Report to the People
8th December 2003
The MSPs who Stole Christmas
that’s it. Get that tinsel down,
put those mince pies back in the box and take Bing Crosby off the stereo.
Christmas, as everyone knows by now, has been cancelled.
the resident expert in any pub, hairdresser’s or bus queue will tell you, the
Scottish Parliament has decided, in the interests of political correctness, to
make Christmas less, well, Christmassy. Nativity
plays will be replaced with “mid-winter festival pageants.” Christmas
trees will be renamed “the unsound fruits of ecological vandalism.”
And the lyrics of festive favourites such as “I’m Dreaming of a White
Christmas” are to be changed. (Although
one wonders what to. “Black
Christmas” might also be seen as offensive. And
orange (sectarian), red (anti-communist), pink (homophobic), green (sectarian
again) and grey (ageist) all have their own problems.)
I am told, is an outrage, a disgrace and an attack on the fundamental principles
of our community.
also complete nonsense.
wild gossip about MSPs “stealing Christmas” which has been doing the rounds
over the last few weeks stems from press reports that, for fear of offending
non-Christians, we had been banned from using the phrase “Merry Christmas”
in our official Christmas cards.
even that isn’t true.
no stage has the Scottish Parliament censored the phrase “Merry Christmas.” The
fact is that the Parliament has a choice of official cards which MSPs can send.
One has a scenic view of Edinburgh and bears the inscription
“Seasons Greetings” in English and a Gaelic message which translates, I’m
told by my good friend and MSP for the Western Isles, Alasdair Morrison, as
“Merry Christmas.” The second
card shows the Scottish Parliament logo and wishes the recipient “a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year” both in English and Gaelic.
as a member of the Parliament's Corporate Body, which ultimately oversees such
grave matters, I know first hand that there was never any discussion of making
our Christmas cards more “politically correct.” Indeed, had there been
any such move, I would have objected strongly.
of this, of course, stopped certain politicians and certain sections of the
press making a good story out of it. But
I suppose they need to make a living and, as we’re about to the enter the
season of goodwill, I shouldn’t hold it against them.
I won’t run the risk of offending them by sending them a Christmas card.
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