Dimly flickers the Christmas star in times such as these. Peace on Earth and goodwill to all?
Pipe dreams (a phrase which entered the language in the 19th century, an allusion to the dreams experienced by smokers of opium pipes – and boy are we on a bad trip).
At home, Britain feels more bitterly divided than at any time in my recall.
Brexiteer vs Remainer, young vs old, town vs country, choose your dividing line, we’re shot through with ‘em.
Goodwill is unlikely to span these widening chasms, even – I expect – when the combatants are either side of one Christmas table. There will be tiffs over turkey, spats over stuffing, pique over pudding, sad but likely, in many otherwise happy houses.
Meanwhile, overseas, mayhem.
Syria remains the arena in which more or less every world power wages proxy war upon one another.
The NEW Great Game, live from Syria, the population of that ill benighted nation being mere playing pieces on the board.
In Yemen the ongoing civil war has pushed the country to the brink of famine, with children’s charity UNICEF last week revealing more than 450,000 children are in danger of starvation.
Blockades and air-strikes, both backed and actively supported by Britain, are strangling this small country to death. More than 10,000 have already been killed, there is no obvious end in sight. Obviously both conflicts, along with every other conflagration across that region, continue to drive the biblical refugee crisis for which Britain currently wishes to shun responsibility. Well, it’s 13 years since we lit the blue touch paper and invaded.
To quote Tony, let’s move on...
That all this chaos should be unfolding at the precise moment a clown prepares to move into the White House is undoubtedly the icing on the Christmas cake.
Still, we will celebrate the season in spite of all. We’re hard-wired, our body clock trips an annual alarm and off we go, mouthing the sentiments, following the star.
Maybe, if we really try to believe, some of its pale light might shine into the coming year.