BESIDES Santa, baby Jesus, a few donkeys and some elves, one of the most enduring images of Christmas is a snowflake.
And it’s been left to poor ol’ Marks & Spencer to expose them all.
Unless you’ve been face-down in a plate of Colin the Caterpillar, you’ll be aware the nation’s sweetheart of supermarkets has been cancelled.
Posting an outtake of a Christmas ad showing burning hats in the colours of the Palestinian flag.
Those colours? Red, white and green.
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The colours of Christmas? Red, white and green. Quite.
As coincidences go, it’s unfortunate.
Not least because the ad was filmed in AUGUST . . . weeks before the first Hamas atrocity on October 7.
But that wasn’t enough to placate the baying mob, and M&S — founded by an immigrant Jew who probably knew a thing or two about hardship — was duly forced to apologise and remove the offending clip.
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Quite why M&S didn’t tell the lunatic critics to go shove their festive outrage up their parsons noses says everything you need to know about the pernicious state of cancel culture.
Of all the insane angry comments from shoppers following the retailer’s apology, which clarified that filming took place in the summer, were the ones that decried: “THEN WHY ARE YOU ONLY SHOWING THE AD NOW?”
Yeah, guys. Why didn’t you debut it on the hottest day of the year?
You insensitive Scrooges.
In an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, M&S has now been forced to pulp hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of ads in newspapers and mags.
The irony, of course, is that the ad was about celebrating the true meaning of Christmas — laughter, fun, family.
To do away with pomp and ceremony — a decorated loo roll is used as a tree fairy — and cherish love.
Nothing could be less loving than this hostile backlash.
Or more expensive if you’re the poor M&S art director.
Hamas, if not too busy slaughtering innocents, must think we’re more extremist than them.
Meanwhile, the company has been accused of insulting Christmas itself, with the ad showing celebrities destroying their least favourite parts of the festive season.
An inner-city headteacher called Katharine Birbalsingh wrote an open letter to the store, accusing them of putting “two fingers up” to traditional values.
“I feel compelled to write to you to express my deep disappointment and outrage at your Christmas advert for 2023,” she began, sounding very much like a woman who’s received a lot of coal in her stocking over the years.
Joylessly, she continued: “When Marks & Spencer puts two fingers up to these values it makes our lives as teachers much more difficult and it stifles social mobility.
“How can you do this to our country at this time?
“Shame on you.
“Please take the advert down.
“Try again. Do better.”
Quite how Ms Birbalsingh, billed as Britain’s toughest headteacher, finds the time to get so upset about a one minute 20 second advert, one featuring Elf On The Shelf and Hannah Waddingham from Ted Lasso, is as baffling as it is ridiculous.
At a time when thousands are being killed, children and babies are being held hostage and murdered, and corresponding wars are occurring across this messed-up globe, why are we wasting our energy on this madness?
Where will it end?
Christmas cancelled because Santa is morbidly obese?
Prancer and Comet grounded because of intolerable working conditions?
No tinsel because, well, we know now red, green and white are colours of oppression.
These conspiracy theories would almost be funny . . . if they weren’t so terrifying.
SAD news for my friend, Simon, whose cat has been diagnosed with dementia.
Rosie, the 12-year-old feline, was shuffled off to the vet after displaying some angry, un-cat-like behaviour.
One £250 vet’s bill later, and off forgetful Rosie was packed with some over-priced Omega 3 supplements.
Which, one presumes, is like popping a plaster on a broken leg.
A £250 plaster.
VAPE IS A RISK TO KIDS
WITHOUT doubt, this will be the biggest health epidemic this government, and the next and the next, will ever face.
New stats show vapes have put two dozen under-tens in hospital over the past two years.
Admission rates for “vaping-related disorders” in under-20s have also risen six-fold.
The other day, a boy of about 12 accosted me outside a newsagent and asked me to buy him a vape.
Obviously I refused.
I know first-hand how addictive these snazzily packed, hand-held fruit devices, crammed with nicotine, are.
My ex was a vape addict and, worryingly, for a while I got into them. (Sorry Mum and Dad.)
They were incredibly hard to shake off, and I’m a grown woman who knows the dangers of chemicals and exactly what I’m shovelling into my poor, already over-toxed body.
Kids don’t stand a chance.
NEIL’S A MOO MAN
The disgraced politician spent eight days in jail for new Channel 4 show, Banged Up.
In a recent interview, Neil, who lives on a farm, made sure he paid tribute to his long-suffering wife Susan.
“I was a big fish and then crash, bang, I was out,” he said.
So far so good.
“If it wasn’t for my wife and the cows . . . ”
Blown it, mate.
HOME TRUTHS FROM WHOOPI
EVERY now and then a celebrity says something very, very wise.
Step forward, then, Whoopi Goldberg.
This week one of her most legendary quotes recirculated online.
When asked about her thoughts on marriage, the three-times-wed actress, whose partners have included Ted Danson and Timothy Dalton, replied: “I don’t want somebody else in my house.”
I think we can all relate.
NADINE DORRIES is surely one step away from a crowdfunding campaign to get herself a damehood.
A new tome by the ex-MP reads like a Wordsworthian love letter to Boris Johnson, embarrassing in its sycophancy for the floppy-haired one.
I think that ship has sailed, love.
FAIR TO WEED US OUT
THE city of Amsterdam is reportedly overjoyed after culling British tourism.
The Netherlands recently launched a “digital discouragement campaign”, urging boozy Brits to “stay away” having seen us wreak havoc on the beautiful place.
New data shows it has worked, with a 22 per cent drop in arrivals from the UK compared to pre-pandemic levels.
I don’t blame them.
Last year I went to the ’Dam on a weekend break with my mate Ebony.
Determined to experience their legendary “brownies” (cake infused with high-strength cannabis) – legal over there – I single-handedly ruined our entire trip.
After gently nibbling a (delicious) morsel I then proceeded to neck a menacing amount of beer.
Which, of course, saw me get peckish.
Without thinking, I hoovered up the rest of the giant cake – meant for four – and spent the next 18 hours passed out in my hotel room.
I spent the entire Eurostar journey collapsed, too.
My mate was RAGING.
And to any Dutchman seeing me stumbling around the canal cobblestones talking to myself and saying how pretty the canal was, I’m deeply, deeply sorry.
AMONG all the unedifying revelations to have been unearthed from Dominic Cummings’ WhatsApp messages, there were, at least, moments of levity.
For example, when he describes various Cabinet ministers as “useless f***pigs”.
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Which, let’s face it, perfectly summarises the Government’s handling, at times, of the pandemic.
A man of few words . . . but sometimes less really is more.