Happy jolly Christmas time! Hurrah! Snow already! Joy unbounded. But wait... what's this...? Could it be...? Yes, it's it the so-called politically correct brigade and the diversity Nazis come to spoil our fun...? Aaargh! Who will stand up for traditional British Christian loveliness in the face of the Fun Police with their evil Winterval and Season's Greetings...?
Step forward, SuperPickles. With his trusty shield made out of a Quality Street tin lid and a sword of holly and mistletoe, SuperPickles will smite those nasty anti-Christianity scum! Yaaaaay!
"We should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ.
"The War on Christmas is over, and likes of Winterval, Winter Lights and Luminous deserve to be in the dustbin of history.
SuperPickles! Fighter for truth and justice! SuperPickles! Crusader for Christianity! Putter of politically correct rubbish into the dustbin of history!
Except... you can't put things in the dustbin of history if they didn't really exist. Say it once, say it a million times, but Winterval wasn't a way of taking Christianity out of Christmas. Say it loud, say it long, say it dressed as a Christmas turkey with a giant Nativity scene stuffed up your jacksy; it doesn't matter. Faces like Pickles don't care. Just as with David Cameron's pandering to tabloid mythology over elf'n'safetygawnmad, it must've happened because, oh, something, so that's good enough! People are fighting a war on Christmas! We must stop them!
It's depressing. No-one's trying to ban Christmas, for fear of offending minorities, or anything like that. Must we go through this every single year? Oh, we must. 'Christmas is banned' is as much of a Christmas tradition as granny falling asleep in front of Where Eagles Dare after scoffing the Milk Tray, it seems. Oh well. Merry Christmas Eric Pickles, you dimwit. Goodwill to all men and all that, even if they are recycling tedious nonsense.
My fellow media blogger Kevin Arscott (of Angry Mob fame) is compiling a lengthy rebuttal to the annual Winterval drivel, so look out for that.
I find this fascinating, in lots of ways. It is what appears to be a woman, on a mobile phone, in a 1928 Charlie Chaplin film. When you look at it, you can only see it that way. Anyway, see for yourselves.
It's incredible, isn't it? Now, I have no explanation of my own. I can make guesses. I can try and work out what's going on. But the one thing I'm pretty sure about - and I'm afraid I have to disagree with the chap who first pointed this out - is that it isn't a time traveller. (Why would the woman be on a mobile phone anyway? She couldn't be talking to anyone, since there weren't phone base stations in 1928 to carry a signal - unless somehow the signal was travelling through time as well, but I find that a little far-fetched for my tastes. Would she be trying to plant proof of time travel into the past, by sticking it in a Charlie Chaplin film? Why, in an era of time travel apparently not yet discovered, would someone have what seems to be a clunky old brick-style phone rather than a microchip inserted in their brain, or something? And so on, and so on.)
What I find most fascinating of all, though, is the way in which the brain - my brain, your brain, most people's brains looking at that footage - processes what the eyes are seeing. Would we do so if we hadn't been prompted to do so by being told it was someone on a mobile phone? Probably even still. Because it just looks like something we're familiar with - the woman appears to be talking, and holding a phone up to her ear. We see this kind of thing all the time in the streets around us, so it doesn't seem that she's doing anything else. So that's what we decide she's doing, even if it's preposterous to imagine she really is.
So when you're faced with something confusing, you look for an explanation. You look for what to expect, and what seems natural - particularly if you're prompted to see it there in the first place. I think this is similar to the way in which news information can work, and the way in which organisations like the EDL, the BNP and the other fearmongerers can spread their hatred.
So if you're feeling angry, disappointed, upset, impotent, whatever, if you feel like you have no career prospects, if you feel isolated and cast adrift from society, you might look around for reasons why. Why is it all so unfair, and why are you - part of the white majority, apparently, with all the advantages that should be available to the group with the hegemony - seemingly a loser, a failure, incapable of achieving what you want? That seems somehow ridiculous, and it jars with what you've been taught about working hard and paying your taxes and everything falling into your lap. So what's gone wrong? Well, what if someone tells you that Islamists are trying to take over the country, and that everyone's looking the other way because they're too scared about offending them? What if someone tells you immigrants are taking your homes and your job prospects, and no-one does anything to stop them, because of this invisible barrier called political correctness? Suddenly that anger doesn't seem so impotent - it makes sense. No wonder you haven't got what you wanted in life; it was those pesky terrorists and their traitor/helpers who have pulled out the rug from underneath you!
