A Christmas tale of our times

Father Christmas always has to spend a lot of time planning all those presents and deliveries. It requires enormous skill and teamwork to get all the right presents to everyone on Christmas night, even though of course he is helped by the way the world spins on its axis, extending the night time around the world to a 24 hour period. It does mean a superhuman effort by him and his reindeers, famed for their speed and navigating skills.

             In 2020 his helpers came to him and said he did need to do some homework  for his  deliveries as there were so many new rules applying to all the people he was going to visit. There was a nasty virus spreading its way around the globe, so countries required limited social contact and proper sanitising of goods. The world was so much keener now on green policies, so many of his global family would expect him to watch his carbon output. Anyone  buying things today did want to know more about where they came from, who had made them and whether they were socially aware and well governed. Santa above all others must show he is a leader of these movements for the good. 

               Over the summer Father Christmas was advised that  he took some training courses so he was ready for the new management regime. They wanted him to do a general course  on Money Laundering. Then there was fraud and bribery to study, to be followed by cyber crime. He should gain  a grounding in socially aware present giving, environmentally benign gifts and a course on governance of the parcels business. He needed to ensure he did not  fall foul of the ever higher standards for animal welfare for the reindeers, so he needed a module on advanced Reindeer husbandry.  He should ask about any new restrictions on fast moving sleighs. Then of course owing to the pandemic everything he did this year has to be Covid compliant. How was he on all the differing rules around the world on social distancing, mask wearing and digital alternatives? He also had to get up to speed with the green necessities, ensuring all gifts were zero carbon and his sleigh ride did not generate too much carbon dioxide from himself and the animals. He needed to be more socially aware, so each gift would need a certificate to prove it had been made in good conditions for the staff, and he would need himself an approval certificate that he had achieved high standards of governance. Then he should answer the stroppy email from the EU pointing out that giving lots of goods away was an infringement of single market rules. As it was a form of state aids or unfair competition he would need to apply  two months in advance for an exemption certificate, explaining why he should get away with undercutting properly regulated and taxed suppliers.  

            Father Christmas is a bit of a traditionalist, and was not sure he wanted to spend his summer slaving over all these worldly topics that might take the fun out of Noel. So he compromised with his advisers and agreed to a conference with  experts to see what if anything  was relevant to him.  At the meeting the Diversity Adviser started asking lots of very personal questions about the elves. What was their background and how did they reflect differing attitudes towards society and the family? The Trade Union adviser warned him  that his workers even on Christmas night would need decent breaks. Was their a written guarantee that none of them were on zero hours contracts or were going to be sacked immediately after the public holiday? The anti Money Laundering Officer told him he could no longer get away with refusing to disclose who paid for all the presents he was dropping off. The Data Protection Officer said he was in possession of vital individual information which was both personal and commercially valuable. All those wish lists for present needed to  be better filed and password protected, preferably with a duo system and complex codes. The criminal lawyer told him he was especially vulnerable to suspicion of bribes, so he needed to keep a register of any mince pies, glasses of wine or tips he was offered during his work. The EU Adviser told him he should expect anti CV 19 controls at entry points to the single market and customs union which would take time to clear. He would need a CV 19 test result with him at all times.

         The cyber expert told him that as many children now sent in text messages, emails or social media posts with all their details, he needed much better cyber protection. He also needed reliable and secure systems of ordering the gifts.  A Christmas Grinch could so easily crash his systems, wrecking the only day of the year when he could provide his service. Indeed, on  reflection there was a good case for him straddling Christmas over more days to lessen the risk. The Covid compliance officer told him he must wear a face mask in any house he visited, would have to self isolate for fourteen days before his journey, and should either use disposable gloves at each house or take plenty of hand gel. They thought he could probably argue his journey was necessary for work, but leaving the present on the doorstep was much safer. The Animal Welfare expert told him he could no longer rely on just one team of reindeers as the work was too great, so he should train and station relief teams around the world. The Green Adviser proposed a fully automated electric sleigh as a better option. The Social Awareness analyst said he could help supply print outs on the suitability of various gift suppliers which would need to be appended to each present. The Governance Adviser said he would need to be certificated himself as someone who had done a good job organising and leading the delivery service. 

           Father Christmas was well aware that everything had to go like magic to fit it all into a single night. He was nervous about accepting too many changes to the tried and tested methods he used to deliver the lot. Nor did he welcome too many questions on the detail of how it was managed, as the whole point was its seemingly effortless magic that delivered. No-one must be let down and go without a present. He asked the Green adviser how would the electric sleigh work? Might it need recharging on what is a very long journey, and if so how long would that take? The lack of certainty about this led him to conclude he preferred his old sleigh. He said his reindeer had always managed before and knew the routine to perfection. If a vet certified they were fit  before and gave them a check over on return wouldn’t that suffice? He couldn’t see the point of all the financial requirements. It was after all a free service he offered, and part of the wonder  was not knowing how it was all paid for. As to him receiving bribes it was laughable. No-one left him  cash or large gifts. They were just being friendly with their mince pies. Given his weight problem it was not something he asked for or wanted.

           The advisers then changed their tone and said how delighted they were to get to meet him in person at last. In  order to save the postage they had brought their own family lists with them as that might help in his great task. “So” said Santa, “when it comes to your family you do not seem to have the same worries about CV 19,  bribes or how green is my transport. Can I suggest that you and your Regulators turn a blind eye to how I do my job on this unique occasion each year? I doubt you would be happy if I told you that on reflection on all  your points it was just too difficult to do this on one special night, so the service was cancelled”

              So it transpired that the worried advisers thought this could after all be a rare  exception to all the rules.  Isn’t it good to know Father Christmas is Covid compliant after all? Happy Christmas everyone.  

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238 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Santa should have become a French citizen, then he could ignore all the regulations that he doesn’t like while pretending to support all of them…..

    PS, is the ‘fishing fudge’ under CFP rules, modified (?) or a new reality/science based system run by the fishing grounds’ owners?

    • Hope
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Excellent JR. Happy Christmas.

      Unfortunately your party has been infiltrated and taken over. Make sure you rest relax and have your reading head clear and ready to defeat Johnson’s Brexit betrayal.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        And keep him out of the House by way of some antique law until you have “speed read” the rotten document.

  2. Grey Friar
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful insight into right-wing thinking, though entirely unwitting of course. You love to pretend the world is dominated by left wing do gooders, you love to play the victim. In reality the Conservative Party has been in power in this country for over ten years, and for nearly thirty of the last forty years. This is your world, you made it. Stop blaming others, start behaving with a sense of responsibility for the dreadful state this Conservative-run country is in

    • Richard1
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      The good things that have happened over the last 40 years are due to to the Conservative Party – the Thatcher govts transformation of the economy and re-establishment of the UKs place in the world in the 80s with eg the victories in the Falklands, the Cold War, the 1st Gulf war, the Cameron govt’s rescue of confidence after 2010. The bad things have happened under Labour – the Iraq war, the sale of the gold, the crashing of the economy in the 2000s, the stoking up of Scottish separatism by devolution, the signing of 3 federalising EU treaties with no referendum, the ill-conceived bank bailout. The list goes on. Bad things can also happen under Conservatives it’s true. But the general trend is clear.

      You are lucky enough of your fellow citizens have had the sense to vote Conservative and chuck out the useless leftists.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Maastricht?

        • Richard1
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          Note that I did say bad things do happen under the Conservatives.

          As it happens I think John Major did a good job at Maastricht getting opt-outs from the euro and the social chapter. In retrospect it would have been better just to have vetoed it and had the bust up 30 years earlier. The EU as is would never have come into being and the U.K. would continue to be in the EEC. A looser relationship would then have come about if other countries wanted to press on with economic and monetary union. The irony is if Thatcher had not been ousted this is what would have happened – and there would not now be all the fuss with Brexit.

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          ERM. I wonder why we elect people like our good host.
          We are being ruled by an unelected cabal who are content to destroy peoples livelihoods and the country as well.
          Weekly deaths are running at about the 5years average and without a peep from parliament we are going to be locked down again.
          It’s the definition of madness keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
          Boris is about to stitch us up true to form.

