Whilst Chelsea limp to their title defence, Jose Mourinho complains that the bus he so frequently parks isn’t expensive enough, and Arsenal continue to stagnate, things are looking a lot more positive at Anfield, and not just because of the recent record-breaking capture of Virgil van Dijk.
Despite the criticisms, the greed, the gluttony, and the rampant expenditure on unwanted or short-lived items, Christmas in the 21st century can still serve a purpose.
Though there are many aspects of a modern Christmas which are unappealing, and at times even damaging, it does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon, and for that reason, rather than fighting the festive mood, it may be best to embrace and subvert it.
What we now see as Christmas, the stress and struggle of buying presents, the financial hardship that inevitably follows a busy December period, the feasting on food and alcohol, it is not how it always was, and thus is not how it always has to be.
Recently, much has been made of the proposal to lower the voting age to 16, but what would happen if, instead of having a lower barrier to enter, you had a ceiling to cap it instead.
Interestingly, such a suggestion came from the irreplaceable Jeremy Paxman, in an article for the Financial Times in late November.
The article is entitled: “cull the grey vote – it is an affront to democracy” and is a surprising line to take by a man that is openly a Conservative voter.
A few days ago I finally got round to reading a book that has been on my To Read List for quite some time. The book is not particularly political so I was quite surprised to see the following paragraphs in the opening few pages.
(Please pardon the mass use of bold. It was the only obvious way to distinguish the book extract from my own words)
“… Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. Ensure a strong national defense, prevent the spread of communism in Central America, work for a Middle East peace settlement, prevent US military involvement overseas. We have to ensure that America is a respected world power. Now that’s not to belittle our domestic problems, which are equally important, if not more. Better and more affordable long-term care for the elderly, control and find a cure for the AIDS epidemic, clean up environmental damage from toxic waste and pollution, improve the quality of primary and secondary education, strengthen laws to crack down on crime and illegal drugs. We also have to ensure that college education is affordable for the middle class and protect Social Security for senior citizens plus conserve natural resources and wilderness areas and reduce the influence of political action committees…