About ten days ago the Standard ran a report on a campaign to save Christmas from pc interference. This story related to the Christian Muslim Forum and a letter it wrote to councils pleading for an end to the suppression of Christmas and the restoration of its Christian meaning. Needless to say the report cites Birmingham’s Winterval festival and Luton’s Luminos celebration as proof positive that local authorities are acting to stamp out Christmas.
This sort of story abounds, particularly in the toilet press (which includes for this purpose the Mail and the even nastier Express). The problem is that stories about councils etc declaring a PC war on Christmas are pretty much a pack of lies The Guardian had an interesting story on this phoney war yesterday
The truth of course is that Luton Council does not have a festival called Luminos instead of Christmas – in November 2001 it held a Harry Potter themed weekend called Luminos but it then had its usual Christmas celebrations. As for Birmingham the truth is that it did run a Winterval festival in 1997 and 1998 but as a promotional campaign to drive business into Birmingham's newly regenerated town centre. Much to the chagrin of the press (if it could be bothered to check its facts) Birmingham still had its Christmas lights, Christmas trees and carol-singing.
That is not to say that some stories do not have a grain of truth: a member of staff at a High Wycombe library did refuse to display an A4 poster for a carol service in 2003 because of a rule excluding religious or political posters from a notice board but this seems very much the exception than the rule.
As far as I am concerned the War on Christmas stories are largely the product of a lazy and mendacious press. They are no different to the old “loony left council” stories about banned nursery rhymes and more seasonal that lies about the EU.
war on Christmas