          • Richard1
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            Our host opposed ERM

          • Edward2
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            Absolutely Richard1
            Sir John was an heroic almost lone voice set against the ERM.
            He was right then.
            Just as he is now.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Other bad things that happened under Labour: tuition fees for English students only! The sneaky Lisbon treaty stitch up by Brown. Taxing private pensions which contributed to the short-fall, massive increases in Council tax, and extra 1% for employee and employers on National Insurance that we’re now told isn’t for our state pension and the NHS its just general tax! Overspending which led to austerity to meet EU regulations and as we’re seeing now this wasn’t essential and Osborne was just following his beloved EU orders. And as someone alluded to above they were only in power one quarter of the last 40 years!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Thank you Grey Friar.

      “Deep, crisp, and even” I’d say.

    • Longinus
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Bless, Grey Friar thinks the Tory party is right wing.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Oh dear! What a miserable sod. Pull the blanket over your head for a few days while we enjoy each others company. You will hear Big Ben chime for the new year then you can come out and whinge again though I doubt anybody is interested, REALLY!

      Happy Christmas everybody else🎼🎶🎶

    • NickC
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Grey, You give a wonderful insight into left wing thinking, though entirely unwitting of course. You love to pretend the world is dominated by right wing ogres, you love to play the victim. In reality the social marxist dominated Conservative Party has been in power in this country for over ten years, and for nearly thirty of the last forty years. This is your world, you authoritarians made it. Stop blaming others, start behaving with a sense of responsibility for the dreadful state this Conservative-run country is in. Then maybe we will get a true liberal government. For a change.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 24, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        Most right leaning people are too busy making a living to dictate policy to others through public life.

        The eternal paradox similar to those who can do and those who can’t teach.

  3. DOM
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t feel like Christmas. It doesn’t look like Christmas. It feels like something has died. The UK died in 2020.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      +1
      Strangers in a strange land.
      Happy Christmas Dom 🎄 and thanks for your clarity and anger.
      If people had got angry ( as they should have done) we would not be in this situation.
      But sheep are so easily bribed!

      • Nig l
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Anger is never the solution to anything. It just indicates a loss of control. Dom has provided no solutions whatsoever so valueless as a contribution frankly to anything.

        Just makes him look bitter and sad.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          And that, mon ami, is why the country is in the state it is in!
          Too much virtue signalling.
          Of course people need to be angry!
          Look what the elite have done to us!!!

        • Hope
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Dom’ views are interesting not valueless. People who keep voting the same expecting different results is madness- similar to what Ian points out.

    • SM
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      You are Marvin the paranoid android from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I claim my prize.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Look inside yourself Dom.

      You’ll realise what that was, perhaps.

      • Nig l
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Spot on. Look in the mirror.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      And its all been self induced – not the people nor the economy but our own government passed the laws and created the situation we’re in now

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        And fostered a fifth colony.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Dom! The U.K. came alive again in 2020. We took our first deep breath. We will not easily lie down and trampled on again. Have some hope. We have overcome worse.
      Merry Christmas.

      • Hope
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Lynne,
        Excuse me, what on earth are you talking about? The WA and NIP is vassalage forever! He signed it when he had an 80 seat majority! May did not. She lost it at an election she said she would never have.

        N.Ireland is in the Single Market and Customs Union and complies with ECJ and ECHR and level playing field. Annexed with EU inspectors on our soil to check compliance across the U.K.! Does that sound like any form of Brexit?

        When Gove went to Brussels it became evident the Brexit sell out was on. No voice no say over the laws or rules and pay multiple billions to EU for a trade deficit. For good measure throw in the military and allow European Arrest Warrant to apply to all U.K. Citizens to,be whisked off to some dysfunctional despot withputmevidence and be held for however long the country wishes. What does failure sound like to you?

        Johnson on a relentless never-ending destruction of economy and business.

  4. Mark B
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    A lovely story as always, but with a serious points.

    We have far too much bureaucracy. Too many people whose jobs depend on what others produce or know. ie The Private Sector. All created by governments for their mates – The Chumocracy. And the rules they create only apply to the Little People, never them !

    As the borders to us are now closed because of a Minister went all Edwina Curry, am I to expect that the Minister concerned will find his P45 in his Christmas Stocking this year ?

    Nah ! Who am I kidding ?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      The endless chains of kompromat explain the inexplicable I have no doubt.
      Rotten to the very core.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      The border is only closed one way

      • Hope
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Funny how illegal I’m migrants can escape though isn’t it. Priti Useless paid multiple millions to the French to stop this, £192 in total for what? How much is the U.K. going to charge France for testing their citizens to return?

        Priti Useless also put out the sham white girl child sexual abuse report last week under Chinese flu cover. Patrick O’Flyn writes a good article on it. Obfuscation hardly starts to describe the manipulated stats. Perhaps they got advice from SAGE or Ferguson now he officially back advising Handcock. You could be forgiven for thinking nothing happened to thousands of white girls by mainly Pakistani heritage gangs- Sihks quite rightfully won the right not be included in “Asian” group link by press. I am lost why the report cost £143 million. It might as well have been written at home by an admin clerk- why was Patel not taken to task by the MSM?

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      The thing is the government puts all these rules in place then doesn’t ensure the people providing services are complying with them all, so those businesses that do can’t compete.

      One could almost call Tier 4 Saturday a complete Hanc*ck up.

      • Hope
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        There is no justification whatsoever for the increased lockdown of the nation. Only a week ago Johnson claimed in Parliament it would be inhumane. He sent MPs home on Friday’s they could not question him and made another massive U-turn because someone shouted at him.

        Reported in the press Macron threatened blockade earlier in the year to get Johnson to change his Chinese virus approach. Like a compliant lemon he did what he was told and flipped flopped. I wonder why the EU used a blockade again at his time? Do they think he is weak? Perhaps he ought to ask Santa for a backbone.

  5. Newmania
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I doubt we will see Santa this year ..not British you see , won`t be allowed to work here ( we already have one Greek import in a top job two is too much ). In fact I am not at all sure that we will get Christmas which is also NOT BRITISH.
    I know some remainer traitors suggest that Christmas and Christendom are part of a European heritage shared by the West but as we now know , if its European it cannot be BRITISH.
    Santa will be stopped at Dover and sent back to Lapland all of which will be a great OPPORTUNITY to train our own Winter celebration person/elfs.
    I blame the French

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Don’t you know that there are ALWAYS exceptions for Santa?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Santa stopped at Dover ? – -Good God – -he’ll be the only foreigner that is. Which hotel will he be put in?

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        ha ha !

    • GilesB
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Excellent. I enjoyed reading that. Thank you

      Have a Merry Christmas!

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        +1

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      I do believe that Santa was born before the European Union was created. He visited me once when I was a child… a long, long time ago.

      There was a bite out of the mince pie, footprints in the flour on the floor which had been sprinkled before the hearth and a sip had been taken from the sherry.

      I knew he wasn’t responsible for the Action Man with field radio on his back as I’d already found that in the loft during my pre Christmas search.

  6. Andy
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Considering the dislike this Tory government has for unelected bureaucrats, it sure seems to like unelected bureaucrats.

    First there was Cummings – and the weird power he had over Johnson. And now there is the decision to create a whole bunch of new peers. Including one – a Tory donor – who Johnson was told was unsuitable. Why are unsuitable people who nobody voted for being appointed by a prime minister who nobody directly voted for, from a party that most of us didn’t vote for? This is apparently democracy.

    Then there is Mr Hannan. He was once elected as an MEP. He was my MEP for a while and I wrote to him a couple of times. He never replied. This, in my book, is a failure to do the job you are being paid for. As an MP/MEP your job is to write back to everyone who contacts you. Incidentally, the best MP I have ever had for this was Dominic Grieve. He replied to every letter I sent him. My current MP – also a Brexiteer like Mr Hannan – usually doesn’t bother to respond. It feels like entitlement on their part.

    Anyway, it is odd that he was once elected and spent his time raging against unelected bureaucrats that we can’t remove. And now he is going to be an unelected bureaucrat who we can’t remove. At least not until this government is gone and then we can – and will – remove all of them.

    • beresford
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Who is ‘we’? The Tooting Popular Front? Or do you mean the Labour Party, who will no doubt have their own list of cronies they wish to reward.

