Nationalise Santa

Saturday’s a day for catching the mood, so how are you bearing up? Apart from the petrol queues at Tescos, thanks to their ”price war,” not too badly in my case, assuming the pension funds holds up. A backlash against all the solemn stuff nobody can do anything about is inevitable. Naturally somebody has to blame the media and it’s Cranmer’s turn. The financial crisis in the new bird flu.

“Christmas itself may be cancelled because Santa banked in Iceland. And he had shares in Hamleys. And Hamleys banked with Northern Rock, but has just moved its billions to Ireland, or Germany – anywhere which guarantees every deposited euro without limit – for these countries now have the safest banks in the world. So Santa is moving to Dublin, or Berlin, and exchanging reindeer for leprechauns, or Volkswagens, for the only hope he has of meeting all of his service and supply commitments over the next eight weeks is with state aid. Santa has been nationalised.”
While we’re on Iceland, the Daily Mash explained how those councils got it wrong.

COUNCILS INVESTED £1BN IN TINY VOLCANO SURROUNDED BY FISH
Julian Cook, director of finance at the Local Government Association, said: “I meant Luxembourg – shit!

“I suppose the haddock-shaped piece of lava with every new account was probably a clue.”

AN Wilson in the Mail goes retro with memories of austerity forties he hopes will return.
“My reason for being hopeful as we look ahead towards the lean years is that austerity binds us all together – as communities and as families.”

Even more alarming is a surprisingly sensible Sun leader – have they lost their bottle altogether?

“The lesson of history is that good times DO return.

But the wait is going to be long and painful.”

The left are in a bit of bind at the moment. They’re itching to condemn capitalism of course but they’re not sure of their audience and David Cameron had already nabbed the “punish the master of the universe” line. Michael Meacher of the traditional left of the Labour party comes right out and says it.

“The tax havens hiding billions offshore should be opened up by law and the vast wealth illegally accumulated there over decades should be repatriated to replenish Treasury coffers. And in an unprecedented crisis like this, a significant tax surcharge needs to be levied on the broadest shoulders – the hedge funds and private equity operators, the higher rate taxpayers (particularly the 1% richest) and the biggest businesses. It will hurt, but not doing so will hurt much more.”

Quote of the week goes to Ian Paisley, in the Commons on Monday.

“I am sure that the whole House will realise the very terrible times that we are in. I remember being a lad in Ulster and the soup kitchens, the poverty and the terrible happenings that took place. We must all, in our own way, do what we can to help one another to get some way through this very dark hour for our nation. I know that there are many beliefs in this House; my belief in God is well known and my religious convictions are known. I trust that our whole nation will turn in repentance and cry to God for an intervention so that the calamity will not come on our children and on the babes in their cots.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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