It’s years or even decades since I wrote to you, so I wonder whether I might ask for the following presents. The presents aren’t for me, but if you could manage the lot, that really would be the best present of all time.
Perhaps your Reindeer could deliver one each while you sit back and have a well-earned rest. There’s some debate as to whether or not all of your reindeer are female or castrated. Male reindeer lose their antlers in winter, don’t they, but as long as they can all draw on a few skills that are so sadly lacking in some of the people they’ll be visiting the gender of your reindeer matters not a jot! Care, charity, compassion, concern and consideration are but a few of the senses absent from the recipients of the gifts you’re about to deliver.
Dasher’s reputed to be your speediest reindeer, so we’ll keep Dasher until last! And I’ve rearranged some of the others, so that they have a bit of variety from their usual line-up. Similar to the way in which many of our political leaders with their supposedly caring minds have been rearranged recently.
Comet and Cupid have got to be the first down the chimney, hand-in-hand, delivering to a very Happy Couple, David and Nick, who were drawn together by another Cupid. After a whirlwind romance, they succumbed to temptation and tied the knot. David and Nick deserve all they get.
Comet will forgive me, I hope, for calling on one extra-terrestrial frozen mass that travels around the sun in an elliptical orbit to deliver to another body with a frozen mass but also in orbit. Historically, comets have been considered to be bad omens. Cupid will understand the need to accompany Comet.
Could David and Nick have two presents each, please?
For David, a pair of fluffy slippers. A fairly traditional old-fashioned present, but his feet must be so very tired after wearing hobnailed boots for months on end now. He’s trampled over ground that’s been compacted with care over the years as it provided a solid base for many people. The young, the old, the poor and the sick have all suffered recently as they’ve had no choice but to watch everything they believed in by way of support mechanisms being dismantled at breakneck speed. David’s second present could be a pair of headphones, or perhaps a couple of ear trumpets, or any device that could amplify sound and enhance the power of those two little receivers on either side of his head. At the moment he’s either unable to hear, or unwilling to listen, to the voice of the people.
Nick will probably be found lying down in a darkened room, waiting for his next mission to be announced. He’s feeling weary, from all that orbiting around his sun-god. So, for Nick a hot-water bottle to warm his frozen heart as he orbits. And some heavy-duty suspenders because the oomph has gone out of his braces. He’s been dangled, swung and swayed for far too long now, and if his elastic snaps, then his orbit could be so great that he’ll never find a way down to earth again. That may not be a bad thing though.
Prancer brings to Vince a mirror, a compass and a magnetic tutu. The mirror may remind Vince of who he is and what he once believed in, let alone what he once promised; the compass will direct him towards the right path. The magnetic tutu will allow him to leap and pirouette to his heart’s content, but will always bring him back to earth with a bump and a strong reminder of the way in which he has chosen to manipulate his position.
Dancer arrives gracefully in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street, where the whole cabinet seem to be rehearsing for Strictly Come Dancing, all dancing to the tune of the Happy Couple. Dancer’s gift will be the last-published edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The words that have come from the mouths of the cabinet have shocked many of us recently – and they haven’t finished yet – so this present from you will enable them to learn some acceptable words, rather than the vulgarities they’ve grown accustomed to.
Hopefully they’ll see how rude they’ve been, using words like scum, sinners, scroungers, spongers and so on. They never used such words before the General Election to describe the people who voted in that election, so perhaps power brings with it a mouth filled with obscenities.
All the Secretaries of State would welcome a bottle of mouthwash too, if you could arrange that one, Santa.
And if you could also run to a copy of Derek Fraser’s ‘The Evolution of the British Welfare State’, and a copy of Charles Webster’s ‘The National Health Service: A Political History’ then the Cabinet could be kept occupied and out of mischief for a good while reading up on what they’re all trying to demolish and finding out why they should tread carefully.
Donner and Blitzen can work as a twosome. The thunder and lightning they deliver to the House of Commons will be deafening and startling. It will shake awake that sleepy band of so-called representatives of the people. To each MP a pair of kid gloves made of the softest leather you can find, plus a feather duster. The gloves are to be secured permanently to their hands so that they will be gentle and thoughtful whenever they debate and vote on issues that affect the real people, even though they may not impact on the lives of this strange bunch of representatives that has landed from outer space.
As for the feather dusters, I’ll leave it to Donner and Blitzen to place them where they see fit. Any orifice will suffice as long as the purpose and function of a feather duster remains intact. To dust away the cobwebs, but not to demolish spiders in the process. They protect fine china. That’s what we ask our MPs to do too.
Vixen has a detour to make, I’m afraid, to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to deliver as large a quantity of magnifying glasses as possible. The CQC has been very short-sighted for years now, failing to care enough about the quality of care it has allowed to be registered and delivered to people in need of care and support. The magnifying glasses will enable the CQC to inspect at very close range all those self-assessments from care providers all over the country that will be in need of scrutiny from now on. And perhaps the few inspectors that may remain after the latest shake-up will each be able to take a magnifying glass with them when they go on unannounced inspection visits. They could all do with an appointment with an optician too.
Now to Dasher, your right-hand reindeer. Dasher will have had a rest while the others were all working hard, so Dasher will speed you all to Buckingham Palace. Don’t worry, it’ll be empty as the usual tenants will all be elsewhere. Waiting for you there will be every single resident from every single care home in the land, plus every single older person who can’t afford to heat their own home this winter, plus every single child from every family that is soon to be made homeless and forced to move further afield plus their mums and dads of course, plus every single disabled person who is soon to face the most stringent inspection of their personhood in order to retain the support they need, plus a few more good people who will soon be battered and bruised by the bunch of heartless thugs we call the government.
Rudolph is the youngest new arrival to your fleet, so perhaps Rudolph could do a Rudy, a front somersault with 1½ twists and keep you all entertained. Turn the heat up, eat the cupboards bare, have a great party. Stay as long as you wish.
Oh, I nearly forgot: while you are having a rest, Santa, loads of presents will be delivered to the Palace. Well, we arranged to re-route all the presents that were destined to go elsewhere to the undeserving powerful heartless decision-makers, to the fat-cats, to the wheeler-dealers, to the tax avoiders, and so on. And we re-directed the bankers’ bonuses too, so you won’t run out of anything at all as you celebrate.
Many thanks in advance, Santa!
Seasonal Greetings to you all.