      • Andy
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        ‘We’ – the people. 58% of voters who did not vote for ‘you’.

        100% of the people did not for Lord Hannan of Strasbourg.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          How do you know what the voting intentions were of people who didn’t vote?
          For all you know they could have all been leave voters.

          PS
          0% of the people did not vote for the Presidents and Commissioners of the EU either.
          Far more powerful postions than just being a Lord

          • Andy
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            Each elected government of an EU member state nominates a commissioner – and those nominees then have to be scrutinised and ratifies by elected MEPs. The presidents are nominated by elected heads of government and scrutinised and ratified by MEPs.

            Compare with Westminster. The prime minister is effectively selected by a few thousand mostly elderly members of his own party. Nobody outside his own constituency has any on whether he is even an MP. And voters in his constituency didn’t even vote for him. He then selects whoever he likes to be in his Cabinet with no scrutiny process involved. This is how you end up with unsuitable people like Priti Patel in government.

            Being a Cabinet minister if far more powerful than just being a commissioner.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            No individual European citizen ever votes for these elites.
            It is a sham democracy.
            Democracy at arms length.
            Elites voting for other elites.

            Yet as an extreme lefty you like this system.
            One has to wonder why.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        ++1

    • Richard1
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      The peer you refer to was falsely accused of corruption. He subsequently won a libel case against the newspaper which smeared him. I imagine if you were falsely accused of a crime and found not guilty you would object if you nevertheless lost your job?

      Daniel Hannan is an excellent choice for the Lords, a highly civilised and articulate advocate of sensible free market policies. If your letters to him were anything like your posts here I can quite understand why he filed them in the bin.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh goodness, if this is winding you up this much Andy then Boris has given us all an early Christmas treat.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Notwithstanding the partisan nature of your observations (only Brexit favouring MPs are bad) – I have to say you have surprised me. You have written something I largely agree with.

      What is your solution? I favour PR as at least providing a more representative form of democracy and a written constitution that, amongst other things, prohibits donations of more than £50 to any political party, and which dispenses with the absurd and anachronistic House of Lords (and their stupid ermine) and replaces it with an elected second chamber.

      However, I hold out no hope of anything approaching democracy in this country. People are too scared to try it.

  7. Mary M.
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    ‘Christmas Day. The Family Sitting’ by John Meade Falkner.

    In the days of Caesar Augustus
    There went forth this decree:
    Si quis rectus et justus
    Liveth in Galilee,
    Let him go up to Jerusalem
    And pay his scot to me.

    There are passed one after the other
    Christmases fifty-three,
    Since I sat here with my mother
    And heard the great decree:
    How they went up to Jerusalem
    Out of Galilee.

    They have passed one after the other;
    Father and mother died,
    Brother and sister and brother
    Taken and sanctified.
    I am left alone in the sitting,
    With none to sit beside.

    On the fly-leaves of these old prayer-books
    The childish writings fade,
    Which show that once they were their books
    In the days when prayer was made
    For other kings and princesses,
    William and Adelaide.

    The pillars are twisted with holly,
    And the font is wreathed with yew,
    Christ forgive me for folly,
    Youth’s lapses — not a few,
    For the hardness of my middle life,
    For age’s fretful view.

    Cotton-wool letters on scarlet,
    All the ancient lore,
    Tell how the chieftains starlit
    To Bethlehem came to adore;
    To hail Him King in the manger,
    Wonderful, Counsellor.

    The bells ring out in the steeple
    The gladness of erstwhile,
    And the children of other people
    Are walking up the aisle;
    They brush my elbow in passing,
    Some turn to give me a smile.
    Is the almond-blossom bitter?
    Is the grasshopper heavy to bear?
    Christ make me happier, fitter
    To go to my own over there:
    Jerusalem the Golden,
    What bliss beyond compare!
    My Lord, where I have offended
    Do Thou forgive it me.
    That so when, all being ended,
    I hear Thy last decree,
    I may go up to Jerusalem
    Out of Galilee.

    • IanT
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you Mary 🙂

    • Lester Cynic Beedell
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      +1

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Indeed John. It’s suprising any business gets done with all these regulations which the British seem to follow to the letter. It’s a pity then countries like Spain hardly adhere to them at all. Health and safety is overlooked on building sites. Provision in homes of clean drinking water is ignored. Pets are still given drugs that their human owners use. The playing field is certainly not level. Red tape needs to be simplified while keeping workers and public safety paramount.

  9. Nigl
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Fabulous and sums up the utter bollocks that is now considered essential for all of us. In fact much is condescending and unnecessary pandering to small but vocal groups.

    I hope 2021 is the year of the fight back.well done Toby Young and his freedom of speech group. Time for politicians to grow some cojones.

    • Hope
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      +1 well done Toby Young. Where are the conservative MPs and Lords?

  10. SM
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Sir John, since I’m going to have a busy day I thought I’d give your column a miss. But then I needed a break from a heavy load of ironing … so thank you for this delightful and obviously utterly accurate account of Santa’s preparations.

    Just one thing – doesn’t sticking to reindeers count as unconscious bias against horses, oxen and rhinos?

  11. George Brooks.
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    A very Happy Christmas, Sir John, and a wonderful New Year as we forge ahead into 2021 as free Sovereign nation

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Except for our Treaty obligations re NATO, the UN, extradition with the US and with others, our obedience to WTO rules, our international carbon undertakings, our abiding by the International Law Of The Sea and by aviation regulation, our Commonwealth responsibilities…and so on.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        OOo Martin this is like a clue in one of those murder mystery tv programmes… who is Martin and who does he work for…

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          I don’t work for anyone, Tracy.

          I’m independent.

          You?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            There are no actual obligations towards NATO nor the UN nor any obedience required towards the World TeDing Organization.
            These are all bodies we belong to voluntarily.
            They have no real powers over us.
            Spotted the difference compared to the EU?
            No?
            Not surprised Martin

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            I work for myself Martin have done since I was 18. But unlike you I don’t comment as though I know everything about everything and especially things to put Great Britain in a bad light.

  12. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family and thank you for the time
    that you put into writing your diary 🎄🎄🎄

  13. ukretired123
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Good tale of unbelievable happenings that the Crystal balls were unable to forecast.
    Fog in Channel etc.
    Thank you for your excellent blog Sir John as usual.

  14. beresford
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Happy Christmas, but not much chance of a Happy New Year as the Government are apparently champing at the bit to impose more unscrutinised and unscientific restrictions on the country. Wouldn’t most of the ‘problem’ of people going from ‘Tier 4’ to ‘Tier 2’ areas go away if the policy of closing businesses where virus spread is negligible just for the sake of doing something was abandoned?

  15. BJC
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Well, Father Christmas might be Covid-compliant, but he’ll still be required to by-pass most houses this year, so he’ll soon find himself redundant due to a lack of business.

    Meanwhile, the “do as I say, not as I do”, ‘aristocracy’ who hover above the mundane sacrifices they demand others make in the name of health and safety, will hop in their 4x4s for a quick visit to their holiday homes to preserve their own health and spread the virus “safely”.

    Have a lovely Christmas, Sir John.

  16. Robert Bywater
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I am very glad that you refer to the benevolent old geezer as Father Christmas. What we usually get to hear (ad nauseam) is “Santa Claus”. This is an American corruption of the Dutch Sinterklaas which the Dutch celebrate on 5th, not the 25th, of December. Maybe with Brexit we can quietly reassert some of our national culture. (Without being rabid nationalists – there are others that play that game).

    • Fred H
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      It doesn’t matter what you call him. Andy refers to him as an elderly sponging waste of space who only volunteers one night a year, and is overweight, gobbling up free mince pies and stuff on every trip. How did he ever earn a pension, depriving the children’s parents of the clothes off their backs?

  17. Richard416
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid if Mr Claus comes to London he will probably be arrested by riot police, and we shall never see him again.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    You forgot to mention Santa’s mandatory unconscious bias training to help determine gifts to black and white children, boys and girls, gay and straight and those who think they are something else. All have their rights don’t you know?