Articles like the Daily Star one I wrote about yesterday in which Christmas was apparently being 'banned' for the millionth time, which received such a delighted response from some EDL members, are part of the picture. Today and tomorrow we will see articles about first names of children, which will bring up the old chestnut about Mohammeds/Muhammads apparently taking over the country and drowning everyone in a sea of Islam - articles which are so sadly predictable that you can look back at this post by me from last year to see where the agenda is coming from and where the problems lie with the cherrypicking, the failure to put things into context, and so on.
It's much more complicated than someone pointing you at what appears to be a woman on a phone in an old Charlie Chaplin film and saying "Look, it's a woman on a phone!" because this kind of pressure is coming from all angles, in all places, at all times. But how to counter it? Well, one way is to point out that the EDL is wrong to talk about Christmas being banned, as some brave souls have already done on EDL Facebook groups. Another way is to take the media to task for the inaccurate and skewed reporting, as this and other media blogs will try to do. And there are other important avenues to explore as well - not the counterproductive 'getting the white folk angry' of Phil Woolas, who is still, I remind you, a shadow minister, but a genuine attempt to try and reach out to the kind of people who are suffering from the injustices and perceived unfairness that the EDL, BNP and other groups prey on.
That last task is one for politicians, community groups and all kinds of miscellaneous others, but it's important. I know that not all possible EDL folk can be engaged with - some are out-and-out racists, wilfully ignorant, and don't care what they're told - but I think people need to try. It's one thing to just say that the myth-making about immigrants and Muslims is wrong (and it is), but that's not the whole picture; if you don't try to offer some alternative explanations for what's going on, offer some hope, offer some way of dealing with stuff other than taking to the streets under a ruddy great banner and inflaming racial tensions, then things are going to get pretty nasty pretty quickly. But who's going to step in and do that?
If no-one does, though, things are going to get worse. One national newspaper is now happy to report unquestioningly on groups like the EDL; will it stay at one, or will others follow, for easy angry newspaper-buying poll-texting readers, a whole revenue stream of racists just waiting to be tapped?
As for the woman in the Charlie Chaplin film, I really can't offer any explanation. I thought maybe she was holding on a wig, or a hat, or something like that, but the more I look at it, the more it looks like a phone. All I do know, though, is that it isn't. All I know is that much.
According to the Daily Star, those cuddly not-at-all-racists at the English Defence League are planning to 'close towns' which aren't Christian enough. How very Christian, you might think.
Mind you, this is the same Daily Star whose readers seem to comprise 98 per cent morons, if their own poll is to be believed.
[The EDL nut's] declaration comes after yesterday’s Daily Star poll found 98% of readers fear that Britain is becoming a Muslim state.
98 per cent. Ninety-eight per cent of Star readers fear that Britain is becoming a Muslim state. Now, it's easy to point to the publications of Richard Desmond - the Daily Express and Daily Star - and wonder why exactly that kind of fear might be occurring at such an alarming rate
But then again, you have to wonder. Are these publications merely reflecting their readers' views, or are they creating them? Or do they create a self-perpetuating confirmation bias in the readers? When it comes to things like online polls, are they too easily rigged?
One thing is for sure, though. The Star and Express don't take the EDL to task when it comes to perpetuating the same old "Christmas is banned" stories - because that would dismantle a whole cheery industry that pops up every year to give lazy hacks something to write about, with bonus anti-'them' points. Stories like this Christmas cracker from 2008:
CHRISTMAS and Easter have been scrubbed from a college’s calendars in case they offend non-Christians.
Last night Ms Kitching said pupils would still be celebrating Christmas. She insisted: “There has been no big plan to ban the word Christmas.”
CHRISTMAS IS BANNED (except it isn't, but shhhhhhhhh). With stories like that knocking about every time the leaves start to fall, it's no wonder that the good folk of the EDL really believe - and I'm pretty sure they really do believe - that the evil PC Brigade has indeed gone mad once again and will be BANNING CHRISTMAS for fear of upsetting THAT LOT.
Do you know, I almost feel sorry for the EDL types who hoover up that kind of crap from the likes of the Star and Express. They're looking for it, so they see it everywhere. And when they're not challenged, it creates a snowball effect, leading to stuff like this:
A FAR-RIGHT group has vowed to “close down” any town that ditches British traditions and shows favouritism to Muslims.
