Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eric Pickles is 'committed to celebrating Christmas, including its Christian heritage'

There is no-one in Parliament who would make a better Father Christmas than Eric Pickles. And this little speech by Robert Neill, in response to a question by Caroline Flint, is a skilful riposte to Labour's attempt to criticise his department for presumed festive excess:

Hansard, 20 December 2010 : Column 942W

“Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Christmas parties and drinks receptions his Department plans to host in December 2010.

Robert Neill: As the Secretary of State indicated in his departmental press notice of 29 November 2010, the new Administration is committed to celebrating Christmas, including its Christian heritage. We should not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christmas and the importance of the birth of Christ.

Ministers recognise that we live in frugal times due to the need to pay off the significant public deficit and national debt that the Government have inherited from the previous administration. But there is no need to play Scrooge.

In this context, a Christmas tree has been placed in the Department's reception at Eland house which has been provided at no cost to the taxpayer. This is in contrast to the previous cost of £1,037 for a Christmas tree outlined in the parliamentary answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 849W.

Ministers plan to hold one small reception for senior DCLG staff to thank them for their hard work this year. Their work includes the abolition of bureaucratic Comprehensive Area Assessment and other local red tape, stopping the imposition of bin taxes and the unfair ports tax, and laying the ground for radical new powers for local authorities through the Localism Bill. The reception will be held in Eland House. Individual divisions within the Department may hold Christmas lunches paid for by staff.

A Christmas quiz and Christmas fair are being held for staff to raise funds for the Civil Service Benevolent Fund. The fair included Christmas carols sung by the Environment, Transport and Communities choir, ETCetera, and by Westminster Cathedral primary school children.

Last year, the Department spent £2,855 of taxpayers' money on Christmas cards. This year the departmental Christmas card, now with appropriate Christian imagery, has been produced at no cost to the taxpayer and will be sent electronically. Recognising the need to look after the vulnerable at this time of year, we are also supporting the homeless charity Shelter in the card. We will ensure that the right hon. Member is included on the distribution list.”


Blogger dmk said...

"There is no need to play Scrooge". I bet local councillors and local council employees around the country are spraying their morning cuppa around the office, if they still have one to go to.

22 December 2010 at 09:44  
Anonymous greg tingey said...

Does this include a traditional witch-burning?

22 December 2010 at 09:54  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I can't help but like Mr Pickles. I hope he has a Merry Christmas and comes back refreshed in the New Year, cutting public spending until the pips squeak.

22 December 2010 at 09:58  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

I think that we should remember what Christmas is all about; the birth of the baby Dawkins. Images of that lowly maternity ward in Nairobi where the infant Dawkins uttered his first lecture on The Extended Phenotype would be appropriate for the Christmas card and available from all good humanist book shops.

As for Pickles well the name says it all, perhaps a pie eating contest with his fellow gargantuan, Prescott, sponsored of course, so at no cost to the taxpayer, could start the season’s festivities.

22 December 2010 at 10:06  
Anonymous JayBee said...

The parliamentary question came from the Grinch who banned biscuits.
Perhaps she ought to change her name to Skinflint.

22 December 2010 at 10:10  
Blogger Ingenieur said...

Rarely do I ever applaud a politiican but: Three cheers for Eric Pickles and his Common Sense.

22 December 2010 at 11:03  
Blogger Gawain Towler said...

"We will ensure that the right hon. Member is included on the distribution list"

Oh how they enjoyed penning that...

22 December 2010 at 11:09  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

A superb rebuttal. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

22 December 2010 at 11:21  
Blogger Conand said...

I think that is among the best answers to a written parliamentary question that I have ever read.
A cheap Tory Christmas that gives money to charity or an expensive Labour Winterval that is paid for by sucking the blood of the workers. You decide which is better, I have.

22 December 2010 at 12:02  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Graham Davis said

Psalm 14:1
1 The fool hath said in his heart,
There is no God.
Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity:
there is none that doeth good.

It appears YOU worship a False Saviour then, and will follow him where he goes upon his death, because you too love his folly and believe it.