    A merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year to you Sir John and to ALL readers of and contributors to the community you have created. This year has made particularly interesting reading as posters have both softened and hardened their positions. You Sir John, have maintained your tone all year, expressing your diplomatic frustration while keeping us informed of the news as you see it. The two party system really does have its drawbacks.

    Valuable safe space, thank you.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I hope this isn’t a ‘safe space’. Long may one be able to post comments others disagree with and, even, find a bit offensive.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        That is the safety Mike.

        All views welcomed and debated

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Good to see the hectoring Scottish FM hoist by her own petard.

    Maybe this will downgrade her “progressive” sainthood but I doubt it. Her help for the previous Scottish FM to not be investigated did not stick so why should this?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Another one not as scared of infection as she should be….you know, with all that insider knowledge she must have.
      All that care and concern on her little furrowed brow to terrify others into COVID compliance.

      “Stay in your pen, all neat and close together. Stay in your pen or the Big Bad Wolf will get you!”
      Said the wolf!!!

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        I don’t suppose that any virus, of whatever type, would have the temerity to enter the precious body of the beloved Nicola. She is far above all that… isn’t she?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Good to see the hectoring Scottish FM hoist by her own petard.

      Seriously? Hardly a capital offence. I walked into a shop the other day having forgotten to put my mask on! Or, when the pubs were open, got up (having been seated with a mask on) to go to the loo and forgot to put my mask on. Hardly a serious matter.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        No it is not a serious matter but daily she hectors us that it is.

        Thus she is hoist.

        As ye sew so shall ye reap.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        and consoling the deceased relatives from what appears 2m is hardly a hanging offence.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted December 24, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          Agreed but this is someone who would forcibly tell you not to do it and then hold you up as a pariah.

          What goes around…….

  20. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Very funny – but it would have been finnier had it been a work of fiction rather than reporting.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    We call this Trailing Lead syndrome.
    Worry too much about Trailing Leads while nothing gets sent out of the door.

  22. acorn
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, Downing Street’s habit of proclaiming the UK having the best in the world this, that or the other; and the UK being the world leader in similar, has just unremarkably backfired.

    Telling the world we are the first to have spotted the new improved faster spreading mutant C19 virus – which was probably already about the planet – has now become the British virus.

    Britain will get the blame for creating and spreading it around the planet, along with headlines like “Out of control’ Covid strain makes UK a global pariah as countries impose travel bans.” (CNBC)

    Meanwhile, Punch & Judy playground politics will be full throttle in Scotland today over the boss lady forgetting her mask.

    • Longinus
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      The SARS-CoV-2 that originated in China?

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      It’s time we stopped worrying about what the world thinks of us and told things as they really are.

    • Excalibur
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      So pleased you picked up on this, Acorn. The thoughts you outline occurred to me.

      I have long held the view that we are too ready to proclaim ourselves the best in the world. It has come back to bite us.

      Notwithstanding pronouncements of a ‘global village’ and ‘the world is getting smaller’ the world is still a big place.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        When I lived in South Est Asia I was always astounded by their need to proclaim global hub for this – best in the world for that.

        I always aim to exceed expectations, that is all I ask for, I don’t need a global reference (especially not after Volkswagen).

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      We could have said the same of Italy and France. After all, they had the virus badly long before we did. Perhaps the world should be grateful we have identified this new strain relatively early. Personally I save my anger for those responsible. China and the WHO. Still some on here can’t stop running their own country down and we know who they are.

      • SM
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        For what it’s worth, there is another variant, similar to but not identical with the UK’s, now apparent in S Africa, as identified by a recognised health authority. It appears that it is not more deadly but seems to be transmitted more quickly. I wonder how long it will be before these variations pop up all over the world?

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Agree

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Ah, but, We now have Prof Neil Ferguson(Mr LockDown himself) back making all our future predictions.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      One statistic of which we can be rightly proud is that of being the first Western country to have an exclusively Asiatic cabinet (apart from Matt Hancock who has been retained in order to remind us all of how useless we English are at running our own affairs).

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      The one thing it will never be called is the Chinese virus.

  23. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    A potent tale of our times….


    If only Father Christmas could still function in reality, and the pc brigade were just a figment of some wild imagination.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      John’s party has a majority of eighty in our supreme Parliament.

      They could pass any law, literally, that it approved within this jurisdiction.

      On the other hand, no party representing “the pc brigade” – whoever on Earth they might be – has any majority at all there.

      So if there’s something that you and the other Tories don’t like, then ask yourselves why you have not changed it?

      • IanT
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Most likely because people like yourself Martin have managed to permeate just about every level of the Media and Establishment – fostering and protecting ideas that don’t stand up very long to informed scrutiny because they are founded on dogma rather than logic and common sense.

        You and your ilk are just as profoundly dangerous as the religious zealots of the middle ages – burning anyone accused of blasphemy (“Wrong Think”) on the fires of Social Media. ‘Cancelled’ – a euphemism for people having their lives ruined by a court of anonymous fellow travellers.

        Four years after voting to leave the EU, here you are still fighting an ongoing guerrilla war to try to slow and impede its enactment and that’s just you Martin. A low level spammer on Sir John’s blog. I’m very sure there are many like you higher up the food chain doing their very best to frustrate Brexit – and that’s just the most visible part of the iceberg.

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          +++

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Every single party in Westminster and the EP represent political correctness — None so much as the damned socialists, which include labour, snp, libdems, greens – Even the tories have moved left and are full of pc BS.

        We need fresh blood in Parliament – Excluding some great MP’s on all benches that are still pragmatic — additionally we have found out how easily Parliament can turn against the people, meaning we need a new social contract between them and us.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I heard Father Christmas was self identifying as female this year and Trump was considering this too (so as to become the first female US president) and to pip Kamala Harris to this.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Lol 😂

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        +

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        He should 🌚 too! 😂😂 and develop a limp!
        Merry Christmas

      • dixie
        Posted December 24, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        +

    • Lester Cynic Beedell
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      If only!

      Merry Christmas

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        +++

        Merry Christmas to you…!

        Still banned from youKnowWhat

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Oh lovely!!
    And soooo great how the story gathers pace in that dizzying way of EU regs!!
    Very glad that Father Christmas didn’t exchange his robes for sackcloth and ashes, slaughter his reindeer as a potential threat of COVID mutation and crawl to Brussels on hands and knees, beating himself with a branch of holly the while.
    Father Christmas is a hero!! ( Is Boris?).
    Oh..what about all those glasses of Sherry while driving a team of reindeer?? Shhhhhhsh!
    Happy Christmas!

  25. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Seasons greetings to all – something other than the virus to think about during this (restricted) festive time:-

    The $100 million Breakthrough Listen Project – an initiative to find intelligent alien life through radio telescopes searching for “technosignatures” has leaked information that strange radio transmissions appear to be coming from our nearest star system Proxima Centauri – now scientists are trying to work out what or who is sending them. Proxima Centauri is just 4.2 light years from us.

    Santa may have been very generous to the exobiologist astronomer community this year. Scientists usually wait until a peer-reviewed learned paper is accepted by a relevant journal before announcing an exciting new development. However, the well-funded Breakthrough Listen Project has detected – over a period of several days – a narrowband signal from our closest neighbour star system. Dubbed BLP1, this signal has passed through all the project’s algorithm filters and does not seem to be of terrestrial origin. So excited are the scientists studying this signal that information has been leaked and some very interesting facts have emerged.

    Prof David Kipping, A British astronomer and a graduate of Cambridge University, but now based at Columbia University in the USA, has produced a fascinating YouTube video with the details, this has now “gone viral” Those interested could search the Cool Worlds YouTube channel for:-

    “Did We Just Detect a New “Wow” Signal from Proxima Centauri?”

    Should this signal prove to be genuine, we should imediately pass the information to Liz Truss, so we can open negotiations about a trade deal.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      The next global “emergency” I expect.
      Alien invasion.
      As with viruses they preempt by searching endlessly…Just let the aliens ( and viruses) find us if they can.
      I believe such an invasion is on the list…after flood and famine!
      “All the better to scare you with, my dear.”

      • Sakara Gold
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        The aliens may have a sense of humour. Being only 4.2 light years away they will have been listening to our radio and tv broadcasts for years. Remember the hit SciFi series “Red Dwarf? Proxima Centauri is classified as a red dwarf star…..

