Start the Most Wonderful Time of the Year later

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As far as politicians go, David Blunkett is regarded as one of the most influential of the past 20 years.

A key member of Tony Blair’s election winning machine, Blunkett was a household name, not just because of the fact he brushed aside his disability to rise to the near pinnacle of British politics but also due to the fact he was somebody who got things done.

Despite the odd controversy, Blunkett’s record in office is such that he will be remembered as the Home Secretary who was in office during the trauma of the 9/11 Terror Attacks which changed the world forever. During his tenure, recorded crime dropped dramatically, although policies such as the introduction of PCSOs were not always universally welcomed. But despite all of that, he could well have made his biggest contribution away from the House of Commons following his intervention in the When Should Christmas Start debate.

In a letter to the Times newspaper, he wrote on behalf of harassed parents everywhere when he called for a ban on Christmas advertising before December 1.

His argument for such tough measures is simple: start Christmas later and the whole experience will seem less laboured and could even “restore meaning to what is supposed to be a Christian festival”.

I don’t think I have ever agreed more with a politician on anything as I do with Blunkett’s views on the hijacking of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

As a church-going Christian, it is my view our children should understand the true meaning of Christmas and also cherish the fact that it is a time when families spend precious time together.

I will dress up as Father Christmas’s wife if any Government ever attempts to tell businesses when they can start plugging December 25 because we do spend a lot of money during the festive period. But I’d argue we would continue to spend the same amount of cash even if we didn’t have Noddy Holder reminding us what time of year it was in November.

Lord Blunkett is spot on: that we can already buy mince pies and crackers for dogs means that, come the last week of the year, we will be willing Christmas to be finished before it has really started. Both David Blunkett and I live in hope that big business will some day get the message.