I have always quite liked Scrooge before he went all wet and sissy and started buying turkeys that were too big to roast in time. (I mean when did the Cratchits actually get round to eating that bird?)
Several things have always struck me as interesting about that book, apart from the stunning writing. One is that it is a very fine example of Dickens's usual inability to understand that wealth is created by people who work. He really hated the idea of people being employed. They are always miserable and the bosses are either complete slave-drivers or they do not require their subordinates to do anything at all. Clearly in those days HR management was less well developed but our Victoria forefathers (and mothers) created an economic wealth that was the bedrock of the 20th century advances that we have all enjoyed.
Secondly, it seems that in the far more religious Victorian age Christmas day was not silent with everything that could be, closed. You could buy a turkey and you could get it roasted at the local bakery, though there is some talk in the novel of the kill-joys wanting to close down the latter. Well, they have succeeded.
Thirdly, one cannot help wondering why Bob Cratchit doesn't get a better job or stop having children or both. The truth is that he is no more responsible than Mr Micawber and considerably less entertaining. A bit of self empowerment would perhaps help!
Anyway much can be forgiven a writer who can start a novel with the words "Marley was dead. Dead as a doornail."Well, there we are. I have done my share of bah-humbugging, well almost!
Next year will be difficult for many a point that was highlighted by nany newspapers yesterday, on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, they reminded us ''Recession will be worse than forecast''.
That the economic resession will be deep and long is very certain though I had to control my temper when further I read: ''Experts at the Royal Bank of Scotland said more than 400,000 jobs could be lost the first three months of 2009''. That indeed would be the worst rise in unemployment over a quarter since 1980. Those same experts who now only retain their highly (over) paid jobs at the expense of the British taxpayer were unable or unwilling to announce in advance that the actions of their greedy incompetent bosses would contribute in a large part to the economic recession that will continue to cause misery on many of their customers.
Those corporate clowns (so called experts and executive bankers) at the RBS/Nat West Group who are typical of so many corporate employees that are apart of the economic ills of the western world. Nothing short of a spell of working in the reality end of business (small business) as soon as possible in the new year will introduce them to the reality of the business world.
It goes without saying that Christmas is supposed to be the time of peace and goodwill to all people (though corpoarte clowns must be an exception) even if the divorce rate soars after the holiday.
Christmas is also supposed to be a time of reflection, and a break from the more worldly things - even if more people are expected to log on today for on-line shopping than attend a religious ceremony.
It is also a day off for many, although for too many it is just one day in a period of enforced idleness, with many companies extending their breaks for a month in order to cut costs and stock inventories, necessitated by the recession.
Christmas is not what it once was. From a celebration of new beginnings – perhaps – it has become nothing more than a temporary cessation of hostilities, since in many ways that is how the business world has become, hostile.
Christmas is a time when 'the enemy' has taken some days off. However, there is a good precedent for that, as pictured above, with the 1914 unofficial truce in the trenches. Basically, what that amounted to was a day off from trying to kill each other. For that reason alone, it would be nice to have 365 Christmas days in each year – or even for just one year – when humanity collectively decided to take a break from killing or even excessivly aggressive attitudes.
To those who risk their lives on our behalf ever day , the Men and Women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces Forces as well as the Civilian Servives they deserve at least one thought from us today. Today is the anniversary of that day when, 94 years ago, their predecessors spontaneously decided they should take a break from conflict in the bleak trenches of northern France.
A very Merry Christmas to all our readers, may your God and if it is possible also your loved ones be with you.