        I bet we have something we could trade with them. Asylum seekers? Failed presidential candidates? Excess carbon dioxide? Even water

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          Well at 4.2 light years we could trade data and code…

          Maybe bitcoin will catch on there?

        • Everhopeful
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          Well…I am certain our leaders would offer us! No hesitation!
          Slaves….body parts…food.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          I don’t mind happy aliens. It’s the grumpy ones you have to watch out for.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        The flying saucer descends near Downing St….a strange staccato voice echoes out ‘ Bring your Dear Leader’ — a few moments later from inside a building we hear ‘ Carrie put Wilf down – you are wanted outside’.

    • Alan Paul Joyce
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      @Sakara Gold,

      Breaking News! Linguistics experts have just decoded the message and revealed that the planets orbiting Proxima Centauri have applied for membership of the European Union. Furthermore, they have asked Monsieur Barnier to conduct the trade negotiations with the UK on their behalf.

      P.S. That ‘Cool Worlds’ YouTube channel is indeed cool! I particularly liked “A Journey to the End of the Universe”.

  26. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Indeed some rules and regulations for the modern World are a mess, a hypocritical mess

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is typical EU, it written backwards then has get out clauses through out. As such it is wasted space and energy. Most require reading some 30 odd pages just to find the key words ‘you the user are our commodity to farm we steel your private data and sell it for profit’. Then the Social media suppliers go one step further, they have 30 or more associates that they let into your device each with a 30 page GDPR saying the same. These entities then pool, collate and share personal data to create a better picture of the individual. As an individual you are not expected to take on board you are being ‘farmed’ as a crop.

    The ‘video door bell’ the Alexa style devices are primarily involved in farming for data. Google even admits they employ humans to listen in on personal home conversations that come via home automation.

    The trend this year has been for an extra layer of security via a pin sent via text to be entered into a device for verification. Microsoft has stated this is just as bad as it gets a ‘plain text’ code which everyone can view, read, use on the internationally public network that is the internet – cannot remotely be said to be secure, in fact it is the opposite. It is likely to increase fraud.

    This Government, all Governments are so obsessed with spying on their citizens that they become the route of the problem. Every time things are constructed for authorities to be able to spy on their citizens and make things easier for them in this digital world, by default makes it easier for enemies of the State to also spy – Nuts!

    Would the likes of China been able so quickly jump up the technology ladder if they hadn’t been given access and facilities to farm the secrets of companies and countries around the World, by the very people that are their to protect us . All secretes stop being a secrete the moment is shared. As such it is our own authorities with these dumb ill thought through asperations that make the world a dangerous place for the man on the street – they(the authorities) help no one but their own momentary ego. These Governmental ego trips create a bigger problem than they set out to control – the enemy of the State is the authorities within.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      From todays Telegraph – “Joe Biden last night suggested he would launch retaliatory cyber attacks against Russia”

      The US just as with the UK, created structures for the State to spy on its people, in doing so opened the door for the whole World to spy and steal state secretes. Its our own Governments that are creating an unsafe World to appease the laziness of their own policing authorities.

      GCHQ and the NSA don’t require this open door policy to keep us safe – its an internal Government in fear of its people control method that is the problem.

    • Lester Cynic Beedell
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Video door bells, apart from announcing to the world that you’re out are an intrusion on our privacy, I disconnected Alexa for the same reason

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        The UK Police in some regions are using the taxpayers money to hand out ‘free’ Ring Video Door bells. I wonder why?

        The word ‘free’ is miss used again, just like the Governments hand outs. The UK Authorities and the UK Government don’t have any money of their own just access to you wallet

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Did you change her name to Angela or Ursula?

  27. Wil Pretty
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I heard from a source that Santa was having problems with his gift supply chain due to the closure of most of his usual small suppliers.
    The good news is that the Government has stepped in to assist him.
    He hopes that all the children will be pleased when they receive their Boris Johnson mug.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Lol!
      Many 4am tantrums methinks!
      Torn Christmas paper and shards of cheap pottery!

      • Mark B
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        All made in China.

  28. Arthur Wrightiss
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Santaland joined the EU in 2020 so is now ruled by the bureaucracy of Bruxelles.
    Decisions about gifts to be distributed, routes to be taken, deliveries to be made, tariffs to be paid, committees to be established, gobbledygook to be agreed on, will delay Christmas until discussions have more or less been completed ( maybe, perhaps, possibly) on June 1st 2021. Happy Christmas.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      As with all EU negotiations, the deadline is tomorrow night… or was it last week? Now you’re saying it can be put back to 1st June. I’m sure you’re right.

  29. Lloyd Barnes
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    John,
    I’ve read your blog many times, although not commented. Your views are interesting and I’m often in agreement.
    Can you consider this. At 50 years of age, I’ve about the most loyal Tory voter you will find, party member, never voted for any other party despite being tempted by UKIP at times over the EU.
    As it stands, due to the handling of Covid, I’m unsure what it would take to ever get me to vote Conservative again. I’m that angry and horrified at what the party has done to this country.
    The first month or two back in April/May were forgiveable. The subsequent headless chicken approach is not. We have since learned that the NHS was never in danger of being overwhelmed with empty Nightingale Hospitals, we’ve learned that the virus is only lethal to a very specific group in society, helpfully those that we could have shielded easily in most cases being retired.
    None of these lessons were learned. Instead the cabinet has allowed itself to be driven by events and by a myopic opposition interested only in political points scoring. It has allowed society and the economy to be hugely damaged in ways we probably do not yet understand.
    I can’t go on voting Conservative just to stop a Labour government. I’m not even sure these days I can tell the difference. I want a conservative government that prioritises basic conservative values.
    Must I finally give up after 30 years and start voting for Farage?

    • Hope
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      You cannot expect change unless you do something different.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The hope is that more and more previously loyal voters realise that there is no meaningful difference between Labour and Tory. I do hope that we can do better than Nigel Farage, but rallying to his flag would at least represent a step in the right direction. But if Farage is the end point, then there really isn’t much point in beginning the journey – unless he has depths as yet unrevealed.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        There are much more able people in the Farage orbit who he have been forced not to kill off (because he’s skint). Richard Tice for instance. However all added together they would not equal JR for sheer ability. You must also remember that UKIP and Brexi Party supporters agree on only 1 thing, Sovereignty. From there on there is no political agreement. You can come up with a manifesto for government.
        I’m not advocating the Tory Party but I am advocating many Tory Politicians and also Conservatism in its pure form.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Well with first past the post voting then voting “Farage” simply will not work. The sensible wing need to capture the Tory Party and kick out all the dire remoaners, the traitors, libdims, purveyors of the climate alarmist religion and pushers of ever bigger government, ever more regulation, ever higher and more complex and hugely damaging tax levels.

      I forced myself to listen to Dr Carney’s last Reith Lecture. I wonder if this man (PPE yet again and big fan of Greta) really so dim and deluded that he believes the drivel he comes out with, or is he just another paid advocate/liar for the alarmist cause?

      He talks about the “remorseless logic of climate physics”, Carney and Greta types need to go and study some real physics of complex chaotic systems or just shut up. C02 is just one of millions of climate influencers and is only a relatively minor one. It is not even the major “greenhouse gas” but perhaps this is beyond PPE types and some deluded school girls?

      The idea that CO2 concentrations are some kind of world thermostat is clearly moronic. Even if you accept the exaggerated lunacy of the CO2 religion the solutions pushed (heat pumps, battery cars, wind PV cells will not really work (it will not work even if we could get World cooperation on them). Current world energy from PV and wind is about 1%.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        1% of total mankind energy use that is (actually rather under 1%).

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        “Well with first past the post voting then voting “Farage” simply will not work. The sensible wing need to capture the Tory Party and kick out all the dire remoaners, the traitors, libdims, purveyors of the climate alarmist religion and pushers of ever bigger government, ever more regulation, ever higher and more complex and hugely damaging tax levels.”

        Too late for that Lifelogic afraid the “sensible ones” are very much in the minority. A wing? More like a handful. I’m with Lloyd, time to start voting for Farage. I will no longer vote for the party masquerading as Tory for fear of letting in Labour. As far as I can see there is nothing to choose between them.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          No, as far as you can see, there’s no difference between your backside and your elbow either, quite evidently.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            When faced with no effective argument you always resort to abuse Martin.
            Sad.

