I don’t much care for Christmas really. Like most of us I suppose, I enjoyed it when I was a kid, but as soon as the whole festival started to become a net loss to the bank account the magic quickly started to wane. Obviously I make an effort for the benefit of my children (although I’m not entirely comfortable with the lies and deceit around the whole ‘existence of Father Christmas’ issue) and there’s nothing wrong with having at least one day a year when families make an effort to sit round a table and eat a meal together. On the other hand the religious aspect of Christmas is completely lost on me (as would appear to be the case for the vast majority of binge-shoppers filling the streets at this time of year) and there can be little doubt that the materialistic excesses become more pronounced every year.
Anyway, those arguments are all very well rehearsed and I’m not going to go over them here. Instead I thought I’d enter into the spirit of things (kind of) and write down my political wishlist for Christmas and the New Year.
1. An Early Election. Gordon, for the sanity of us all, please get this nasty business out of the way early. We’ve all been in the middle of an election campaign for months now and the sooner it’s over the better. Of course, if the worst happens (and the Tories win) at least we’ll all have the comfort of knowing that, if you’d held out until June, they would probably have won anyway , and the sooner people start remembering why we threw them out in the first place the better.
2. Ideally the result I would like from an election would be a Hung Parliament. The ‘swing of the pendulum’ just isn’t working any more, the political system is at the lowest ebb of its public regard for the best part of two hundred years and it simply won’t do for this to carry on any longer. The worst excesses of the expenses scandal were the work of the MPs in the safest seats – a hung parliament and a sensible debate around electoral reform (STV please) would mean there wouldn’t be any safe seats. And everyone’s vote would count! What a novel idea.
3. Lord Ashcroft to come clean about his tax status. OK, I know it’s not going to happen but you’d just think that a party that has been bleating on about cleaning up the political system and sorting out the non-dom status of our legislators would get its own bloody house in order first. That’s all.
4. Something reasonably unpleasant to happen to George Osborne. Nothing fatal or physically damaging, you understand, just something reasonably unpleasant. A seagull dumping on his head every time he gives an interview, for example, or a sordid Bullingdon sex and drugs scandal, or (best of all) him not becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer. Ever.
I know I can’t have everything I want for Christmas, but these four minor items would make me very happy as I sit by the fire with my eggnog, trying not to think about January’s credit card bill. Thanks.