O come all ye faithful

'Santa is given the heave‑ho!' It's a case of no room at the grotto for Santa this Christmas. The Ministry of Fun, not a new government department, but Santa's employer, tells us it's so the stores can get in more shelves of Christmas goodies for us to buy ‑ even with 3 for the price of 2 I don't think so. May be with the growing compensation culture we have inherited from the States its best to have Santa out in the open so we can see what he is up to! Sad isn't it ‑ before long they will be telling us, that for the sake of cultural uniformity we can't have Santa Claus or Christmas at all, it will be banned like it was under Cromwell and the Puritans in the 17th century. After all, like smoking, and eating chips, its not good for us, spending all that money on gifts and food and drink, and getting `plastered'. The way things are going one just doesn't know what's to be next on the list of things the state tells us are not only bad for us but that we need to be banned from doing, thus taking away our basic freedom of choice.

Never mind smoking, what about all the traffic fumes and toxic chemical we all breathe in every day of our lives? Why don't M. P. s discuss that instead of spending 700 hours discussing fox hunting? Better still why don't they really do something about the health service and education, like throw some serious money at them. What's the point of spending lottery money on the arts when people can die waiting for hospital treatment?

For many life looks bleak enough as Christmas approaches, with hiked up interest rates and credit card fatigue, we need all the festive cheer we can get ‑ free visits to Santa's grotto for all, say I! Make a stand for the ghost of Christmas past, bring back all those quaint English customs, and that includes going to Church. Come and join our celebrations at Saint Augustine's this Christmas, and join us as we celebrate the birth of the boy King. Real carols and not a guitar in sight!

A truly happy Christmas you all,

Father Keith