        • Simeon
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          And the sensible ones really aren’t that sensible, as their continued presence on the government backbenches shows.

          It seems for many, this is a chicken/egg situation; does the Tory party have to splinter before voters move to an alternative, or does an alternative emerge, thus splintering the Tory party? Personally, I can’t see why both things can’t happen immediately. The need is desperate. The situation demands a gamble – though, given there is no difference between Tory and Labour, there is really nothing to lose, and so no risk.

          Vote Tory, get Labour. Vote Labour, get Tory.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Agree with you. I will vote for Farage as Labour seriously cannot be much worse than this government. Can I suggest Santa brings Boris a new cabinet with Sir John included.

          • Hope
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Johnson has lost more jobs, business and spent higher than Corbyn could have ever imagined possible or hope to get away with.

            Loss of homes/Houses will start next year, no doubt about it. Unemployment 4.9 % people under 25 at 14.9%. Johnson has lost all young people based on these preliminary numbers. It will only get worse with mad lockdown Hancock. The twat wants to last it out to March!

    • Lester Cynic Beedell
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Lloyd Barnes,

      + 100

      I voted for Boris in the leadership election and in the General Election but it’s Reform U.K. in the local elections…. that’s if they haven’t been postponed.

      • Andy
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Nigel thanks you for your £25 towards his kitchen extension fund.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha. My sides are aching but not with laughter this time.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Sir John

      When Tories like Mr. Barnes begin to question their loyalty to the party, you know you are in trouble.

      Mr. Barnes.

      Previous governments have signed up to numerous international agreements which parliament has simply waved through without a thought about the consequences. Theresa May MP was by far and away the worst offender. The government is being led, or dictated to, by the UN WHO whose main sponsor is China. Go figure ? The only solution is a new party offering total reform of our system. I see none at the moment 🙁

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      To be fair…

      This has become a global competition. South Korea, Vietnam, NZ… are being looked at as exemplars of CV-19 response.

      All nations are going for full lockdown therefore we must. I am in agreement with you btw. Focused shielding would work better for us and not all countries are the same and not all are counting in the same way.

      Some nations can do full lockdown. Ours can’t, for various reasons. We were always going to be hit hard (too many old and too many unhealthy) and this was only ever going to be about damage limitation.

      If only the blockades we are experiencing (for being good at detection and dissemination of our findings) had been as hard and fast against the origin.

  30. Peter from Leeds
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately many of his workers had to elf isolate earlier in the year – but at least his reindeer developed herd immunity..

    Happy Christmas and hopefully a better new year Sir John.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      +1 I like that analogy

  31. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    John

    I was in charge of getting approval for our Lions Clubs Santa and Sleigh to travel around the local area, as he does every year, and whilst many may think your posting is over the top, let me assure you it is closer to the truth than anyone may suppose.

    In the end we did a much reduced programme this year where the sleigh could not stop, because Santa was not allowed to talk to the kids (social distancing), we could not collect money for our own charity fund for local needy causes (social distancing/possible infected money) we had to produce method statements and risk assessments on exactly how the sleigh was to be run, with Santa being protected by his helpers, produce street lists of each nights programmes, (local authority and police)
    A suggestion that we walk the routes in daylight and record in advance any problems which were likely to cause a risk, including parked cars and potholes, to name the drivers and towing vehicle details in advance (insurance)
    Thus you were perhaps closer to the truth than you realise.

    Why did we even think of continuing under these circumstances, because we treated it as a Community service for the local Families to try and give a bit of pleasure in these difficult times.

    The event was promoted on line with a request that any donations were also made via our online systems, but from a fundraising point of view it was a disaster our takings being 98% down on previous years.

    The only reward, smiling faces.

    • Hope
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Well done to all of you.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        +1

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Well done to all the Rotary clubs and Lions clubs for continuing to put smiles on the children’s faces this year with their Father Christmas visits, we were so sad that we couldn’t put our cash donation into the usual bucket my husband ran out in the drizzle to do so. Perhaps you could put a link below your comment Alan so that people can click through and donate this year.

      I wondered how shops, window cleaners and takeaways took cash this year and the staff didn’t all fall down dead.

  32. Everhopeful
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    This Christmas present on Santa’s sleight from all MPs to the British people.
    OUR FREEDOM.
    Please.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Oh dear!
      SANTA’S SLEIGH!!

      • ian@Barkham
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        MP’s and sleight unfortunately seem to go hand in hand

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        you were right the first time – -sleight of hand as Ian notes.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      An even better Christmas present will come, I hope, on 28th when the Oxford Astra Zenneca vaccine will be approved. If it is.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        It will just be the beginning of our further enslavement.

  33. Alan Paul Joyce
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Alas, I fear poor old Father Christmas’ days are still numbered!

    It doesn’t appear as though the age, disability, transgender status, race, ethnicity and nationality, marriage and civil partnership status, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation brigade has caught up with him yet.

    Far too white, pale, male and stale!

    Merry Christmas everybody!

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      I found myself filling-in a 16-page probate application last week. I didn’t mind that – but I cursed my way through the 5-page diversity questionnaire that came with it.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Sea-Warrier

        I know what you mean ,I hope you do not have to wait as long as I did last year/this year for probate approval.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        optional surely? — just discard.

      • Alan Paul Joyce
        Posted December 24, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Dear Mr. Redwood,

        @Sea_Warrior,

        I do share your irritations over the ‘diversity inquisition’.

        As ‘bad’ luck would have it, I too have been ploughing my way through the estate of a deceased relative including the on-line grant of probate application process. However, this was relatively straightforward compared to the labyrinthine complexities of dealing with banks and building societies and other concerns. Especially so in the case of one power utility company (I shall not name it as I suspect Mr. Redwood would delete it) who seem to specialize in making life as difficult as possible for those unfortunate enough to have to obtain a small refund of an overpaid energy bill. Needless to say, they would not be so reticent if chasing an outstanding balance.

        Someone once coined the phrase ‘Broken-down Britain’. I thought it an exaggeration – until I began the process of being an executor. There is no wonder that solicitors are often employed to do this work.

        The thing is, I can’t decide whether the frustrations caused by the companies I have dealt with are deliberate on management’s part or down to the incompetence or poor training of their employees. But their systems are deeply ingrained with it.

  34. Steven
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Sorry Mr Redwood we don’t need child like stories from you, Boris and chums are already doing that. What we actually need from our supposed representatives is hard questioning of ministers. Some critical thinking and comparing what we’re told with what is really happening. But I supose fantasy stories is all we will ever get.

    • formula57
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      @ Steven – you might do well to look at this diary’s entries for any other days if that is what you want.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Cheer up Steven, forget politics for a day or two. Leave the doom and gloom to the Remoaners who are out in force here with not a joyous word between them.

      Make the best of what you have and look forward to a better New Year. Best wishes to all.

      • Andy
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        There is joy left on Plague Island? Where?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Across the land but maintaining 6 feet from you.

        • graham1946
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          You will never know with your bitter and twisted mind. Plague Island as you call it due to Brexit I suppose?
          No, just that we discovered it and reported it to the WHO whilst the EU either is not capable of finding it or is keeping it quiet but it is already there. Never a word of anything good about the UK. You must be a joy to live with. Thank God I don’t.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Is that what we get called because our scientists are so good at detecting newly evolved strains and alerting the world to them ?

          Have a look at the Coronavirus Update (live) site for today.

          Infections per million of population:

          France 38,121 (tests 482,930)

          UK 31,585 (tests 760,357)

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            France tests 35% less people but has 17% more cases and they block returning EU drivers! I hope we find out exactly how many of these drivers are Covid+, we should sue the French if none are.

            With these figures we should be closing the arrivals from France.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      From the outside, these ex-public schoolboys can see the sentimental weaknesses of the English working classes and of the petty bourgeoisie.

      Ho ho ho.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        You fail to realise just how much the Union bosses and the wealthy Labour Party MP’s despise the working classes.

