When I switched on the TV on the day after the federal election, this message hit me: the election is over, now we can get on with Christmas shopping!
The hysterical election propaganda we'd just escaped had been replaced with an even bigger propaganda onslaught. We cannot escape it. It is everywhere!
While the Liberal Party election propagandists seem to work on the principle that most people would be terrified of trade unionists, the Christmas shopping propagandists seem to work on the assumption that we all have endlessly deep pockets.
Some people do, of course. A recent survey of the 280 richest people in the US revealed that this Christmas they planned to spend (on average, per person) nearly US$488,000 for yacht rentals, $190,000 on new cars, $152,000 on jewellery, $31,100 on alcohol, $46,000 dollars on fashion and more than $10,000 on their pets!
Mega Christmas spending like that only exists because of mega exploitation and mega misery. It is obscene.
So do you hate Christmas shopping? Well, I have a confession: I don't. I actually enjoy it when I'm not rushed and when there's enough cash to cover something little for my children, partner and a few nephews and nieces. I know it is a cliche, but there is joy in giving and the joy increases if you can find the perfect gift for the receiver.
There's one really worthwhile gift that will hit the mark: a Christmas present to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund. We are now into the last stretch. Our supporters have raised a fantastic $209,134 already this year ($11,799 just over the last week) but we still have $40,866 to raise to meet our target by the end of the year.
Please check out the end of year fundraisers on page 27 and help make them a success, and if you can, help us with a direct donation. You can deposit at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at <http://www.greenleft.org.au/fogl.htm>.
And if you are looking for Christmas present ideas, why not consider a subscription to GLW?