Well, that'll be none, then. Same as every year, ever. We all know about the Winterval myths that get recycled and embellished every year. But what if a misleading, deliberately skewed story misrepresented a town, and it suffered an 'invasion' from the EDL? Would that be all right? Would the people who wrote the rubbish walk off whistling, pleased with a good day's work?
*update* The EDL are, as you'd imagine, delighted with the coverage from the Daily Star. As one EDL blogger puts it (I won't link): "This is the first article I have read, from both the national and regional media, that hasn't been critical of the EDL." And also:
Perhaps we can expect more objective, or unbiased, articles on the EDL from the Daily Star. And if that becomes the case, I would advise EDL members to stop reading the Sun, the Mirror, the Daily Mail, etc. and start reading the Daily Star - after all, there are not many tabloids which are fair to the EDL.
Job done, Daily Star. Hold your heads high, you must be terrifically proud of yourselves. (Thanks to Press_Not_Sorry for the link)
Today's Daily Mail roars its support for the Pope's somewhat bemusing "Christmas is banned by the PC Brigade" speech of yesterday:
That sounds like a great film, by the way. "He was a Pope... in a world gone atheist... and he's only got 48 hours to save Christmas...!" - I'd go to it, anyway.
So you'd think that the paper so delighted in Il Papa's war on the War on Christmas would be pleased when shops launched their Christmas displays early - after all, that's a way to stop those pesky atheists from wrecking our Christmas traditions, isn't it? Joyful Christmas stuff, all year round! No PC Brigade butting in with their anti-Christmas evil!
With 145 days to go and the sun shining, astonished shoppers gearing up for their summer holidays were met with extraordinary scenes at Selfridges yesterday where Christmas decorations went on sale - five months early.
The move will outrage millions of people who feel the festive season already comes far too early - let alone at the height of summer before many have even taken their holidays.
But surely that's a good thing? The Pope is battling to save Christmas, for God's sake! Why should we be annoyed by Christmas being celebrated early? Isn't that just a way of expressing our battle to stop those nasty secularist scum from wrecking our joyful commemoration of Jesus's birth? No...?
A Selfridges spokesman said in this July story:
'We also have luxury items. We're going to be selling a £500 life-sized donkey, which is very realistic and we think would be perfect for Nativity plays.
'I can see a time when we offer our Christmas collection throughout the year.'
But wait... are the Mail saying it's not a good thing to be selling things for Nativity plays, explicitly celebrating the birth of Jesus? Doesn't that sound a bit like the War on Christmas to you...?
Looks like Benedict XVI had better start with those anti-Christmas Scrooges at the Mail first, if he's going to save our Winterval.
Tabloid Watch has written a stellar post tying together all the "politically correct brigade want to ban Christmas for fear of upsetting someone or other" nonsense emanating from the Pope's silliness about wanting to protect Christmas. It seems that no matter how many times you point out that there was no anti-Christmas 'Winterval' celebration in Birmingham, people don't want to believe that; they want to believe that Christmas really was banned by the PC Brigade.
I don't know how the Pope managed to get such a strange view of Britain - a land of aggressively secular atheists grumbling about wanting to ban crucifixes and Christmas, who marginalise Christmas so much that it lasts from fucking August till January, who hate religion so much that the Pope's visit is all over every newspaper and broadcast live on TV, leading every single news bulletin. I can only imagine times were tight at the Vatican.
"Right, I'd better get some reading material to prepare me for my visit to Britain. I don't want to look like some out-of-touch, slightly sinister old duffer who doesn't really have a fucking clue about what's going on in the places where I go. Cardinal, bring me the finest newspapers from the United Kingdom!"
"But, your holiness, I know you're infallible and all that, but we've got to make cutbacks. Perhaps we could just buy one newspaper and do with that. How about we just look at one copy of the Daily Mail? That's meant to be quite good. I'm sure that'll be representative of what's going on in Britain and won't distort everything out of all recognition."
"Oh, all right. Kasper seems to like it. He keeps telling me about this man called Littlejohn I should make into a saint..."
We can argue about whether God exists or not, but it's hard to disprove something if it doesn't exist - which brings me to the PC Brigade. It's such a marvellous modern-day myth that you can see why even supposedly learned people like Ratzinger have been sucked in. For a lot of people, it presses all the right buttons. Here's this bunch of people secretly running the country, but never announcing themselves, a liberal elite who hate the traditional values that made this country great, who hate middle-class white heterosexual males specifically but everything decent and traditional in general, who force people to hide their faith and religion, force people to stop celebrating Christmas, force everyone into a Cromwell-style fun vacuum.
