The Obscurer

Ex-Mas

Well we managed to get away with it for a few months, but inevitably the PC brigade finally caught up with us and banned Christmas[1] once and for all. Because yesterday, in defiance of the Great British Public, my local council realised their heinous error and removed the festive lights and decorations on Cheadle High Street which I had been enjoying for weeks, so cancelling the celebrations and any mention of them.

Here is a picture of the criminals at work, engaged in sabotage. I am sure you can feel the outrage, the sense of violation; but what the photograph can’t capture is the howls and jeers emanating from the crowd of shoppers who berated the elitist intelligentsia in the cherry-picker as they removed the lights (I say the crowd jeered; I can’t be sure since I have been nursing a seasonal cold with resulting near deafness since mid-December[5]; so I may just have heard tinnitus, or voices in my head, or indeed someone with a trolley asking me to stop blocking the pavement and get out of the fucking way. I can’t be certain; but I know what I think).

The bastard, right-on council have even forced The Christmas[2] Shop to shut for heavens sake; and it’s been selling tinselly tat for, oh, weeks now before the diversity fascists managed to move in and close it down, driving it out of business. I don’t know it’s the council who closed it, but why else would it have shut? Do you know the shop I mean? On the High Street, next to Spinks Hampsons Sayers bakers? It used to be The Fireworks Shop, until that too was forced out in November, no doubt on the order of Health & Safety Nazis.

But I know it’s not just me who is suffering as the forces of multiculturalism finally flex their muscles now that the benevolent gaze of the Daily Express has moved onto other things. Take the telly; when was the last time you heard any mention of Christmas[3] there? It’s as if it never existed. What happened to the BBC1 ident of people making a stupid big snowball to fit in with their latest fucking awful “circle” theme? When did you last see that? Exactly; not for days. So another blow is dealt to the idea of England as a Christian country.

And why are they doing all this? Why, to placate some imagined grievance on the part of some Muslims, probably. The thing is I bet most Muslims aren’t bothered in the slightest if we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I’m sure they wouldn’t complain if I bought them all a present, let’s say that! But I don’t know any Muslims.

But that’s that then, all gone with barely a whimper. Now we must prepare for the long wait until we see those first illicit mentions of Christmas[4] in 2007, before they are slammed down again by the liberal cognoscenti; but writing this in January, August seems so very, very far away.

[1] Opps; I mentioned the C-word; not allowed to say that, am I?
[2] Naughty me. I meant wintermission!
[3] Sorry, etc…
[4] Zzzzzzzz
[5] And this is me. The main consequence of my deafness, apart from my shortened temper, is the way I keep waking in the morning under the impression that the month old Quinny has managed to sleep through, only for my bleary and blood-shot eyed wife to inform me that, well, she didn’t. I owe her.

Not A Number

I was quite busy over the weekend, but other than the apparent rugby scrum of government ministers straining to condemn the hanging of Saddam Hussein (and which I feel far too world weary about to comment upon) one news story in particular caught my attention.

It was the discovery that the Prison Service doesn’t know how many inmates have absconded from open prisons. This has prompted condemnation from the media and opposition parties who say it provides further evidence that the Home Office – and Prison Service in particular – is a shambles.

Now, that well may be true, for all sorts of reasons, but my reading of this story is somewhat different. In fact all we have discovered is that the Prison Service doesn’t keep a centrally-based up-to-the-minute record of the number of absconders, and so were unable to provide precise figures to the BBC when they enquired earlier in the week. The details of current absconders are held at the local level and passed onto the police, but not aggregated at a national level because that would serve no practical purpose. However, in response to the furore, resources will be set aside to provide a central database; not to improve the running of the service but in order to accurately field media enquiries.

So what’s the point? If the Prison Service doesn’t feel the need for the data presumably they won’t refer to it and so it will be a waste of everyone’s time. I must admit, I can’t imagine it will be that difficult to find out the total number of current absconders – surely you just contact each local department for their latest figures and do a bit of addition – but if it is that easy why don’t we let the media do it for themselves, if they are really that bothered.

The main upshot of the whole affair is likely to be the creation of another time-consuming project to provide another pointless statistic leading to another distorting centralised government target that will distract the service from the actual job in hand.

Progress.