Season Message: Revenge of the Message
a decade ago. It is now the only sign of life in an otherwise moribund blog.
Usually I post a rambling festive message as well as a compilation of images juxtaposing Christmas imagery (trees, Santa etc) with symbols of conflict (soldiers, tanks, protests etc).
The latter I dub Happy Xmas (War is Over) as an ironic nod to the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Christmas song. A not terribly subtle reference to the fact that when I began this project with the occupation of Iraq at its height and ongoing strife in occupied Palestine, war was far from over.
Over the last few years these posts have
become harder to put together. The world really did seem to be becoming more peaceful.
It doesn't feel like that this year. With the brutal Syrian civil war grinding on, the rise of ISIS, continuing conflict in Israel-Palestine and simmering tensions in Ukraine things look to be going downhill.
Perhaps this is just a question of perception. I do think there is something to Steven Pinker's argument that the world is generally, on average, becoming less violent. But that will be small consolation to those suffering this Christmas.
Closer to home, the government continues it's assault on the working class under the banner of austerity. This is unlikely to change next year even in the (unlikely) event of a Labour victory at the General Election.
The left, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen. For whatever reasons it is in abeyance and in no position to exert any real influence on national politics. (The betrayal of the local government pay strike earlier this year hasn't helped.)
It is tempting to hope for some spontaneous uprising. Nobody could have predicted in Russia in December 1916 what would happen the next year. This is true, but it misses a fundamental point.
Apparently spontaneous activity is rarely genuinely spontaneous. It is usually the product of long-standing political activity. Just because history doesn't record the day-to-day organisation of political movements doesn't reduce it's importance.
The simple reality is that this sort of activity has largely ceased in the UK. Much of the infrastructure on which it previously relied has now gone. It will take a lot of effort to rebuild it.
So there's a lot to be getting on with in 2015...
Happy Christmas, Chrismukkah, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Duckmass, Festivus, Hannukah, Hogmany, Holiday, HumanLight, Koruchun, Kwanza, Marxmas, New Year, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Winterval, Xmas, Yalda and/or Yule! (Other holidays are available. Probably.)
Previous years: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004