So you ARE a Believer BUT of the divine doctrine of the Godhood of Man by ST Dawkins the Irrelevant.

I thought you believed in NOTHING? So, you have your own god and his word. At least try to be consistent, my good fellow!

Your god did not do very well against Dr William Craig Lane in Mexico, did he...All waffle and empty rhetoric.. I though we were the 'emotionally deluded', unable to explain ourselves. Look to yourselves. DITTO DITTO


22 December 2010 at 12:48  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Its the small victories that will matter in the coming years, lets take our mindsets out of the Internationalists Agenda and ratake our lives back in small local and simple terms a people can relate with, therefore seeing and feeling change done by themselves and not dictated.

Remeber the Government forced multicultural society on us and now we have a right to live by our ancestral beliefs and traditions, not as we are told.

If the holes in the damn pull out your finger!

But I still believe as long as we are a multicultural society, the first people to pacify should not be all the foreigners recently washed up on our shores but our own native indic cuture that suffered a thousand years of oppression.

22 December 2010 at 13:26  
Anonymous greg tingey said...

Ancestral beliefs?
Like YULE?
No imaginary big middle-eastern goatherders' myths then?
Jut lots of eat, drink and party?
I'll go along with that!

Remeber, the most christian leader this country ever had ... BANNED "christmas".
As an atheist, I can still aver that O. Cromwell was a bastard.

22 December 2010 at 15:27  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I wouldn't mind a Yuletide delivery of festive heating-oil; the log ain't set to last!

22 December 2010 at 15:30  
Blogger Mr Eman said...

Dear Thomas Cranmer

An excellent blog not only revealing the small-mindedness of 'New' Labour but also the intelligence of Mr Pickles and his intention to rid us of polical correctness that denies the meaning of Christ-Mass.

Well done Mr Pickles and may God Bless you!

22 December 2010 at 15:53  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Top man Eric!

22 December 2010 at 15:57  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

I too have a lot of time for Eric Pickles. He's whipping the lazy, self-serving councils back to actually doing the job for which local taxes are raised, and actually serving the community that pays for them. Labour saw them as local gauleiters, controlling the proles; Mr. P. is turning them back into public servants, focused on public service.

Well done, Eric Pickles.

22 December 2010 at 16:46  
Blogger Chancellor More said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 December 2010 at 18:09  
Blogger Crusader said...

Greg Tingy

The heretical Puritan Cromwell was no christian. He was a miserable, deluded, murdering fascist.

Whether he was born out of wedlock I do not know.

Off with his head!

22 December 2010 at 18:12  
Anonymous TomTom said...

The heretical Puritan Cromwell was no christian. He was a miserable, deluded, murdering fascist.

Silly response to silly comment by Tingley. Christmas does not exist in The Bible and is a pagan construct developed by the Church of Rome. It was especially debased in the 17th Century.

That aside, Pickles is probably the most effective Minister in this administration, and one of the few that knows his brief

22 December 2010 at 19:35  
Blogger English Viking said...


Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Bible either, but Christ celebrated it.

22 December 2010 at 19:56  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


I spoke in jest!

22 December 2010 at 21:26  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Going by the excellent research of William Hamilton Stewart.

Aryan origins and Kinship, in todays terms it would seem the Old Testament adds up to one huge hate crime.

The Hebrews should be made to pay reperations!

Odin and Christmas

22 December 2010 at 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish there were more like Eric Pickles in the government. More strength to your arm Eric.

22 December 2010 at 22:29  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Graham Davis said. 22 December 2010 21:26

Me too, in my own style, of course!

Now I am off on another comment section to see if I can get (If Ever) some answers from my ex Catholic brethren who refuse to respond to my facts about Catholicism


22 December 2010 at 22:39  
Anonymous non mouse said...

On "Odin and Chistmas" - I slogged through to the bit "When the Vikings conquered Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ..."

Surfeited by shamney, I then retired from his "shimney" rhetoric on Snorrie. Enough hatred of the British already (what with their Caesure of New Amsterdam [New York - ha ha Jorvik])! And I bet this charlatan tells everybody he speaks English!

