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Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

I remember a few years ago when Birmingham City Council decided to rename Christmas as 'Winterval' so as not to offend non-Christian minorities. The real reason was probably to save money by combining Christmas and Diwali celebrations (and to be fair, a big chunk of their tax revenue comes from Hindus and Sikhs).

Nobody liked it, least of all the minorities who were quite angry that their council though they would have anything against Christmas.

The Institute for Public Policy Research always seek to up their profile by coming out with shockingly radical headline-grabbing ideas. This at the same time that the UK government are talking about how to strengthen English/British identity.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

I've never felt particularly English - certainly not when you think the population of Britain as a whole is rather just a mongrelled mix of what's available in Western Europe. This is what, I presume, makes it that bit easier for some of us to expatriate ourselves.

I find it refreshing that Poland doesn't have the tax revenue to waste on ridiculous simpering offices like this "Institute of Public Policy Research"

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

I suppose they get people thinking. Even if it's only to disagree with them!

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

Social engineering at its worst. This is precisely what happens when you have a bunch of overfunded paper pushers with too much time on their hands.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

Christmas is a national institution and for many Brits has little to do with religion and everything to do with tradition and custom.

For the same reasons it has been taken to the hearts of non Christian minorities. I think minorities protested in the brummie case for this reason. They like to celebrate Christmas too and many hindus and moslems have a tree and presents so their kids don't miss out.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

"Social engineering at its worst. This is precisely what happens when you have a bunch of overfunded paper pushers with too much time on their hands."

I agree

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

Hey - don't knock paper pushers.
I make a living out of it!!

Beats the hell out of digging holes.

Did I really see my wife froth at the mouth when I told her this story? Or was it just her choking on her cornflakes? She threatened me with a 10 year subscription to the Daily Mail - things have got truly bad.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

You work for the government Varsovian?

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

Did I really see my wife froth at the mouth when I told her this story? Or was it just her choking on her cornflakes? She threatened me with a 10 year subscription to the Daily Mail - things have got truly bad.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

No - I get paid money to make it look like some Poles can write perfect, professional English. Work time organisation is similar to that of soldiers at war - hours of boredom followed by intense activity any time of night or day.
Perfect job for surfing the net.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

Anyway, there's more to this Christmas story than you may think.
It goes like this:
i) Introduce a 2 semester system, with a shortened Christmas and a fixed near-to-Easter break,
ii) Lengthen the school year to "make better use of school resources" and to ensure state-school access to private schools' facilities,
iii) Abolish half-terms
iv) Introduce more public holidays (mostly summertime), to take place on Mondays.

That way, kids and teachers will almost never get out of school - think childcare in the holidays - but we'll all be able to have long weekends in traffic jams.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

Britain's Escalating War on Christianity


The war being waged by the quasi-establishment and quasi-government
Left in Britain against the nation's own traditions, values,
identity and, perhaps most of all, religion, has been escalated and
its battle-lines redefined with a report by a leading Labour Party-
aligned think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research,
recommending that Christmas, which cannot be obliterated, should be
down-graded to promote multiculturalism.

The report says that because it would be hard to "expunge" Christmas
from the national calendar (although this would apparently be
desirable), public organizations must be made to give non-Christian
religious festivals equal footing.

Now, the Institute is not some unimportant relic of communist days
clinging to existence in a squalid slum attic. On the contrary, it
has very close links with the government. The report was
commissioned when Nick Pearce, now head of public policy in the
Prime Minister's Office, was its director. He was described in an
interview on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's "Sunday
Profile" recently as "One of the leading policy-makers in Great
Britain." Before heading the IPPR he was a special advisor to Labour
Home Secretary David Blunkett. It is credited with having shaped
many Labour policies, including the institution of compulsory
identity cards, litter-bin taxes and road pricing. It is described
as one of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's favorite think tanks.

In October IPPR became the first ever think-thank to win the
Prospect magazine "Think-Tank of the Year" Award for the second
time. IPPR Co-Director Lisa Harker was presented with the award by
Schools Secretary Ed Balls MP at a ceremony in the Great Hall at
King's College. In other words the IPPR has top government
connections and is taken seriously.

The report's recommendations are probably the most radical that have
been made so far by a body with real political influence for the
destruction of Britain's Christian identity and historic culture.

However, the thrust of its recommendations are really nothing new,
and are squarely in line with concerted and unremitting
political/culture-war attacks on Christianity and Britain's historic
identity which have been going on for at least a decade, not at the
level of national Parliamentary government, where an electorate
might show its displeasure, but in a shadowy, Gramscian way at quasi-
govnmental level and in localized areas with entrenched Labour/left
control of councils, Parliamentary seats and other institutions.

Last year it emerged that three out of four employers were no longer
putting up Christmas decorations in the workplace for fear of
offending political correctness policing, and as I wrote recently
Christmas lights are disappearing from High Streets, ostensibly
because of the cost of complying with the expanding torrent of
health and safety regulations as well as because of enforced
political correctness. However, attempts to rename
Christmas "Winterval" and/or to remove Easter from the calendar by
some local authorities a few years ago were dropped in the face of
public protests and defiance.

