the big star, the snow in Bethlehem, the cow mooing as Mary pops the holy infant whizzing out through her hymen... this is still PC gone mad if you ask me! And don't you worry, the readers who comment on this story (they're still asleep, dreaming of vigilante justice and Enoch Powell) throughout the day won't have read down to that bit anyway. They know what's required of them on this story.