How sad that such diatribes present themselves as scholarship - and that they so misappropriate even Snorrie's scholarship.

I'm beginning to see how dangerously the www contributes to the networking of ignorance - especially among those who refuse to learn the skills of evaluating and interpreting sources!

So to the heyday of the self-educated ... ?

22 December 2010 at 23:32  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

English Viking said 22 December 2010 19:56

'Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Bible either (How could it be, It was established during the times of Maccabees after the forces of Antiochus IV had been driven from the Temple about 166 BC). Malachi, last book of the Bible is 500-450 BC and closes God's Word until John The Baptist speaks and the New Testament begins. How would it have been possible to be included?

but Christ celebrated it.( Yes, I know, see below)
John 10:22-23
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

Are you seriously suggesting that the 25th December was the day in history that Jesus was born? No wonder Atheists and others have a field day with us as this is incorrect..I KNOW MY HISTORY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE?


Am I understanding your statement correctly?


22 December 2010 at 23:44  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Apologies for the typos -- Sturluson (1178-1241)was, of course, Snorri.

23 December 2010 at 00:04  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Horrahh for Eric , for sending the forces of Dromey back unto there squalid cultural lair , lets hope its contagious and the drugs wear off the others .

23 December 2010 at 00:53  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Some seek further explanation, others are content with what they already believe they understand.

This is the nature of mankind, yet it is not the nature of GOD.

For the nature of GOD is nature itself as expressed within the entire known, as well as unknown universe.

As is above, so it is below.

Gods Nature works on a micro, as well as a macro level. Which is infinitely small, as well as infinitely large, and many levels in between.

Therefore it is perfectly possible that the entire cosmos is currently situated somewhere up a small dogs back-side, for all we know.

Now if you or your priest can make sense of that, and still hold that God has revealed anything much of himself, then good for you.

When I was a young boy I believed I knew virtually everything I needed to know. When I began to actually lean things, and became an adult things started to get a little more complicated to say the least.

As I became older, it seemed that the more I knew the faster I began to know ever more.

Unfortunately the more knowledge I gained the more I found out how little I know, as I became aware of quite how much there is to know, as well as how much is unknowable.

This is what could be described as a paradox.

But there again, LIFE IS A PARADOX.

Just one simple example of a very human paradox we should all be able to relate to.

There has long existed a world wide church, said to exist wholly for the betterment of the poorest of humanity, and the glorification of God, which just so happens to be the richest, and most politically powerful established religion, nay single material entity ever known to mankind.

Yet we still have countless amounts of starving people in the world, ever more racism, sexism, violence, injustice, pollution, abortion, and general division among the ordinary peoples of this planet?

Organized religion, armed forces, environmental, and judicial agencies, banks, social-workers, quality controllers, and of course governments have much in common with each other.

They all exist because very many extremely nasty problems exist, which I will not bother listing, as I am sure you all know what they are.

Therefore as these chaps make a living from these professional activities, and in the case of organized religion an extremely long standing and vastly wealthy one, they all have every possible motivation for doing exactly the opposite to what they are supposed to be doing.

In conclusion.

The world is S..T., and if we carry on organizing it the way we have been doing, it will self-evidently remain so.

While the only person who could ever had made it better in the first place, is staring back at us, in our respective mirrors. Not preaching at us from a pulpit, or indeed a front or back bench.

23 December 2010 at 02:46  
Blogger johnmillerm said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 December 2010 at 08:59  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...

Oliver Cromwell WAS a Christian - albeit not a perfect one (but who ever is?). He and his fellow Puritans were driven by a realistic understanding of the threat that political Roman Catholicism posed to the nation at that time. He achieved a great deal of good for the country; he allowed religious freedom for groups that had previously been persecuted. He also permitted the Jews to settle here. Nevertheless his regime had serious faults - which is why the monarchy crept back. Ironically, Charles II converted to Catholicism on his deathbed..

23 December 2010 at 09:04  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

23 December 2010 at 09:40  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

non mouse said...
So to the heyday of the self-educated ... ?

