Monday 24th December 2012

As I was walking through the town centre where I live, I found I was being used as a human punch bag as people were pushing me and pulling me out 
of the way of their bargains.  By the time I got home I felt like I’d done five rounds (OK maybe I’d only survive one round) with Mike Tyson.  Has the world gone mad…?  We are talking about people wrestling for bargains so that they can buy (and I don’t mean any disrespect here) tat for family and friends, who will only wrap it up and give it away to someone else next year.
 
This year shoppers are expected to spend an extra £5bn on last minute deals…. £5bn….  Where has this money been hiding, most of us can barely pay our bills.  Three quarters of high street shops have (purposely) slashed their prices in aid of trapping last minute shoppers.  We hear this news yet we fall for it every year.  Visa Europe has estimated that in the UK daily card takings will be £1.26bn….  Are we mad, remember this isn’t our money and come January during the skint times all this has to be paid back.
 
Why do people do this to themselves every year and for what? Do people recognise the true meaning of Christmas? Who said the date was on the 25th December? We have turned it into a time of Greed and consumerism.
 
When the three Kings took baby Jesus gifts, it wasn’t about how much they were going to save or spend, there wasn’t any panic or grabbing for the last loaf of bread on the supermarket shelf (remember folks shops will always be open on the 25th December) No….  It was a time of reverence and respect a time of peace and love.
 
Every time (not wanting to sound sexist but it’s true) women go out looking for bargains, the men are left holding the carrier bags propped up in a pub somewhere with their head in a pint, whilst the landlord is rubbing his hands together thinking of how his “bar gains”.

Tuesday 25th December 2012

I had to go to London early in the morning for a business meeting, granted work was footing the bill but even so when I went to purchase my ticket and they asked for £160 odd pounds, I felt my heart go tight in my chest and I felt the left side of my arm tingling, I could barely squeeze out and say the words “heart pills”.  What the blazes….  What a big con, just a few hour’s later and the price goes down by more than half…..  Why?  Do we question this or just pay it? Why are business people being stung for travel? Not all businesses are big and raking in the money.  After this mad Christmas period, when people return to work in the New Year economy passengers are going to hit hard with rail fare increases.  
 
Especially if you are a regular on the 8.20 Aberdeen to Penzance train, prices will rise by £31 to £499 but apparently, those in first class will be celebrating as their fare will drop by £30 to a flat £1000.….  Expensive train journeys are to be capped from the 2nd January; no journey will cost more than £500 one way or £1000 return, but standard class passengers’ face up to 4.2 per cent- above the rate of inflation….  What….  Are they mad, surely this is a holiday, how is it that a train journey from Scotland to Cornwall can cost as much as a trip to the Caribbean?
 
The day they privatised the trains was a good day for the fat cats.  Come on, there is a big difference between the price of an economy and first class ticket, ok, you get drinks brought to you and a free newspaper as well as breakfast brought to your table…  Not being funny but I can get my kids to do that for me for nowt…..

Wednesday 25th December 2012

My friend and I were reminiscing about holidays that have lasting memories and one of mine wasn’t even about the holiday but the airport experience. It was when I landed in America and other than the usual passport control, it was all about control.  I had my fingerprints taken, my iris scanned, I was expecting someone to tell me to bend over and exhale gently.  I vowed that I wouldn’t go back to the States for a while after that.  As much as I understand security measures, I was also made to feel like a criminal, the staff was not gentle and nobody told me that they would still respect me in the morning.
 
Now if I felt like that, how do you think school children would feel? Quite a few schools introduced the biometric data for pupils in order for them to enter the school or purchase their school dinners.  These are students not prisoners…..  Or are they….  According to the Department for Education, schools have now been banned for collecting biometric data from pupils without consent.  The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 will ensure that schools require parental consent before taking finger prints or using any face recognition technology for pupils under the age of 18.  If we allow this to happen, we will slowly be losing our freedom…..  And so it begins eh….  

Thursday 27th December 2012

On Boxing Day, I went to watch a movie, I then lounged around, ate good food and relaxed with my family, which was bliss…..  Unlike the madness that ensued when shoppers queued all night, which brought traffic to a standstill, car parks were full and overflowed, which caused the police to be called out to maintain order.
 
We are talking about mere stuff here….  How much stuff do we need? Are neighbours are struggling to make ends meet, yet we are still fighting and ripping goods out of our fellowman’s hands so that we can have it.
 
Selfridges had a queue of more than 2,500, wrapped around their building yesterday when their doors opened at 9am.  The aide of 250 security guards was called upon.  Westfield shopping centres were swamped and other places such as the Trafford Centre in Manchester had to call in the police to maintain order…..  We are talking about material things here folks…  Things that will be no good to us once we’ve been trampled to death by the shopping masses.
 
Anyway I must set my alarm to wake me up for 5am as I lay in my sleeping bag outside Harrods…..  What? 

Friday 28th December 2012

People have stated in the past that Christmas is a time for peace on earth and good will to all men, yet all I see around me is selfish acts and Greed.  Let’s change the pattern and think about others.  How can we bring hope, encourage our families, friends and strangers.  How can we make a difference to someone’s life?  The Green Cross Code guy used to tell us to “Stop, Listen and Think”, if we adopt this statement in our everyday lives, slowly and surely we can change the world.
 
I am just one persons opinion, think for yourselves and spread the love.
 
Citizen Jane ©   
 

Article by Citizen Jane / 28th December 2012

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The Life and Times of Citizen Jane