25th December, 2015
Let’s make this Christmas (and New Year) a Cracker
With Christmas greetings resounding and winter sleigh bells chiming it is at Yuletide that we come round to defining our seasonal wishes and aspirations for the coming year. And if you are of a political frame of mind you might wish to add a few novel requests in your imaginary letter to Santa’s grotto.
When you were a child you were taught to believe in the power of your imagination and your sense of wonder to make all your cherished dreams and wishes come true. You learned that if you said a silent prayer in earnest you were sure to realise all your wants and needs.
In that hopeful spirit here are my wishes.
Would it be too much to ask that we could live in an idealistic world where peace, justice, and equality reigned again amongst men and women of good will? Can we agree to leave all our differences and points of view aside and seek to find the common good and purpose in mankind? That which elevates us above the cynical, political and Machiavellian ploys that tarnish and subvert state and democracy?
Is it too much to ask for a caring compassionate Government that looks after the most vulnerable and needy of our citizens and protects the rights and dignity of our old age pensioners and of war veterans? One that makes our country an all-inclusive, egalitarian, safe and prosperous place to live in once more?
Can we also have a responsible opposition Labour party that cares for the rule of law, adheres to parliamentary procedure and protocol, and will deign to represent those who voted for it? Preserving the national security of Great Britain is not just for those presently in government.
When Britain goes to the polls on the EU Referendum it would be nice to think that the people of this country will have all the facts and figures at their disposal so as to make an informed choice as to whether they wish to remain a central part of the European Union. Hopefully this time without all the nasty parochial bitterness and division that was recently caused by the Scottish Independence Referendum.
Will peace, tranquility and tolerance smother the flames of toxic sectarian wars in troubled lands? Will the forces of diplomatic mediation prove irresistible when they meet the immovable object of blind destructive fury? Something has to give in this horrific intractable situation.
Maybe these wishes are unattainable in today’s materialistic and opportune world; maybe it’s all a mirage. But perhaps still they are within our reach if we could find that middle ground, that consensus of opinion that the Scottish bard Rabbie Burns sang about in “Auld Lang Syne”. That freedom of expression, harmony and clarity of vision that cements the brotherhood of man.
So when the New Year Day’s bells are ringing loudly in our ears and we herald the beginning of another year, let’s pause a while and see if we can comprehend and formulate resolutions to make 2016 the year we turn the corner to a brighter and better future for all.
When we pull those Christmas crackers let’s see what welcome surprises spill out from inside.
It would be a false dichotomy to say which surprises are worth having and which aren’t.
It seems surprises are on a continuum, even if some surprises turn out to be more important than others.
Merry Christmas all, and a good New Year to you and yours.
By Peter Paton
Please note: articles and posts on ‘Middle Vision’ reflect the views of the individual authors and not of all involved in ‘Middle Vision’
Read Rob Marchant’s “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. It’s a cracker.