Yes it may take on aspects of political bias, but does not all politics corrupt matters in our search for the simplest of truths, that our folk were animist our beliefs poetic and of a metaphysical nature, God gifted Man with a mind capable of sorting the Wheat from Chaff.

Then again I am left handed so maybe that makes me evil and the schools should have beaten these ideas out of me as a child. Would that make better sence?

For me the Bible and God makes better sence when I apply animism and metaphysics.

My true ancestral beliefs.

23 December 2010 at 09:41  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Caedmon's cat said

I agree completely with your statement and it basis of limited perfection by anyone trying to rule a diverse people.

Even St Peter was admonished by Jesus, when he stated he would never reject Him. He was told by Jesus he would. All christians are only sinners but forgiven sinners. One minute Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit stated Jesus was The Christ, next minute, Satan, speaking through Peter's words, is rebuked by Jesus as Peter is led astray by his own human feelings of What he thinks God wants. Sorry, no Theocracy for me ( I was once a Catholic)..I will wait for my Lord to Rule as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

How well did C S Lewis reflect when he stated
'I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to the rulers and to the subjects.

Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is going wrong he may possibly repent.
But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely, because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.
C.S. Lewis, "A Reply to Professor Haldane," in Of Other Worlds (Harcourt, Brace, World, 1967), page 81

I prefer to wait for our Lord's perfect rule when He comes to rule from David's throne over ALL nations, then and only then will there will be peace and justice for ALL.

The Perfect and Just King.


23 December 2010 at 10:18  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Bred in the Bone - Far be it from me to suggest that we shouldn't read Snorri, or our ancestral heritage. Quite the opposite.

The stuff is fascinating. Indeed, I've spent time working with the primary source in the most informed and academically respectable perspective that I can. So I don't imagine that anyone provides all the answers.

What concerns me is uneducated secondary sources, and/or misinterpretation by people who don't study the background thoroughly. I think none of us can avoid anachronism on these matters - but to adapt them willy nilly for modern motives is what I call rubbish.

Further still, I'm left-handed mi-sen ... nobody tried to beat anything out of my brain - so I'm glad they didn't treat you that way either! It's the commies who are on that tack, nowadays:)

Happy Christmas.

23 December 2010 at 12:38  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Culture is something that each man not only may interpret as he pleases but must indeed interpret as he can-T.S. Eliot

Lets give the commies multiculturalism on our terms :-D

All the very best!

23 December 2010 at 13:19  
Blogger killemallletgodsortemout said...

Flicking Flinty the bird, as they say in the good ole US of A!

Quite right, too.

23 December 2010 at 16:12  
Blogger English Viking said...

King of High Whatever,

No Sir, you are not correct in your assumptions.

I need no lectures from ex-Catholics on avoiding giving the enemies of God opportunities to blaspheme.

I am also aware of the time-line of the writing of the scriptures.

23 December 2010 at 22:04  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

English Viking said 23 December 2010 22:04

Ha Ha Ha

Fram! Fram! Kristmenn, Krossmenn!


You are such a giggle!


24 December 2010 at 00:44  
Blogger English Viking said...

King of yeh,yeh, yeh..

Snakker du norsk? Kanskje du snakker bare pissprat?

Eg tror det!

24 December 2010 at 01:38  
Anonymous non mouse said...

wv: credo
... and so, in the One Almighty God.

Couldn't let that bit of our multi-cultural mix pass us by, now could I?

The commies were never owt but copy-cats trying to do something with negative images; not an original in their arsenal.

24 December 2010 at 02:46  
Anonymous Oswin said...

non mouse:

Tee hee, you are a card!

24 December 2010 at 03:31  
Anonymous bowl kitchen sink said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29 December 2010 at 03:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marvellous.. as a Labour supporter utterly fed up with the way Christianity is sidelined by the party (despite the Methodist Church being vital in the forming of the party in the first place) I am very pleased to see an unashamed explanation of a department having fun to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ being given to those who it seems, sadly, would like to pretend He'd never been born. Merry Christmas!

29 December 2010 at 22:43  

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