        • ian@Barkham
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          +1
          That’s because like their leader they are now what is called Privately Educated.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Catch-22 you either got trodden on by Eton chums, or are allowed to work or strike by the Unions and lefties.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      To another spoilsport , I wish you a happy new year Steven, may your troubles be little ones

    • rose
      Posted December 24, 2020 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      Sir John is more than capable of doing several things at once. At the moment he hasn’t got a text to scrutinise.

  35. formula57
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Never mind regulatory compliance, the focus should now be different, alas. Santa Claus should equip himself with a body cam to afford himself an evidential record useful for defending himself from all manner of allegations. The reindeer should have them too!

    Thank you for yet another year of this tremendously informative diary, insightful and erudite as always. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

  36. DOM
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Why is your government allowing the spread of Critical Race Theory across our nation?????????????????????????????

    It is a vile form of racist demonisation designed to stoke hate,resentment and bigotry

    It is an act of criminality

    It is your job, your function to outlaw it by new laws and anyone teaching it should be prosecuted, jailed and sacked

    It is simply unacceptable for your party to turn a blind eye to this poison

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Well, it seems like a load of Postmodernist mumbo-jumbo like so much else these days.

      But it is a theory only, and if it is discussed critically as such then where’s the harm?

      It is simply a part of reality that someone has run this up after all, like Hayek’s rantings too.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Yet if employed you are now forced to go on training courses to absorb this mumbo jumbo.
        No course on the great economist Hayek I notice

  37. Original Richard
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    A Christmas tale of our times aptly describes our NHS where non-clinical bureaucrats have taken over its running to their benefit.

    We always knew these 9-5 bureaucrats bagged all the parking spaces for themselves leaving nothing for shift working nurses and doctors and now we learn that working from home secretaries and other non-patient facing staff are getting the scarce Covid-19 jab ahead of front-line nurses and doctors, even those with health issues.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      And to add insult to injury they’re earning 4/6/8 fold what our doctors and nurses are earning.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        No they are not! Our Doctors are the highest paid on earth! If you work out the rate per hour worked you would need smelling salts!

        • Fred H
          Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          and working from home since March they should be taxed as such, business rates on home, special allowances cancelled, no mileage claims, no lunches, no course fees – no profit dividends paid….

  38. RichardP
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you for an excellent Christmas story befitting our current predicament. The question is what can we do about it?
    Hopefully you have sent a copy to every member of the Cabinet.

  39. Nivek
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    This seems to imply that the regime we have been living under for the last nine months is just one more layer of red tape. What about the part where Santa Claus wasn’t allowed to step outside of his own home? When he couldn’t see his grandchildren? When he wasn’t allowed to visit Mrs. Claus when she was taken to hospital, and she died alone?

  40. Polly
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Got to laugh………

    Apparently the Chinese are likely to build two more UK plants like Hinckley Point C at Sizewell and Bradwell !

    Can’t your administration stop making terrible decision ?

    Polly

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      The UK used to be a world leader in the technology until Labour under Gordon Brown sold off our Nuclear Power Generating building capability on the premise it wouldn’t be needed to keep the lights on.

      Fast and loose with the UK’s silver… Oh, he sold our gold reserves at a discount as well – we didn’t need assets for a rainy day

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Brown sold the gold at the then market price after it had stagnated for years.

        The same cannot be said of the Tories give-away of public assets to their friends in a multitude of privatisations, of substantially larger worth.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 24, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          Total nonsense.
          Brown stupidly signalled his intention of selling well before he actually sold the gold.
          Costing us many millions.

          Privatisation saved the government many millions in losses and brought many millions in from investors

  41. cornishstu
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    A good video on lockdown sceptics by Vincent Racaniello, who is Professor of Virology at Columbia University dispelling the fear and hype over the ‘mutant covid virus’. It really is time those we elect to represent us start challenging the governments narrative and what comes out of sage and now nervtag. Just more hype and fear mongering to justify their actions.

  42. Billy Elliott
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the Christmas tale Sir!

    Merry Christmas to all participants of this blog and escpecially to you Sir Redwood!

  43. glen cullen
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to ask the all-wise Father Christmas three questions

    How the ‘R’ formula is calculated
    How the ‘Tier’ system formula is calculated
    How the ‘fisheries’ sell-out formula is calculated

    • Fred H
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Carrie is a bit busy right now, Wilf is making a fuss.

  44. John Hatfield
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Sadly too true to be funny, John.

  45. glen cullen
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just came to the conclusion that every extension to the negotiations is the same as asking the people to vote again and again in a referendum ….contemptuous

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      It seems Sir John’s government and party is now talking about a ‘provisional’ agreement so UK concessions can continue to be made from 1st January onwards.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Europe is going to occupy the headlines for many years, and you are going to be angry about that for most of the time.

        Remember the peace and quiet of the halcyon days before 2016?

  46. Derek
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I did read that the Police have every intention of enforcing the law over “illegal” gatherings. So Santa better watch out, although there is safety in numbers.
    Numbers like the thousand of XR activists who held up the daily business of millions of workers in London, then the mass protest marches through Bristol and elsewhere where, on every occasion, the Police stood back or kneeled down in submission in front of them. None were arrested none were halted shutting down our capital city. Why not? What are the police for these days?
    To clamp down on the weak and the silent majority?
    It is a great pity in this “democracy” that neither Police Commissioners nor senior Judicial figures are subject to regular ballots and elections just like our MPs.

    • Andy
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      The self-proclaimed ‘silent majority’ is neither silent nor a majority.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        when have you ever been silent? Andy you are a minority and should be silent. Let the majority speak for the country.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      The police enforce the policies of the government.
      The police do exactly as ordered.
      And thanks to the EU our police are virtually paramilitary.
      That was NEVER the deal brokered when the English allowed a police force to be established
      To keep them safe!! Bleat 🐑

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        No, the police enforce certain parts of criminal law, and at times take actions which mislead the public into thinking that some things – which in fact are not crimes at all – are offences, or by not taking action over things which are, to mislead them that some things are legal which are in fact not.

        The right wing media assist them in this, by giving enormous prominence to the latter instances.

        And now we have a public who are widely mistaken as to what is the law, particularly that of free speech.

        And that is exactly as the Right intend, I think

        • Edward2
          Posted December 24, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          It is usually the left who complain about the Police.

  47. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The threats to Farther Christmas as with all threats haven’t come about because of an open direct channel of criminal behavior.

    These threats have arrived on the scene as a result of those wishing to mold society in their own ‘personal’ image. They want anything they personally think we should ‘NOT’ know about cancelled. They want to replace history and the lessons we learnt from it with an image they have of tomorrow.

    In essence rather than recognize that the Human Race is made up of a collection of individuals that have a great spirit, that as individuals or collectively can achieve greatness for all. They want this trait drummed out of society and replaced by their own personal clone. After if everyone is my twin we will ‘get on!’

    Thank fully some (just some) of this lame stupidness has been countered by Elizabeth Truss speech on equality. Even then Government chose to redact the official report in case it offended.

    At the same time on a similar theme – Lord Justice Bean and justice Warby ruled that “free speech encompasses the right to offend, and indeed to abuse another,”

    The WOKE/Cancel brigade think free speech is just other listening to them and no one else. A case I have an opinion, you must agree or I and my followers will drown you out and cancel you. So out of politeness the majority keep quiet and our freedoms get eroded.

    The real threat to Christmas and society comes from a predominantly ‘WOKE’ Parliament in cahoots with the need of a ‘WOKE’ MsM in need of a headline. If we had a real Democratic Government it would work for the whole of Society not just a noisy few.

  48. Andy
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    A Tale of Two Tory Headlines:

    June 2016: Global Britain

    December 2020: Plague Island

  49. Freeborn John
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    The timid negotiating behaviour of the U.K. government beggars belief. Boris just can’t say No and stick to it. I didn’t traipse around Wokingham delivering your leaflets by the light of Christmas tree decorations for this terrible deal that allows the EU to unilaterally disrupt our trade whenever we attempt to diverge from EU law in future. If we cant in practice change our law to gain competitive advantage or to agree trade deals with non-EU states then it is Brexit in Name Only.