The report proposes Christening services be replaced by "birth
ceremonies" in which the parents of children and the State agree
to "work in partnership" to raise children, and that action is taken
to "ensure access" by "ethnic minorities" to the countryside which
so far remains largely populated by British people. (How? Are they
to be shipped forcibly into Vietnamese-style New Economic zones?)
The apparent motivation for this is a determination to ensure that
nothing of traditional British identity remains. It seems typical of
the "soft totalitarianism" that has never been far below the surface
in the Britain of New Labour.

The report also proposes an end to "sectarian" religious education --
it is hard to know what this means, or whether it is proposed to go
as far as actually banning Christian schools, but it seems likely
that it at least means that government support for religious schools
would be banned (despite the fact that, apart from anything else,
many religious schools provide a far better, and now physically
safer, education than many of Britain's ghastly sink-
comprehensives). The national flag, the Union Jack, which is made up
of the crosses of three Christian Saints, should lose its position.

It says that: "If we are going to continue as a nation to mark
Christmas -- and it would be very hard to expunge it from our
national life even if we wanted to -- then public organizations
should mark other religious festivals too. It then goes on to claim
that: "We can no longer define ourselves as a Christian nation, nor
an especially religious one in any sense." This is very peculiar,
and may be an exercise in wishful thinking on the part of the
report's authors because the last census for which figures are
available, that of 2001, actually showed 71.6% of the population was
Christian, and the total of all religious believers who answered the
census was 76.8% of the population. The very large number of Polish
immigrants since then have been very largely Catholic and it is
possible the Christian percentage has actually increased because of
this. There have also been many Christian Baltic immigrants.

The report says further that immigrants should be required to
acquire some proficiency in English and other aspects of British
culture "if -- but only if -- the settled population is willing to
open up national institutions and practices to newcomers and give a
more inclusive cast to national narratives and symbols....Even-
handedness dictates that we provide public recognition to minority
cultures and traditions." I don't think it's Catholic Poles or
Protestant Balts they've got in mind here.

Anyway, the report continues to retail the somewhat less-than-fresh
news that "The empire is gone, church attendance is at historically
low levels [See above -- recently in some areas with heavy Polish
immigration the congregations at Catholic churches have been
spilling out into the street on Sundays], and the Second World War
is inexorably slipping from memory." (Whatever that has got to do
with it.)

The report calls on Ministers to launch an "urgent and upfront
campaign" promoting something callled a "multicultural understanding
of Britishness." It continues that, "Multiculturalism can be shown
to provide for a fairer and more liberal society and does not
necessarily lead to social division and community conflict, as its
critics have claimed."

Compelling data from all over the world now indicates
that "Multiculturalism," as it has been promoted, is divisive and
destructive. Notwithstanding this, the report continues, with
intellectually derriere-garde heavy-handedness that: "Councils must
act to ensure children mix and are able to form friendships with
pupils from different backgrounds."

What this means in practice has already been shown in many
instances. Earlier this year, for example, a young school-girl who
asked if she could sit with English-speaking children to do a
project was reported by her teacher for racism and arrested at the
school by police!

The same day that news of the report leaked out, there was news of
another pedagogical flowering of multicultural understanding: a
school had compelled teachers dress up as Asians for a day to
celebrate a Muslim festival. Children at the school were also told
to don Muslim garb even though most are Christians. The morning
assembly, it was said, would be open to all parents, but fathers
were barred from a women-only party in the afternoon because Muslim
husbands would object to wives being allowed to mix with other men.
This was in spite of the fact that only two members of staff, a part-
time teacher and a teaching assistant, were Muslims.

The report adds: "Any liberal state should recast the civic oaths
and national ceremonies, or institutions like Parliament and the
monarchy, in a more multi-religious or secular form and make
religious education less sectarian." A few years ago a leading light
of New Labour, Lady Gavron, said Prince Charles should be told to
marry a non-European. It looks like one of those ideas that die hard.

Registering the birth of children should be made a "public rite,"
where "Parents, their friends and family and the state [would] agree
to work in partnership to support and bring up their child."

Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative spokesman on community cohesion, was
quoted as saying that the report shows "a breathtaking
misunderstanding of what it is to be British. These proposals could
actually damage cohesion....You don't build community cohesion by
throwing out our history and denying the fundamental contribution
Christianity has played and does play to our nation. As a British
Muslim I can see that -- so why others can't just staggers me."

She added: "The thought of Gordon Brown sharing responsibility with
me for bringing up my children sends a shiver down my spine. I
thought we got rid of communism."

John Midgley, co-founder of the Campaign Against Political
Correctness, was quoted as saying: "If they are suggesting that we
will be getting more community cohesion if you stop celebrating
Christmas in this country then they must be off their politically-
correct heads."

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

apols for length of article, but it seemed quite an interesting read.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

"Earlier this year, for example, a young school-girl who asked if she could sit with English-speaking children to do a project was reported by her teacher for racism and arrested at the school by police!"

I really don't believe this.

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

The Spectator isn't known for PC liberal views, but an interesting article. Thanks, Another Ania. Are there two Ania's?

Re: Christmas should be be 'downgraded' in Britain!

There used to be someone called just "Ania" on the forum who no longer posts.