As one or two of my favourite writers have explained, there are good reasons why many people choose to disengage from the world over the Christmas period. This (see
http://www.manx.net/isle-of-man-news/75428/community-christmas-day-dinner-planned-in-douglas ) is a perfect example.
Once upon a time, there was only one religiously based Manx attempt to invite lonely old folk to church for a Christmas dinner. It was an honest and laudable enough project. I know this because it was started (and exclusively staffed for over a decade) by relatives of mine, even including me for a year or two.
Sadly, the religious organisation nominally promoting it then picked up on the idea that it could constitute ‘social work’ and form part of a bid for more public money. Not only that, but a few otherwise unemployable windbags who attended the church could get paid by government to…. well, carry on doing what they had done to make themselves so unemployable really. This became a bit of a growth industry, and other religious parasites – particularly of the evangelical strain – began to catch on.
Now, if all this meant that some dispossessed people actually got befriended and cared for it might be OK. But it didn’t. Social care unprofessionals and Elfin Safety got involved, bank balances went up, decent volunteers started to stay away (the best were actually told to go away) and the whole thing became a nightmare.
Years ago, as many of us know from older relatives, poor people used to hid behind the sofa when the rent man or tally man came round. I have it on good authority that these days their Manx descendants do the same when Living Hell, their front organisation Southern Offenders or the execrable Methodist Die At Home Alone ring the doorbell.
Almost every day I surreptitiously slip in on a few independently minded bods, and it is beginning to feel like hiding dissident writers from the Stasi. The thought that someone they talk to in the post office or supermarket might give them away to some swivel-eyed, godbothering prodnose….. Honestly, it’s just horrible and a wonder they can get to sleep at night.
So do the decent thing this Christmas. If you know someone who is on their own or in need, by all means invite them round or pop round their place with a few mince pies and a bottle – if you know they like that sort of thing. But whatever else you do, never, NEVER grass the poor sods up to the biblebashers.