    • TrueBrit
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      It is done. Boris signed over NI this time last year, he has signed over GB now. Hope you can live with yourself for backing the man who sold out Brexit, Mr Redwood

  50. Polly
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The UK economy……

    Remember that ?

    Everyone seems to have forgotten……..

    Only Santa matters now !

    Polly

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      +1

  51. David King
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for a good laugh Sir John and may I join the many who wish you a very happy Christmas and a safe, healthy and successful 2021. I so appreciate your email every day; you set the standard for MP’s to follow.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      A good laugh?

      What are the Two Secrets Of Comedy?

      Well, the first is, Always Leave The Punters Wanting More.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        and the second get off before the rotten tomatoes get thrown!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      +1

  52. a-tracy
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry Sir John Amazon Prime can pick up the slack!

  53. Caterpillar
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    A Wish List for Santa,
    1. Please deliver one of the vitamin D prophylactic protocols to all over 50s. (If you, Santa, want to be scientific then choose four different vit D protocols for 20% each, and leave the other fifth of over-50s with a placebo present.)
    2. Please deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to care homes, the over 80s in multigenerational houses, and all the other over 80s. And please, please, please let us know when delivery will be completed.
    3. a) Please deliver a dictionary to Mr Matt Hancock, and mark the page with the definitions of ‘infected’ and ‘infectious’. (This might help him to understand that rapid tests can be used to identify the infectious and act on R, even if some infected are missed. Identifying infected early is important for those who are more likely to require hospitalisation and possibly those working with the vulnerable. The definitions might help him understand how to target more effectively).
    b) Perhaps a thesaurus to the newspapers so they can use the word ‘evolved’ instead of ‘mutant’.
    4. Please have your elves roll out cheaper, rapid testing for home use. The guy in the street realises that false positives aren’t a biggy if a second test can be taken immediately after a first positive.
    5. Please remind Mr Sunak to look back at his Stanford MBA notes, or chat (remotely) to his psychologist sibling about how to motivate and enable those with symptoms to isolate – freeing others from lockdown. Switching off a whole household when only one has symptoms (or a double positive infectious test) is of course stupidly demotivating.
    6. Please deliver HEPA air filtration with UVC to care homes, schools, restaurants … wherever most impactful.

    The list can go on, but one shouldn’t ask for too much.

  54. glen cullen
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Why isn’t our government asking that the French drivers be tested before arrival into UK

    Equal reciprocity

  55. glen cullen
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    And now I understand that Father Christmas will need a covid test to enter France ….when will this madness end

    • Fred H
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Flights, including reindeer hauled, are temporarily suspended between UK and France.
      Hopefully the old chap visits UK deliveries first, and is stopped in airspace heading towards La Manche.

  56. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    After the useless first-past-the-post political system we have, the biggest thing wrong with this country is the media. Looking at the sensationalist headlines and utter garbage on their front pages every day – as shown all together on the BBC News app in the morning – is enough to make you weep. Mutant – is the latest word you see everywhere. Why do the media provide a fertile ground for the government to act as they do? So many people believe the hysterical crap they write that they think we should all be locked down permanently.

  57. Alan Paul Joyce
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    There are reports that a Brexit deal is almost done. I wonder if, the next time you write about the EU, your mailbag will be overflowing?

  58. Fred H
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    So Boris and Ursula are getting all chummy hoping they can wave a piece of paper and claim they won the 4 year arm wrestle.
    Just in time for the Christmas we all know to be Crappy not Happy.
    Pretence is futile.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Nick Clegg told Farage in the first TV “debate” that this, exactly, is what would happen.

      He was right.

      Remember?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 24, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        He also said the idea of an EU armed force was a lie and a ridiculous fantasy.

        He was wrong.

        Remember?

  59. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for a wonderfully crafted story. Future generations will shake their head and think we were not all there. But we have the ability to laugh at ourselves, it helps clear the air and crystallise the objectives for the New Year, prioritising the ‘Resolutions’.
    In truth this was a landmark year. We officially left the EU and we have control over our Parliament. If Boris flunks this next test, we will find a means to rectify it.
    I have sent your story, attributed, far and wide.
    A Merry Christmas to you and yours. You deserve all good things.

  60. glen cullen
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    The labour party will abstain so it will come down to which Tory MPs have a backbone

    • rose
      Posted December 24, 2020 at 12:28 am | Permalink

      They won’t abstain because otherwise they might get WTO+.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 24, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      The Labout party will vote in any deal and Boris knows he can get away with any deal.

  61. Ignoramus
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. Happy Christmas and a better New year.

  62. Dunedin
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Ho ho ho –thank you Sir John for a very entertaining seasonal satire. This reminds us that we really need to replace all this bureaucratic humbug with more wise men (and women) in government, while SAGE should largely be confined to turkey stuffing.

    Meanwhile, Father Christmas is still trying to locate some last minute gifts. A young chap called Boris of London SW1 has sent a letter to the North Pole asking for a big, comprehensive, gift-wrapped trade deal. However, if this cannot be found, a charming French gentleman has promised to send Boris a huge parcel of assorted fudge instead – just as soon as he can get it shipped across the Channel.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  63. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Happy Christmas.

    Thanks for all the effort and for running this blog.

  64. Polly
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    How is it going to work in the UK without an economy ?

    The Johnson administration looks only interested in lockdowns forever and to keep the C-19 fear factor working to the maximum possible extent.

    After all, at no time has Mr Hancock ever promoted the statistics for individuals recovering from the illness, and the numbers of recovered persons fortunately is enormous.

    So what is going on ? Things don’t look right at all.

    I even had C-19 myself and it was all gone in four days and far less bad than flu.

    Polly

  65. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    So we have the miracle of Christmas. A big box of fudge from Boris delivered by Santa. Aren’t we lucky boys and girls? Being told what to do for eternity. Best Christmas ever. Pass the sick bucket please.

  66. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Will Dame Lucy be making an appearance this Christmas Sir John?

    I do hope she has been seconded to the Department for Health

  67. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Well Sir John I sincerely hope you and your family have a great Christmas but I wonder if you will be happy in the new year with the fudged up deal Boris is about to present?

  68. ChrisS
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    A wonderful satirical contribution, John.

    It exposes the lunacy that we have to put up with, in the second decade of the 21st century.

    It makes us wonder how legislators can keep coming up with new measures to strangle society. But then, when you have idiots like Verhofstadt and Macron in Europe, Moran and Davy in charge of the Libdems and the entire hierarchy of the SNP Labour parties, is it any wonder !

  69. oldwulf
    Posted December 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    “It was after all a free service he offered, and part of the wonder was not knowing how it was all paid for.”

    For some time I have been concerned that Father Christmas, his elves and reindeer have no visible means of support. I am not for one moment suggesting that he is part of the black economy although it may be HMRC is taking an interest in his activities.

    Having said this, it may be that Father Christmas spends little time in the UK, has insufficient UK connections and is not “tax resident” here. Indeed, it may be that he is not tax resident anywhere, which would lead to complications as to where he should pay his taxes.

    Most likely, he is resident somewhere in the Arctic Circle which may well be something of a tax haven, but without the attractions of (say) Monaco. Some might consider it surprising that Father Christmas chooses to reside in the Arctic Circle in preference to Monaco. For tax reasons, this suggests that he may well be French …..

  70. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 24, 2020 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    And Merry Christmas to you. Thanks for both the insights and represent me and many others in Parliament, your work is certainly appreciated.

  71. NigelE
    Posted December 24, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Reindeer? Ruminants? It’s not the carbon dioxide Santa has to worry about, it’s the methane.

    Mind you positioned where he is on his towed sleigh, he’ll be more than aware of thos emissions!

    Merry Christmas, Sir JR. Hope you don’t need to spend all of it scrutinising 2000 pages of EU babble.

  72. Ian
    Posted December 24, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Well done Sir John .
    Now all you have to do is leave the Labour Party and the Libdims, in the so called Tory party.
    Take your like minded friends and throw in with Farage, your party does not deserve you, you , like us deserve to get what we voted for, it will be the only way to get our Democracy back and to become a Sovereign Nation again, it has to be a worthwhile objective

  73. R.T.G.
    Posted December 24, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Merry Christmas to you and yours SJR. Many thanks for all your thoughts and for fighting the good fight!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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