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Why the determination to avoid a Christmas lockdown when we did nothing to ‘save’ Eid and Diwali?

Why the determination to avoid a Christmas lockdown when we did nothing to ‘save’ Eid and Diwali?
The UK government is apparently considering easing lockdown for five days at Christmas, despite clamping down on other celebrations earlier this year. Why the exception for this annual festival of gross consumerism and excess?

As the UK government proposes loosening lockdown restrictions in order to “save Christmas,” as it’s being described in the media, many are left wondering why such freedoms weren’t extended for other religious festivals this year, despite the risk to nationwide infection being negligible by comparison.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak made a big show of lighting Diwali lamps outside 11 Downing Street last week, giving an interview later in which he exhorted fellow Hindus and Sikhs to refrain from breaking the lockdown rules and to celebrate only with their immediate households, saying his evening would be spent catching up with his family over Zoom.

Earlier this year, British Muslims were prevented from celebrating Eid as restrictions were tightened in the north of England, particularly in areas with large Islamic communities. One Tory MP, Craig Whittaker, even insensitively claimed they weren’t “taking the pandemic seriously,” despite the disproportionate impact Covid-19 was having on black and South Asian people.

In April, the Daily Mail columnist, Andrew Pierce, tweeted his fears about Muslims convening to observe Ramadan, now he berates the government for ruining Christmas – summing up the right’s hypocrisy over the matter.

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While minority faiths diligently obeyed the law and celebrated their sacred occasions with appropriate restraint, the noisy public demands to mark Jesus’s birthday in full have prompted the government to consider a five-day break in which households may mix freely – even though the resulting spike in infections may require a month-long lockdown afterwards to contain.

Given the lack of interest most British people have in Christianity – churches, especially Anglican ones, have been near-empty for decades now – the passionate calls to “save Christmas” are merely a desperate plea to allow the public to indulge in the usual repulsive bingeing on trashy consumerism, cheap booze, junk food and diseased fornication that the festive season now entails.

Christmas in contemporary Britain is wholly unrelated to Christianity, with almost no Christian content on TV or in the public culture – even the Queen, head of the state church, barely mentions Jesus in her address to the country. Indeed, the chaotic saturnalia that the period consists of has far more in common with the fertility cults that existed prior to Christianity’s arrival, with the solstice marked with shamanic intoxication, wild dancing, widespread pagan violence and indiscriminate sexual activity.

And, of course, there is the horrendous consumerism: billions spent on obesity-inducing fatty foods, gaudy mass-produced ‘decorations’ and countless gifts, ranging from toys to furniture suites and industrial-sized vibrators – every crass and sordid taste well catered for.

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If the government had any respect for religious beliefs, restrictions around Diwali and Eid would have been lifted, and relatively small and harmless sections of the population allowed to celebrate what, for them, is a genuinely spiritual time, involving prayer and ancient rituals, visits to mosques and temples, while also tending to the wellbeing of their families – with absolutely no alcohol or shabby sexual conduct involved.

But while sincere religious practitioners have been prevented from observing their sacred festivals, the godless anarchy that is Christmas in today’s Britain will be given its usual licence.

Christmas in the UK now entails an annual spike in alcohol-related hospitalisations, divorce proceedings and domestic violence, as well as depression, public brawling and venereal infection. One in ten people have admitted to contracting an STD from a colleague after a Christmas party – especially a newly mutated, treatment-resistant super-gonorrhea – while drunkards are six-times more likely to abuse their partners at this time of year. In the wake of Christmas, January always brings an inevitable surge in the suicide rate. No such statistics accompany either Eid or Diwali.

But this year, the lethal Christmas cocktail will have Covid-19 thrown into the mix too. If the government was at all concerned for the public’s welfare, Christmas would have been locked down years ago, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. But it will go ahead, primarily to give the economy the annual adrenaline-shot of debt-fuelled turbo-consumption it needs to keep it going for the rest of the year. In 2019, seasonal spending amounted to £76.6 billion, and without such expenditure this year, 2021 could see the biggest economic downturn in the UK since the 1970s.

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That economic imperative is the reason why Christmas will be saved, as well as the need to allow the restive public to feed its mid-winter lusts. It certainly isn’t out of respect for Christianity or family life. Only a third of Britons describe themselves as Christian now, and with a dramatically increasing divorce rate and most children now born to unmarried mothers, the family unit is increasingly rare. The appalling death rate in care homes, with 30,000 old people estimated to have died in them during the first Covid-19 wave alone, underlines the heartless abandonment the elderly face in a society that doesn’t want to look after its grandparents.

It is insulting to the believers of other faiths to have their devotedly observed festivals curtailed by this pandemic, while Christmas, the most ungodly and debauched period in the British calendar, is protected – despite health experts saying that the new Covid infections will lead to a public health “disaster” given the death rate is again over 500 a day.

It’s obvious that a festive lockdown is in the national interest, but given the public’s appetite and a weak government that changes its mind every day, it's clear that Christmas will be saved – even if it leads to a Covid nuclear winter.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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