It's bollocks, of course, but it's an inviting myth. Of course the evidence doesn't prove it at all - already the shops are piling up with Christmas tat, and there'll be wall to wall Christmas this, that and the other by the end of September. (I happen to like Christmas, even though I'm not religious, so I'm kind of looking forward to it all.) People will be as free as ever to express their faith and no-one's going to stop them in the slightest, and that is how it should be.
But the odd anecdote will start to slip out. Some office somewhere couldn't put up decorations - for fear of upsetting Muslims! Someone was told they couldn't worship Jesus Christ by putting an 80ft inflatable Homer Simpson on top of their Mini Metro - because the evil PC Brigade want to stamp out Christianity! Someone says that there aren't enough Christmas decorations in some public sector building (at a time of cutbacks and looming redundancies, wonder why on earth they aren't splashing out on Yuletide jollity?) - because of the Winterval nutters! And so on, and so on. I don't know why, but I had kind of thought that the Pope might be more intelligent than to think these kind of things exist. Now he's gone and pandered to the PC Brigade bullshit, though, it's a green light for the tabloids to trot out the same old drivel, regardless of whether it's true or not.
Those "Christmas is banned" stories really do get earlier every year...
The rapid spread of the folk tale about England shirts being banned (or not, as it turns out, as we learned yesterday) is intriguing to watch - and it has a bearing on why politicians are so worried about immigration.
How does advice from some cops in Croydon, for pubs to consider dress codes and the possible barring of people in football tops (not England tops, but football tops) become WE CAN'T WEAR ENGLAND SHIRTS IN OUR OWN COUNTRY BECAUSE IT OFFENDS PEOPLE IN BURKAS, BUT WE CAN'T TELL THEM WHAT TO WEAR BECAUSE OF POLITICALCORRECTNESS(GONEMAD)?
We've seen so many tales down the years. When people are told, for example, that you can't buy bent bananas because of the EU, or that people have been banned from flying flags for fear of upsetting minorities, or Baa Baa Black Sheep has been banned for fear of upsetting Muslims, or Winterval has been created because people didn't want to upset immigrants, or you can't use a hammer without a crash helmet because of health and safety, or you're told that immigrants have taken ALL OUR JOBS (and they go straight to the front of the housing queue), or that Romanians stole a man's house, but no-one could do anything about it because of political correctness... and so on and so on... then that becomes the defining structure of our popular mythology, whether it's a newspaper doing the storytelling round the campfire for us or some bloke down the pub. It doesn't matter. We know what the stories are and how they work.
I don't want to get too Claude Levi-Strauss about this, but you can boil a lot of these Littlejohnian "Youcouldn'tmakeitup" stories down to their ingredients and see how they are made up, and how the narrative works. It usually goes a bit like this. Some villain (the PC Brigade, the EU, a liberal judge, the health and safety Stasi, diversity Nazis etc) has decided that unfairness must happen contrary to natural justice and common sense (you can't get the job you've applied for and are entitled to, you can't buy bendy bananas, a criminal should be given a free telly and sent on holiday to Disneyland, you can't use Pritt Stick without fire-proof gloves and a hi-vis jacket, we must call Christmas Winterval so that Muslims aren't upset) and there's nothing we can do about it (Labour created the Yuman Rites Act, Ted Heath signed our rights away, the liberal intelligentsia are dominating all our institutions, red tape is beloved by our Jobsworth culture, we bend over backwards for immigrants even though they're the ones who are trying to bomb us).
So when confronted with the truth of the England shirt story, it doesn't quite work. Not yet. But it presses some hot buttons straight away, appealing to people's sense of national pride, patriotism and excitement about the forthcoming World Cup and England's chances in it - how dare they say we can't wear our shirts? So forget PC Plod sending round a memo - PC Plod becomes the PC Brigade. Cops aren't as good a villain as the faceless strawman; and what's even better is that no-one can deny it, because there isn't an official spokesperson for the 'Diversity Nazis'. Forget, also, it being about keeping rival club fans apart when gathered together to get drunk and be surrounded by lots of glass at an occasion on which huge disappointment and dramatic anger could be brought about (what on earth could possibly go wrong there?) - it must be because it might offend minorities. We have the villain going against natural justice and common sense, and there's nothing we can do about it - well because it's not true; but that can become, for the purposes of the anger-mongering tale, the idea that we can't do anything because it's just been decided, and there's no-one to complain to, and we should just get angry (how? at whom? I don't know, let's just get angry!) to stop it from becoming reality.
