Newgate News

Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Friday, 7 December 2012

'Make some criminal’s Christmas miserable'...

... is the headline of the Oxford Mail's current crime-fighting initiative.

In conjunction with Thames Valley Police, the paper is publishing details and photographs of two dozen wanted criminals from the local area in what is memorably designated the 'Badvent Calendar'.

For the third year running, every day until Christmas Eve, the paper will reveal a new 'festive fugitive' suspect and details of his or her crimes.
Oxford area commander Supt Chris Sharp last night said: “It ties in with the advent calendars that are a tradition at Christmas. [...] We want to make sure we gather these people before the end of the year."
Thus, along with the 'Cinderella' shoplifter who left his own shoes behind at the scene and the robber who held up a cosmetic counter with a pair of scissors,
Lurking behind door seven of our criminal Christmas calendar is an Oxford woman suspected of shoplifting and staying at a “high quality” hotel without paying
Now I can't speak as a Christian, but isn't there something just a little odd about linking this rogues' gallery with the expectation of the Nativity?

I have to admit I'm enough of a linguistic pedant to be annoyed at the whole concept of 25-day 'advent' calendars that have less to do with Christianity than with the products of industrial confectioners or Walt Disney, implying that the eagerly awaited arrival in question is that of a materialistic shower of gifts.

And one of the earliest posts on this blog was prompted by the 'advent calendars' for dogs and cats being sold in a local petshop, which take anthropomorphism to a whole new level - although St Francis of Assisi might have approved.

But while this tendency towards the secular and the introduction of chocolate are relatively harmless - if somewhat depressing as a reminder that, for Generation Entitlement, every day is a treat day - I can't help feeling that something about this Thames Valley Police initiative seems just a little bit tasteless.

10 comments:

Bucko said...

Now they can sit back, eat their doughnuts and wait for the public to call in.
(and be 'seen to be doing something')

James Higham said...

Now I can't speak as a Christian, but isn't there something just a little odd about linking this rogues' gallery with the expectation of the Nativity?

I can and yes there is.

JuliaM said...

It's always Christian traditions, you note? Will we ever see a 'Get them to eat porridge for Ramadan!' campaign..?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Black puddings for ramadan!!!

Halal THAT you bastards. :-) :-)

Macheath said...

Bucko, the haul so far - in three years - has been 16, though it doesn't say whether they came in voluntarily or were grassed up by relatives who couldn't face having them around for Christmas (judging by some of this year's candidates, I'd say that was a highly likely scenario).

JH/Julia/Furor, perhaps it's a product of our highly confusing experience of the Reformation (largely thanks to the marital arrangements of the Tudors), but it seems to me that Britain (along with the USA) has got its religious and cultural wires in more of a tangle than a set of fairy lights.

Demetrius said...

I think I will get a copy and tell people it is a family calendar. Ho Ho Ho.

Macheath said...

Demetrius, I suppose it would make a change from all those round robin letters...

farenheit211 said...

FT, regarding the idea of a Halal black pudding. I don't know about Halal but it would be possible to make a kosher facsimile of a black pudding. Obviously you couldn't use pig meat or blood or certain fats or milk in the recipe,but with the use of finely minced lamb, binders etc with spices and black food colouring, you could make something that looked like a black pudding but would pass Rabbinical muster.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX farenheit211 said...

FT, regarding the idea of a Halal black pudding. I don't know about Halal but it would be possible to make a kosher facsimile XX

"facsimile" EXACTLY!

Same with vegatarian "Haggis"!

Dfeats the entire OBJECT.

Macheath said...

FT - have a heart! (Or any other offal of your choice)

As a vegetarian (meat disagrees with me horribly these days) reared on bi-weekly school meals of haggis, I find the existence of vegetarian haggis strangely comforting.

(Admittedly, 'strange' is probably the best word for it - the key is to pretend it is something altogether different.)