The City of Sydney took the time this week to wish residents a ‘zero-waste’ Christmas. ‘If you celebrate Christmas’ they began, to make sure that nobody was offended, then offered ‘a zero or low waste guide to all your Christmas consumables’. They advise wrapping up presents in fabric. It’s apparently a Japanese tradition which sounds like cultural appropriation so perhaps shouldn’t be tried in the presence of the politically correct. They also have an answer to the dilemma that every green zealot asks themselves, ‘the tree – real or fake?’ The ‘zero-waste alternative’ is a ‘potted Wollemi pine, which can last a lifetime’. A 200cm tree sells for $1,500 but on the positive side of the ledger they live for up a thousand years, so you’ll never have to buy another tree again.
It just goes to show that it’s not cheap being green. Ask the owner of the Guardian, the Scott Trust. In recent years, in a literal illustration of the mantra ‘go woke, go broke’, the Guardian has run up operating losses of 10 to 70 million pounds annually. This year the trust has told the paper that it is sick of bailing it out or as it puts it, ‘meeting short-term funding requirements’. No Wollemi pines wrapped in silk for woke wordsmiths this year.
The cold weather in Sydney is a disappointment to climate catastrophists whose spirits can’t help but be dampened when there isn’t a bushfire apocalypse illustrating the environmental Armageddon that awaits coal-fired consumers. It’s even worse in the northern hemisphere where there is so much snow falling that sheep have been buried up to their ears and Danish shoppers have been marooned in Ikea by blizzards.
Snow is a constant source of consternation to weather worriers. Ever since Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia announced 21 years ago in the Independent that ‘snowfalls are now just a thing of the past’ and in the future ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ dreaming of a white Christmas is a sign not just of racist or a supremacist but of global warming deniers.
There is no corner of Europe that can escape the progressive fundamentalism. Irish broadcaster Joe Duffy wrote last week that he is looking forward to a carnivorous Christmas, tired of being ‘marooned on an island of vegans, vegetarians and Greta Thunberg fanatics’.
In Brussels, Eurocrats are doing their best to nudge ‘Christmas’ out of EU parlance on the grounds that it could be offensive to non-Christians and have called for the use of ‘holiday period’. It was all spelt out in a helpful publication called #UnionOfEquality, European Commission Guidelines for Inclusive Communication, which should be in every ‘holiday stocking’ in the EU.
It’s all part of an agenda championed by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. On her appointment in 2018, she said she wanted to ‘strengthen Europe’s commitment to inclusion and equality in all of its senses, irrespective of sex, racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief’.
The EU’s equality commissioner Maltese socialist Helena Dalli produced the guidelines, which instruct EU employees to ‘avoid assuming that everyone is Christian’ by saying things like, ‘Christmas time can be stressful’. The guide adds a little more stress by ordering people to say, ‘holiday times can be stressful’. If EU employees insist on referring to the potentially offensive birth of the Messiah, they should also refer to those commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple.
Naturally, one can’t have a Christian name. Indeed, in giving examples, one must not just use names that are ‘typically from one religion’. ‘Maria and John are an international couple’ is to be replaced with ‘Malika and Julio are an international couple’. Even assuming that Malika and Julio are a couple is offensive. ‘When speaking about, or representing families,’ the guide warns, ‘make sure you include non-heterosexual or non-cisgender households, or indeed single parent households’.
All the usual words are verboten – chairman, policeman, headmaster – but there are more exotic words that must be excluded to be inclusive. ‘Hermaphrodite’ can only be used for an animal or a plant. ‘Homosexual’ is back in the closet because it ‘follows the medical model and is sometimes used by anti-gay activists’. One cannot ask what pronoun a person ‘prefers’ because ‘this assumes that gender identity is a personal preference – it is not’ the guide thunders. Instead, ‘ask people how they describe themselves, what are their pronouns? One must avoid ‘negative phrases that present people with disabilities as victims’. Instead of referring to a ‘person suffering from mental illnesses’, talk about a ‘person with a mental health condition’, or ‘neuro-diverse people’.
Call it a miracle, but the guide has managed to upset the Pope. This is no mean feat. The pontiff has quietly accommodated the Chinese Communist Party appointing bishops and preaches the gospel of climate change. He did not speak up when von der Leyen gave a whole new meaning to the concept of ‘inclusion’ when she ‘encouraged’ European governments to ‘think about mandatory vaccination within the EU’. Germans, Austrians and now Greeks don’t need any encouragement on that score.
Yet the #UnionOfEquality went too far. The Holy Father deplored the ‘fad’ of ‘watered down secularism’. He said, ‘In history, many dictatorships have tried to do these things,’ explicitly stating that he was ‘thinking of Napoleon, the Nazi dictatorship, the Communist one’, and adding that, ‘it is something that throughout history has not worked’. He warned that ‘the European Union… must be careful not to take the path of ideological colonisation … (which) could end up dividing countries and causing the EU to fail’. French President Emmanuel Macron hopped on the bandwagon slamming the ‘woke nonsense’.
It must have come as a shock to von der Leyen, a Christian Democrat. According, to the guide one cannot say a disaster is ‘man-made’, and it wouldn’t do justice to the role that von der Leyen and Dalli played so it is fitting to say as the guide suggests, that it was ‘human-induced’. Although she proudly launched the booklet in October, Dalli now says it was a ‘draft document’ and she was looking at bringing out an updated version of the guidelines after ‘a number of concerns were raised’. Oh well, as the guide pointed out, ‘holidays are stressful’. Have a happy one.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10