The 'England shirt ban' story works and has become so popular because it fits the narrative arc that people have learned from reading story after story about race, asylum and immigration through the years - stories which haven't always been challenged as effectively as they might have been, particularly by the politicians who were in the best position to do so. When did a politician challenge myths about asylum seekers stealing houses from locals? And why didn't they? So much easier to ignore those difficult questions about why there aren't enough social housing units to go around, why people can't get the jobs they want, why people are trapped in cycles of near-poverty, why people can't get jobs because the prevailing economic paradigms of the day say that full employment is a distant reality, why the banks failed even though they were backed to the hilt by all political parties.
That failure to challenge these assumptions led to people accepting the myths as fact; that meant that immigration became a bigger issue during the election campaign than it really ought to have been on merit; that has now led to many defeated Labour wound-lickers claiming that it was 'arriving late to the party' on (anti) immigration that meant they were fighting a losing battle with voters. Again, if you're in a tight spot, blame immigration. It's a stance that has left a lot of people on the left frustrated and despairing about why Labour are doing this, and understandably so.
New Labour are trying to create a myth themselves - one in which it wasn't their illiberal policies through the years, the wars, the authoritarianism, the desire to imprison people without trial for 90 days, then 42, then 28, the collusion in torture, which turned off voters. No, they weren't tough enough on immigrants, which meant they weren't trusted enough, and when they did finally do exactly what the screamsheets like the Mail and Express had demanded, and brought in attack-dog Phil Woolas to bark like Derek Beackon, it was too little too late. Gordon Brown got harangued by a not-bigot who asked "Where have all these Eastern Europeans come from?" and looked bad for calling a bigot a bigot.
But I don't think that's the case at all. I think New Labour's pandering to immigration mythology, and subsequent attempts to create a myth of their own, are damaging in two ways. Firstly, they're still not challenging the anti-immigration narratives. Is it really the case that people can't get council houses because of immigrants, for example, or are there other factors they'd prefer not to talk about - but should - including a chronic lack of supply at local and national level? Is it true that resources are stretched by immigration, or are they stretched for other reasons? What kind of dialogue does Labour really want with the grassroots - an honest one, or one in which they seek to stigmatise one over-stigmatised section of the community?
Did the immigration policy really matter that much? 'Bigotgate' might have given everyone a tremendous titter, but as one poll that the Sun decided not to publish showed, it may not have had as huge an effect as some people would like us to believe. Are people right to worry about immigration, and if they're not, what should Labour do? Go along with them anyway, because it's easier? Throw up their hands and admit that the tabloids will always push an anti-immigration agenda? Or challenge the lies and the myths? The thing is, Phil Woolas's policies and the points system were for nothing. Labour was already seen as a soft touch, whether it's true or not, and that's how it stayed.
As Mark Easton wrote this week, it's already the case that some sectors can't find the skilled workers they need because of the points system that New Labour brought in. That's before the Coalition's immigration cap comes in. Easy to say that 'indigenous' workers on the dole should fill the gap; not so easy to get people trained up into skilled roles, move home to do so, and find the money to pay for it. But that's what we're left with, because the shouting voices of prejudice have won the argument. Anti-immigration is the only show in town.
All the stories - both in the papers and from 'a friend of a friend' like the Facebook tale - have produced a patchwork narrative in which time after time we're told that immigrants are siphoning off benefits despite contributing very little, that 'we' taxpayers have got to fund it, and no-one can do anything about this except bend over backwards. It gets people angry, which is why, when they hear they're getting their national team's shirts banned, it must be something to do with immigrants, who are on benefits... and so on, and so on.
If Labour doesn't want to challenge these myths, fine. If it wants to think that it lost the election because it wasn't tough enough on immigration, fine. But they'll have a pretty stinging smack in the face coming when they have a re-brand with added Woolas-style dogwhistles but don't get anywhere. They had the chance to challenge the myths, but instead they're making myths of their own. And that's a massive mistake.
I was thinking after this morning's post that there's a missing market for Christmas cards - disgruntled Mail reader types who are annoyed with the lack of traditional imagery and imagine it's the fault of the ever-present evils of the PC Brigade.
The comments have arrived on the PC Dave story, and as you'll see, as predicted most of them didn't bother to read any of it before adding their 1p's worth:
So using a well-known greetings card company, I've come up with a couple of ideas - see what you think.
I'm sure others can do better than me. But it's a start.
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.